Saturday, 31 July 2010

Arsenal held by AC Milan in Emirates Cup clash

Arsenal 1 AC Milan 1
First half: Fanianski, Eboue, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Nasri, Frimpong, Wilshere, Rosicky, Chamakh, Arshavin
Second half: Fanianski, Eboue (Sagna), Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs (Clichy), Nasri, Frimpong (Djourou), Wilshere, Rosicky (Walcott), Chamakh (Randall), Arshavin (Vela)
Goals: Chamakh (36), Pato (77)

Arsenal new boy Marouane Chamakh scored on his home debut but the Gunners were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against AC Milan.

In a particularly dull first half, Chamakh's goal brought some relief to those watching at the Grove and at home.

The Morocco striker was first on to a through ball by Andrey Arshavin and was able to neatly play the ball under the goalkeeper to put Arsenal in the lead.

Despite some good defending, especially from Laurent Koscielny who made some good interceptions, a set piece was our undoing, with Pato getting his head on to a free kick.

Arsene Wenger gave us what he promised prior to the game, Frimpong and Wilshere started in midfield and the new boys, Koscielny and Chamakh in for their first start at the Grove.

Thomas Vermaelen captained the side in place of the missing Cesc Fabregas, while in what is a very telling sign, Lukasz Fabianski played the whole 90 minutes with Wojciech Szczesny on the bench - no sign of Manual Almunia.

There was some good early play but then it was dire until Chamakh popped up to score. The Moroccan looked lively and he certainly adds something to the team.

One of our early chances came from a flick on by Vermaelen from a Samir Nasri corner but the Milan goalkeeper palmed the ball away.

We then took the lead and Rosicky should have doubled that but had his close range effort saved.

Emmanuel Eboue had a good half at right back and was bossing Pato, but the one chance he did have saw a curling shot fly over Fabianski's left hand corner.

So at half time we led and the manager shuffled his pack, bringing on Sagna, Clichy and Walcott.

It sparked us into life and Walcott was involved heavily.

We had other chances to. Chamakh put Arshavin through with a clever backheal but his effort was saved. The rebound was cleared and as Jack Wilshere was aiming up to take his shot a well timed tackle came in.

Vela on as a substitute for Arshavin curled a shot wide.

Pato then scored for Milan, tucking away Clarence Seedorf's free-kick. To be fair, Fabianski couldn't have done much about it and Vermaelen was just a yard behind Pato when he connected with the ball.

Small margins. But they aren't to be worried over too much today. It is pre-season after all.

We should have gone up the other end and scored. Mark Randall who replaced Chamakh had a double effort saved at close range when he should have done better.

It ended 1-1 and the way the scoring system works mean we are third, having more shots on goal than Milan. In the earlier game, Celtic game back from being two goals down to draw with Lyon. The Scots lead the table and we'll play them tomorrow.

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