Sydney, July 15 (IANS) Goals from Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny helped English football giants Arsenal defeat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 in the second match of their pre-season campaign in Australia here on Saturday.
Despite dominating possession in the early going, it took the FA Cup winners 33 minutes to put one past the Wanderers, when Nacho Monreal landed a cross on the left foot of French striker Giroud, reports Xinhua news agency.
In the 37th minute, the left back assisted again with a perfectly placed long ball for Aaron Ramsey, who then chipped the Wanderers’ keeper with brilliant skill.
One minute before half-time, Arsenal made it 3-0, when a strike from Egyptian captain Elneny found its way into the back of the net after a deflection. The goal was Elneny’s first since joining the North Londoners in 2016.
After the break, a bizarre incident led to a Wanderers goal, after a Jack Clisby strike hit the crossbar in the 57th minute. On the rebound an Arsenal defender passed the ball back to goalkeeper David Ospina, which resulted in an indirect free kick awarded to the Wanderers on the six yard line. After the initial strike hit Arsenal’s wall, Steven Lustica got a foot to the ball to get the host team on the score sheet, to the joy of many local supporters.
Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger said after the match: “I thought we did well in the first half against an opposition, who made the game physical and fast…we played at a good pace and very fluent,” .
Wenger also hailed Australian football fans. “In two games there were over 160,000 people,” he said.
“It just makes us realise how big the support is here and how much people love sport here in Australia.”
The Arsenal squad will make their way to Shanghai to face German elite club Bayern Munich on July 19, before travelling to Beijing on July 22 to battle their bitter London rivals Chelsea.
“What I expect from China is that it’s going to be very hot, so we will have to adapt to that,” Wenger, who is in charge of Arsenal since 1996, said.