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Giroud strikes in Arsenal win

15 July 2017 National Sport


Last Updated: 15/07/17 1:58pm

Olivier Giroud and Mohamed Elneny celebrate Arsenal's opening goal against Western Sydney Wanderers

Olivier Giroud and Mohamed Elneny celebrate Arsenal’s opening goal against Western Sydney Wanderers

Olivier Giroud was on target while Alexandre Lacazette fired a blank as Arsenal continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Lacazette, who had scored just 15 minutes into his first appearance two days earlier, started in Sydney but Giroud – linked with a move away this summer – served a reminder of his qualities with a classy opening goal (33) as well as a sharp all-round display.

Nacho Monreal set up Aaron Ramsey minutes after teeing up the Frenchman and Mohamed Elneny – deployed in a back three – added a deflected third just before the break.

Steven Lustica pulled one back (56) for a spirited Wanderers side after Emi Martinez was punished for picking up a back-pass and though the Gunners had further chances to swell the scoreline, Arsene Wenger will be satisfied with a workout that again allowed him to field two different outfield line-ups.

Alexandre Lacazette made a lively start but failed to find the target this time

Alexandre Lacazette made a lively start but failed to find the target this time

Alexandre Lacazette made a lively start but failed to find the target this time

Lacazette had showed a thrilling burst of pace to craft an early chance – shooting straight at the keeper – but, after a heavy touch when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found him in the box with a deep ball from the right, his threat fizzled out in front of another sell-out crowd.

Giroud also had early chances but he made the breakthrough in style, superbly steering the ball high into the net at the near post after Monreal had skipped down the left on the overlap and bided his time.

A second soon followed and Monreal was again the provider, looking up and lofting a ball over the top that Ramsey raced onto and lifted over Vedran Janjetovic with the side of his boot (38).

Aaron Ramsey scores Arsenal's second in Sydney after being spotted by Nacho Monreal

Aaron Ramsey scores Arsenal's second in Sydney after being spotted by Nacho Monreal

Aaron Ramsey scores Arsenal’s second in Sydney after being spotted by Nacho Monreal

Wanderers had in fact offered stiffer opposition than their neighbours Sydney FC but legs tired as the half went on and they fell further behind just before the break when Elneny’s low snapshot hit Brendan Hamill’s heel and wrong-footed Janjetovic (44).

Elneny tried his luck again soon after the restart, hitting the underside of the crossbar with a curling effort, but though Jack Clisby hit a post at the other end, Wanderers struck moments later when a mix-up gave them a chance from six yards, Lustica finding the back of the net at the second attempt after the wall had done its initial job.

Wenger made 10 changes as the final 20 minutes approached – Lacazette among those to leave the field – but though substitutes Mesut Ozil and Eddie Nketiah both hit the post in the final 10 minutes, Arsenal had to settle for three.

Olivier Giroud smartly turns the ball high into the net against Western Sydney Wanderers

Olivier Giroud smartly turns the ball high into the net against Western Sydney Wanderers

Olivier Giroud smartly turns the ball high into the net against Western Sydney Wanderers

Man of the match – Nacho Monreal

Giroud – who remains a different option for Arsenal up front – threatened despite his uncertain future but the reinvented Monreal, who impressed in a back three at the end of last season, caught the eye with two assists from defence. His swashbuckling run and composure at the byline set up Arsenal’s first and the pass that afforded Ramsey a lobbed second was inch-perfect.

What’s next?

The Australia leg of their pre-season tour finished, Arsenal will now head to Shanghai to face a sterner test in the shape of Bayern Munich on July 19. They take on Chelsea in Beijing on July 22, before facing Benfica and Sevilla in the Emirates Cup.


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