Eduardo scores in Arsenal win
Arsenal’s new Croatian international striker Eduardo da Silva scored his first goal for the club in their 2-1 win over Lazio in the first game of the Amsterdam Tournament. Eduardo’s goal came just hours after he was granted his work permit from the English Home Office which ensures he will be available for the first game of Arsenal’s Premiership season against Fulham on the 12th of August.
Young Danish striker Niklas Bendtner rounded the Lazio goalkeeper to open the scoring in the 19th minute after a fortunate deflection from Eduardo’s shot but the Italian club equalised in the 40th minute through Goran Pandev following some poor defending from Eduardo from a Lazio corner. But the Croatian made up for his mistake by heading in a Tomas Rosicky header in the 55th minute to score the winner. Justin Hoyte and Gaby Mudingayi both hit the woodwork for their respective sides but Arsenal held on for the win. You can see video highlights of the game here.
An inexperienced Arsenal side
I had hoped to get up early and watch the game on Arsenal TV but I got my time zones mixed up and woke up an hour after kick off. As a result I only caught the second half, but have since seen highlights of the first. Manager Arsene Wenger fielded an incredibly inexperienced side – especially in defence – and it really showed at times. Phillipe Senderos was surprisingly named as captain but he and fellow countryman Johan Djourou struggled as a central pairing and a number of Lazio through balls evaded their attempts at an offside trap. Things did improve in the second half but it is clear that these two players need to be paired with a more experienced player like Kolo Toure or William Gallas to bring out the best in them.
On an attacking front I was happy to see Bendtner grab another well-taken goal and delighted that Eduardo is now off the mark. Hopefully it will be the first of many for Arsenal. I thought the quality of the build-up play was a little down from that shown against PSG and Inter Milan in the Emirates Cup, but this was more down to the fact that there were a lot of players out there who had never played a full match. I thought Theo Walcott’s and Rosicky’s performances were a little flat but again, this is understandable as both have just returned from injury.
A decent performance
It was interesting to see Gael Clichy get another start on the left side of midfield and Emmanuel Eboue come on in the second half as a right winger. It seems almost certain that Wenger will be using Eboue as a right winger this season and I think that this is proving to be a good decision based on his performances so far. Alexandre Song got a start in the centre of the park, but he looked a little shaky until the presence of Mathieu Flamini calmed him down in the second half. It’s the first time I’ve seen the Cameroonian play for the club and on this evidence I think he will struggle to get a first-team position any time in the near future. There’s always the Carling Cup though.
Overall, it was a good result against a reasonably tough side. It was great to see Arsenal get their second goal in three matches from a corner kick but equally as disappointing to concede from one as well. It is clear to me that there is still work to be done as a team defensively but as an attacking force the team is definitely looking sharp. Bendtner and Eduardo worked well with the midfield and when Robin van Persie came on the team had a real swagger about it. Just a shame that Hoyte couldn’t put his rather simple chance away and add some gloss to the final score.
Ajax next up, and the game promises to be an entertaining affair with both sides favour an attackinging style of play. Another win and Arsenal will surely have their hands on another pre-season trophy.
What do you think?
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