SYDNEY: Arsenal wrapped up their Australian tour with a 3-1 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers with all their goals coming in the first half in Sydney on Saturday. The Gunners scored their goals in a 11-minute period late in the first half through Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny with Spanish defender Nacho Monreal standing out with two assists. The English giants were held scoreless in the second half with the 2014 Asian Champion League winners pulling a goal back off an indirect free kick from Steven Lustica. Arsenal leave for China winning both games on their first tour to Australia in 40 years after beating A-League champions Sydney FC 2-0 on Thursday.
“They made it quite physical for us, they pushed us a little bit and we played very well for long periods in the first half,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “The players who came on in the second half gave us more impetus and we finished strongly, unfortunately we couldn’t score any more but overall it was a positive game.” The game drew 83,221 fans for a two-game total of 163,653 for Arsenal’s visit. “The support out here is truly amazing, we probably didn’t realise the amount of support we had out here in Australia, it’s truly incredible,” attacker Theo Walcott said.
Arsenal broke away with three goals late in the opening half after a competitive opening. French striker Giroud made a sweet first-time finish at the near post after a strong overlapping run from Monreal in the 33rd minute and they were two-up a few minutes later. Monreal found Ramsey with a long ball and he lobbed goalkeeper Janjetovic on the edge of the box. The Gunners grabbed a third goal nearing half-time when Egyptian Elneny’s long-range volley deflected off defender Brendan Hamill’s leg past Janjetovic into the unguarded net.
Published in Daily Times, July 16th , 2017.