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October 2016
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Barclays Asia Trophy : Arsenal – Singapore XI – Live match report

By Walter Broeckx

It seems like only a few weeks ago that I was writing the match report of Arsenal matches (Sorry Tony…) and here we are again.

First thing first the match between Stoke and Everton was a very boring 0-0 affaire and in the end Everton won the penalty shoot-out and so qualify for the final. But that’s not what you are here for. You want the Arsenal line up first and here we go for the first time of the new season (finally!):

Arsenal started with Martinez, Debuchy, Mertesacker,Gabriel, Monreal, Flamini, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Iwobi, Akpom.

So a very mixed line up one could say. A young (well relatively young) keeper in goal but with some experienced defenders in front of him. A midfield with lots of experience. And two young kids up front with Iwobi and Akpom.

So lots of familiar faces on the bench also where we had names like: Szczesny, Bellerin, Toral, Zelalem, Crowley, Willock, Cech, Gibbs, Chambers, Koscielny, Ozil, Walcott, Arteta, Cazorla, Giroud, Ramsey.

So no Cech and I think it will be for the next match that he makes his debut. My pre-match prediction is that Szczesny will play in the second half of this match. Off we go now! Let the season start.

A familiar face as the ref as it is cup final ref John Moss at the whistle.  A not so familiar face was Arsenal in the new away shirt for the first time.  A Signapore defender conceding a first corner for Arsenal and Oxlade-Chamberlain has a shot from just outside the penalty area but it goes wide. Arsène with a touch of the ball. Debuchy very eager to make an impact but twice called back for offside by the assistant. Arsenal most on the ball but not much penetration and just when writing this Akpom makes room for himself but his low effort is blocked by the keeper.  Then again the keeper denies Arsenal with a great save after a shot from the Ox (I think – blurry stream sometimes) and then the rebound from Wilshere is stopped by a defender.  0-0  after 15 minutes.

A bit of ‘holderdebolder’ football for the moment with lots of lost ball from both sides. Akpom showing some good skills with the ball but not really creating any danger. Apart from a shot from distance from The Ox that goes well over the crossbar. So far Singapore hasn’t really come close to the Arsenal goal. Time for a little drink for players and referee after some 26 minutes.

Back underway and Arsenal defend a free kick, it is cleared and Arsenal can go quickly forward. The ball comes to Wilshere who tries to go around the last defender but he blocks the ball and it falls to Akpom who makes no mistake and burries the ball in the goal. GOAL!!!! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 30 minutes.

It is as if this goal has woken up Signapore and for the first time they try to go more towards the Arsenal goal. Gabriel takes a shot in his stomach and goes down a bit uncomfortable so play is stopped. But he can carry on. Akpom then is on a one on one with the keeper but the angle is too tight and the keeper can save at the expense of a corner. After 40 minutes Martinez grabs his first ball a long cross without any pressure on him. So yes he earned his sandwich there as they say in my country.

While the director wants to show those highly important images of players sitting on the bench Coquelin has committed a foul and the ref talks to him. Le Coq has no friends or knows no friendly matches I think.  As does the bearded defender from Singapore who has gone about a few times before and he also is talked to by the ref after fouling Wilshere.  After Singapore clear the line Jack is fouled again just outside the penalty area. But his effort is blocked by the wall. It’s half time and Arsenal lead 1-0 after having dominated but not created too much. Time for the half time show.

Time for half-time Bob to talk us through the first 45 minutes and tell you how you should have seen it: Well like I said before I thought I have seen a few things that was interesting but then again you cannot say too much about this as it is still early on but let me show you this incident where you can see that he should have done better and could have gone for the other side and then I pretend it has been like that for the whole 45 minutes and let me take another example and I think he should have gone for a shot there and not for the dribble but this is how it goes when you can sit on your comfortable sofa and judge things from afar and not being on the field at all. But well one has to earn his money to feed my children and if it takes for me to do a lot of blah blah blah I am very willing to do this of course.

So after that very interesting chit chat we continue to talk about the football itself.

Half time changes : Szczesny came on for Martinez and that was it at first sight.  And second. A Singapore player went down with a back injury but I think he just wanted a massage from the female physio. Oh well it does seems to be serious as he goes down again and has to come off after he tried to continue. Meanwhile the Mexican wave goes through the stadium.  Wilshere almost runs off with the ball but an ultimate tackle can stop him.

Iwobi on the end of a Wilshere pass but his wild shot goes over and wide.  Coquelin commits a foul just outside the penalty area but the wall is standing firm. Wilshere on the other end with a good pass to Debuchy who gives it to Iwobi who again smashed it wildly over and wide. The Ox then with a great run but the keeper can take the steam out of his shot and a defender can kick it out for a corner just in front of the goal line.

Wilshere again feeding Debuchy who goes down under pressure from Camara and the ref gives a penalty for Arsenal. Wilshere to step up and….GOAL!!!!! FOR THE ARSENAL 2-0 after 60 minutes.

Again that goal brings Singapore to live again and Szczesny has to make a double save and does so comfortably.

Meanwhile the youngsters Crowley, Willockx and Zelalem prepare themselves on the side line.  Wilshere, the Ox and Flamini going off. So lots of young and inexperienced kids on the field now. Zelalem forcing a corner and the keeper almost punches it in his own net…. A few corners in a row for Arsenal but they cannot score from them. And get another drink pause to get a bit of energy back.

Bellerin comes on for Debuchy and Toral also comes on for Iwobi I think.  The youngsters combine in the penalty area with Crowley not being able to continue and then Toral goes away with the ball and is tripped by the keeper. Chub Akpom steps up and GOAL!!! coolly scores to make it 3-0 to the Arsenal after 75 minutes.

Crowley with a low shot that just goes wide. Crowley who was very lively and demanded the ball everywhere on the pitch.  Arsenal now completely turning up the pressure with the youngster who want to prove a point. Willock wins the ball, gives it back to Bellerin, little drag back a cross and GOAL !!!!  Akpom  scores his hattrick and makes it 4-0.- after 79 minutes.

Crowley again with a lovely ball but Akpom couldn’t get passed the last defender and only won a corner. Lots of tired legs even for Singapore players who should be used to the conditions. John Moss still looking fit.

Crowley with a good eye for a lob when the keeper was a bit in front of his goal but it went wide. Could have gone for the pass also but well when you are young…  Bellerin with a great ball to Akpom but this time the keeper has a good save. This was the last action of the match and ref Moss called it a day.

Arsenal wins 4-0 and will play the final next Saturday same time as today.

The defence was solid for 90 minutes the midfield worked hard and maybe most importantly: the youngster gave a good show of what they are capable of. And of course Akpom with his 3 goals will be the most talked about.



34 comments to Barclays Asia Trophy : Arsenal – Singapore XI – Live match report

  • ARSENAL 13

    Akpom scores….refreshments did help!!

  • Gord

    Was Madhu in the wall, when Wilshere fired the ball into the wall on the free kick?

  • Gord

    Szczesny, keep that clean sheet Martinez started.


  • WalterBroeckx

    Pretty quick I am as I posted the goal before the first replay was given on TV 🙂

  • Gord

    What second goal? Is someone bouncing my feed off New Horizons? 🙂


  • Gord

    Things are slow. I was only seeing the Mari/Rodrigo substitution, when you posted about the goal, which I still don’t see.


  • Gord

    What a young midfield now! Coquelin is going to be feeling like an old man. 🙂


  • ARSENAL 13

    akpom hattrick!!!

    yeah huuuuu

  • Gord

    On the Singapore injury, what the Guardian is showing is that the player has twisted his knee, and is probably in for a lot of rehab now.


  • Gord

    – You must buy a world class striker and a DM. Just look at what happened
    – in Singapore, you were completely lost still lacking a world class striker
    – and a DM. Wenger must spend another 80M before the Community Shield game.
    – Blah, blah, blah.
    [Sarcasm off]


  • ARSENAL 13

    Crowley looks good….a little messiesque in the way he glides around with the ball

  • finsbury

    The Newscorp plundit (equivalent to a Marca for the petro-clubs/laundry baskets) really doesn’t like the Arsenal or the arsenal manager.

    “The lily livered cheese eating surrender monkey is against heading! He’s ruining our sacred sport. Polluting our precious bodily fluids. Vengargghhhhhhhhh!”

    Never mind what the BMC or the families of players had to say in the fifties or why sodden leather footballs were left behind a long long time ago. Never mind the…

  • finsbury

    To be clear in case there was any doubt:

    According to the consistent narratives of the newscorp orifices The Arsenal manager is against Grittish values.
    It’s true. You won’t find him burning a cool £30M on the likes of Carroll.

  • Gord

    Guardian announced the attendance as 29,800. According to Wikipedia, maximum capacity for football is 55,000, so a bit more than half full? That is a little disappointing.


  • finsbury

    Meanwhile the young Arsenal/English football players looked good.

    Chuba, he’s very exciting. Had been for a while. Not an accident he got minutes last season. Scored a header too, would you believe it!

  • Gord

    For the other game (other than Arsenal versus Everton), we have Madhu versus Shawcross. Probably going to be a cracking game, but will it be a breaking game?

    Congratulations young Mr. Akpom! I think all you youngsters owe the old men a refreshment after the game (Mertesacker, Monreal and Coquelin?).


  • finsbury


    Chuba tells the plundits that he’s been practising his heading. Shocking!
    He’d better not tell VenGrrrrrrrr

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    A good performance from Arsenal. Well done Akpom and the other youngsters. I think our future will be in very good hands. Easy to see why Arsène isn’t buying every available player like some other managers are.

  • bjtgooner

    An entertaining performance from the young Arsenal team & it was super to see some of the young players acquitting themselves well.

    A good win which means we avoid the Stoke rugby team – although Everton are not the cleanest of teams!

    But how nice it is to see Arsenal playing again, especially having had to endure 6-7 weeks of deliberate transfer misinformation from the media.

  • para

    Akpom is a new challenger to our other strikers, and also another different option for the team. Glad to see him ok and free from injury.

  • Jambug

    Wenger, when asked about the final and what he thought the game would be like, he said, with a wry smile “It will be more ‘British'”

    I think he knows what to expect.

    Oh well, fingers crossed.

  • Sammy The Snake

    What a great feeling. Put on my Arsenal shirt. Watch Arsenal after a long break!

  • Blackfoox

    my 1st ever live match with arsenal!!!

    Awesome match!!! Not a lot of us know the cheers though so… A bit quite during the game….

    Mert actually led a few players over to greet the fans, including Crowley, akpom and Gabriel!

  • Gord

    The game report at Arsenal offers this as a reason for the lineup today:

    > Wenger rested 10 of his 27-man squad for the first game of Arsenal’s Singapore trip, opting for those who had the most pre-season training under their belts.

  • Gord

    BleacherReport had an interesting twit.

    – Feeling head over hills watching my nephew Alex Iwobi live with Arsenal against Singapore eleven in preseason..great stuff son..
    — Jay-Jay Okocha (@IAmOkocha) July 15, 2015

  • Gord

    I read most of an ESPN report. This is what the report should have said.

    We hate Arsenal, and we can’t be bothered to write a proper report about the game. Blah, blah, blah.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Arsenal will win the Barclays Asia Trophy and also win the Emirates Cup for the first time as a prelude for their winning the fithdruple next season. The Gunners are now becoming used to winning trophies again after retaining the FA Cup and won the Charity Shield. Arsenal are currently in possession of 2 formal trophies. Only Chelsea are rivalring them of the 2 trophies possession. And the Gunners must give it whatever it takes on the 2nd of August, to stop Chelsea ambitions to extend their trophy quests to 3. And thus limit them to the 2 they have.

  • semeotist

    Just returned from the game and I’m still buzzing. My first impression is that the team looks different to previous years. They look fitter at this stage than in previous years. The Stoke guys look bulky by comparison; a few too many tapas to work off yet. The stand outs were Akpom who looks a warrior. You could see his sinews from Row FF (yes, that far back). And that headed goal would have had Giroud wagging his fingers in delight. Although Debuchy got caught a couple of times by the speed of the turn of the winger, he and Flamini look like tanks and really covered the ground. I can see why Wenger has given Flamini a new contract; he still gets it done where it counts and Coq has still a thing or two to learn from him. Most heartening was Le Boss being cheered everytime time he appeared on the big screen but my best moment was Mertesackar and Szczęsny going around the whole stadium applauding the fans and stopping for autographs and selfies. Really classy from the Captain.

  • Gord

    With respect to Stoke, I went looking to see what their legbreaker did today. Apparently Shawcross has a sore back, and might play on Saturday.

    On the Arsenal side, quite a few reports spoke highly of Debuchy.

    And speaking of Wenger, his interview is up now (and a couple of other articles).

  • apo Armani

    I watched the match…no injuries and our youngsters had a super day out!!

  • Damilare

    Good work out for the boys today. Zalalem looks stronger than I expected in the dwells, just like Mesut came back with extra strength after his injury. Good signs for the team.

  • omgarsenal

    Thanks for the report Walter. It is hard to imagine that AFC can field a team of 17 year olds, intersperced with veterans and play so cohesively. Mind you the competition was about bottom of the championship level but they tried their best and did test our defense once or twice.
    Akpom , Wilshere, Debuchy,Crowley and Zalalem stood out for me but Iwobi also seemed hungry and the OX was vrery eager as well. IF he ever gets his gunsights adjusted to the goal, he’ll be a great distance option.I also liked the coolness and intelligence of Per…..making sharp and splitting passes to his attacking midfielders all game.
    Wenger still has his 10 best options on the bench today and we’ll probably see them play on Saturday…..which is amazing considering how assured this “second string” played despite the heat,humidity and lack of recent competition. Maybe this will finally be our season?

  • omgarsenal

    By the way, the first penalty was NEVER a penalty, just a gift from Moss for missing another real one minutes before!

  • Menace

    @omgarsenal The Singapore player caught Debuchy’s foot by mistake causing the trip which both Assistant & referee thought was a penalty. It was an unintentional foul but nonetheless a harsh penalty.

    PGMO officiating abroad was not as bad as in the UK (probably not that much incentive to slope the pitch).

    A good result with some excellent displays of skill & cohesion. Jack winced a little after he got caught, hopefully it is not more than a knock.