Arsenal secured their third win in a row during their pre-season tour of Asia, beating Nagoya Grampus 3-1.
The game was made that extra bit special given the fact that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger used to be in charge at Grampus, but there were no signs of the Gunners taking it easy on his former club at the Toyota Stadium.
It took little over two minutes for Arsenal to assert their dominance as Wenger looked to maintain his side’s unbeaten pre-season run.
Tomas Rosicky was given time to pick out Olivier Giroud in the 18-yard box, and the Frenchman headed powerfully into the net to give Arsenal the lead.
The north Londoners continued to press during the early stages and were nearly rewarded as Theo Walcott had a penalty appeal turned down.
Grampus subsequently dug in and looked to play more on the counter from this point on, making it difficult for Arsenal to have any real impact going forward.
In the 25th minute however they managed to double their lead. Giroud earned his side a penalty when his pull-back for Ryo Miyaichi was allegedly handled by a Grampus’ sliding Tulio Tanaka.
It was Miyaichi who stepped up to take the penalty, and the Japan international lashed the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 2-0.
Both Arsenal and Grampus created chances late on in the first half, but the Japanese club were wasteful with their efforts and never really looked like scoring.
The second half was conducted with slightly less verve from Arsenal, who had made four changes at the interval.
Both sides exchanged glorious goalscoring opportunities but it wasn’t until Walcott found the net that the scoreline altered.
After breaking down the right hand side and coming into the box, Walcott deftly chipped the ball over the oncoming Grampus keeper to all-but seal the result in Arsenal’s favour.
Grampus, to their credit, did pull one back in the 72minute through Kisho Yano.
Hayuma Tanaka’s perfectly delivered cross was met by Yano’s head, the goal being reminiscent of Giroud’s first half opener.
In the end though the Gunners proved too strong for their opponents, in what was easily their sternest test so far of their pre-season tour.
Arsenal’s next outing will be against Urawa Red Diamonds on July 26.
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