Arsenal beat PSG 2-1 in the second match of the first Emirates Cup played at Emirates Stadium. In the first match of the tournament a youthful energetic Valencia beat the ageing Serie A champions, Inter 2-0. Arsenal scored through Flamini and Bendtner.
Arsenal started the match without injured Adebayor, Rosicky and Walcott. Eduardo Da Silva was yet to get his work permit for England and hence didnt feature. Gilberto was still in his holiday after the Copa America victory. Bendtner played alongside Van Persie in the front. To be fair to PSG they dominated the first half and created more chances compared to Arsenal. Arsenal looked more like a work-in-progress. Sagna was lively though he didnt go forward as many times as Clichy did.
I was eagerly looking forward to see Bendtner play and I should say I was disappointed with his performance. He had a mediocre game. He created a goal with a nice chesting to provide Flamini the chance to score. He rose higher than the goalkeeper to head the ball down and then reacted quickly to slam the ball in. But he seemed to be a bit casual on the whole. His weak shot for the penalty was proof of that. He wasted a chance to score a couple of goals and gain some confidence. Anyway I just hope he improves from here.
Second half saw wholesale substitutions and 5 players were brought in. Hoyte played full back with Eboue playing ahead of him in the flanks. Traore played full back in the left flank with Clichy going ahead. Diaby and Denilson manned the central mid-field with Hleb playing behind Bendtner. Senderos had a steady game for the full 90 minutes. I thought Eboue going forward was a good option given that he was combining well with Hoyte as well as putting in a few good crosses. Hleb did a commendable job in his new role, winning the penalty with a surge into the box. He had some good dribbling moves in between the match to show his utility to the team. Fabregas, the most popular player in the Arsenal ranks had a very subdued match though he did a couple of good tackles to win the ball. With him firing on all cylinders the team can only get better. Almunia also had a good match, with a save which was a gritty effort coming from a close range effort.
Today’s match with Inter might be interesting as Inter would be looking at a victory and Arsenal will be tested by some Italian defending.