Arsenal continue winning start to season with comfortable win at Arsene Wenger's former club Nagoya Grampus
Goals from Olivier Giroud, Ryo Miyaichi and Theo Walcott give the Gunners an easy win as Wenger returns to his former stomping ground
Monday 22 July 2013
Arsenal maintained their winning start to their pre-season tour after they saw off Nagoya Grampus 3-1 at the Toyota Stadium in Japan.
The game was made special for two reasons with the homecoming of former manager Arsene Wenger and player Ryo Miyaichi.
Wenger managed Nagoya back in their 1995-6, and left the club when he was signed by Arsenal to replace Bruce Rioch. The Frenchman received a warm welcome when he walked out, having led the club to the 1996 Emperor’s Cup and second place in the J League.
But the biggest cheer of the day went up for Miyaichi, who scored the second goal from the penalty spot after Olivier Giroud’s pass was deflected by Tulio Tanaka’s arm.
Miyaichi moved to north London from Japan in 2011 and it was the 20-year-old's first goal for the club, having spent the last few seasons out on loan.
Mikel Arteta, the Gunners' usual penalty taker, picked up the ball and looked to set up the penalty, but instead handed the ball to Miyaichi whose strong shot found the bottom left corner.
Giroud had put the tourists in front after three minutes when he powered home a header from Tomas Rosicky’s hanging cross, with the striker now taking his tally to six goals in just 68 minutes of pre-season football.
England forward Theo Walcott added Arsenal’s third when he finished a defence-splitting pass from youngster Gedion Zelalem, who has earned a few admirers with his creative style of play on the tour.
Nagoya scored a consolation goal in the 71st minute through substitute Kisho Yano, but the score had little reflection on this friendliest of friendlies, with the game played in a spirit equal to Wenger’s thank you speech to the crowd after the final whistle.
The one worry for Wenger will have been his deployment again of Bacary Sagna at centre-back to cover the injured Laurent Koscielny, with the natural right-back at fault for the goal. Arsenal fans will want Wenger to sign a new defender ahead of the new season, with Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Nacho Monreal currently sidelined with injuries.
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