Arsenal kicked off their Asia tour with a late, anxious win against an average Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur.
Arsenal started on the front foot and looked comfortable in possession early on but they started to become lacklustre and gave the ball away carelessly at times. Marouane Chamakh got the nod upfront and had his shot parried away by the Malaysian keeper early on after a nice through ball from the returning Abou Diaby. Moreover, Andre Santos had a couple of chances to put the Gunners ahead afterwards but he had failed to convert.
Both teams looked set to go in at the break all square when suddenly out of nowhere, Malaysia’s Azmi Muslim struck a wonder goal from 30 yards out into the top right corner of Vito Mannone’s net just seconds before halftime.
Arsenal came out into the second half understandably making wholesale changes which saw the likes of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain come on to the field after being away on Euro 2012 duty. Arsenal were now looking lively with the young guns consistently pressing the Malaysian XI. Benik Afobe struck the post after latching onto a quick Ryo Miyaichi free-kick but the flag was up and the chance ruled out for offside.
Arsenal finally equalised with three minutes to go when young German, Thomas Eisfeld struck the ball into the net from six yards out after some neat play through right-back Nico Yennaris. Eisfeld was a deadline day signing in January from the youth ranks of German champions Borussia Dortmund. Arsenal looked like they had snatched a draw but they didn’t stop there. Minutes later, Ignasi Miquel made a charging run forward and set up Chuks Aneke for the winner who saw his shot deflect off the shin of a Malaysian defender.
All in all, it was good run out for the Arsenal side and most importantly Arsene Wenger’s men suffered no injuries during the 90 minutes which is a bonus. The Gunners now head off to Beijing to play Premier League Champions and rivals Manchester City at the Bird’s Nest Stadium on Friday.
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