Koln 0-4 Arsenal: Podolski hits double against former club as RVP returns

:::Arsenal concluded their pre-season preparations with a dominant 4-0 win over German
side FC Koln.
A Lucas Podolski double and a Thomas Vermaelen header gave the Gunners a 3-0 lead at
half-time, with Gervinho making it four after the break.Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger opted to start with new signing Santi Cazorla alongside
fellow summer recruits Podolski and Olivier Giroud in the first half, with unsettled striker
Robin van Persie introduced for a twenty minute cameo in the second period.
The Premier League side took little time seizing the initiative as Vermaelen
consolidated a positive start by powering home Cazorla's corner after seven minutes.
Podolski - featuring against his former club in a friendly arranged as part of the deal that
brought him to the Emirates - doubled the visitors' lead from the penalty spot soon after
when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was brought down in the box.
Koln goalkeeper Timo Horn made a couple of saves to prevent Arsenal further extending
their lead, first denying Giroud at point blank range after Cazorla piked him out, then
tipping over a Per Mertesacker header.
However, Podolski grabbed his second moments before half time after Kieran Gibbs
powered down the left flank and cut back for the German to slot home convincingly.
Wenger made a host of changes for the second half, introducing Gervinho, Alex Song and
Wojciech Szczesny among others.
Ivorian Gervinho took little time to settle into Arsenal's fluid attack and nudged the ball
along to Podolski who was denied his hat-trick by a last-ditch sliding challenge.
Matthias Lehmann was unfortunate to see his driven effort from 30 yards out cannon off
the bar as the hosts searched for a way to get back into the game but Gervinho settled
matters on the hour mark, surging down the left and cutting in from the byline to fire in
at the near post.
Podolski was withdrawn after 70 minutes to rapturous applause from both sets of fans,
with the German replaced by Van Persie.
The change of personnel led to Arsenal suffering difficulties building momentum as the
visitors played keep ball for the last twenty minutes.
A little more care from Andrey Arshavin could have led to a Van Persie tap-in at the death
but the Russian miscued his pass with the goal gaping.
The Gunners begin their Premier League campaign next Saturday when they host
Sunderland at home.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.