Jul 21

Report & Highlights: SK Sturm Graz 0-3 Arsenal

A double from Samir Nasri and a goal from Henri Lansbury gave Arsenal acomfortable 3-0 win over Austrian side Sturm Graz at the UPC Arena.

French midfield maestro Nasri struck twice in the first half to put Arsenal in control before highly-rated youngster Henri Lansbury added a deserved gloss to the scoreline with a well-taken goal after the break.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger gave Marouane Chamakh his first start in Arsenal colours, the Moroccan having been introduced from the bench in the Gunners’ opening pre-season friendly against Barnet at the weekend.

Arsenal’s Starting XI & Subs

Nordtveit – Djourou – Vermaelen (c) – Traore
Wilshere – Frimpong – Nasri
Walcott – Chamakh – Arshavin

Subs: Szczesny (GK), Koscielny, Gibbs, Eastmond, Lansbury, Rosicky, Emmanuel-Thomas.

Fellow new signing Laurent Koscielny settled for a half-time introduction off the bench after having taken his bow in Saturday’s 4-0 win at Underhill, while the Gunners’ World Cup stars were given another night off, despite having joined up with the squad in Austria.

But it was Nasri who grabbed the attention of a decent-sized crowd at the ground formerly known as the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium with two first-half goals of some quality.

The Frenchman opened the scoring after 16 minutes, collecting a loose ball on the edge of the Sturm penalty area before taking a touch and firing low past goalkeeper Silvije Cavlina into the far corner.

He doubled the lead from a set-piece just before the break, getting the ball up and over the defensive wall to find the top corner with Cavlina nowhere near it.

At the other end, Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou enjoyed a relatively quiet half, although Imre Szabics did pose a latent danger, as Djourou nearly found out to his cost on 34 minutes. The former Hungary international played in Marvin Weinberger with a cute pass but Lukasz Fabianski was equal to his low drive.

Fabianski was replaced by fellow Pole Wojciech Szczesny as Wenger again rang the changes at the break. Having made 11 half-time substitutions at Barnet, he opted to make just seven this time, with Lansbury among the players entering the fray.

It took the 19-year-old just 12 minutes to make his mark on the game, after Jack Wilshere and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had combined to fashion a shooting chance. The midfielder showed remarkable poise as he waited for the keeper to make his move first and then finished coolly into the back of the net.

Three-nil up and the result was never in any doubt, although Sturm has passed up an opportunity to get back into the game just before Lansbury struck. Half-time substitute Mario Haas should have bulged the back of the net when a cross found him unmarked around the penalty spot but his effort was weak and easily dealt with by Szczesny.

Arsenal fashioned a number of other chances as they dominated the second half, notably for Lansbury, who tested the keeper from outside the box on 59 minutes, Tomas Rosicky from a similar position on 72 and then Koscielny with a header from a corner eight minutes later.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, another half-time replacement, put in an impressive 45 minutes and laid on two further chances as time ran out, but neither Armand Traore nor Theo Walcott could capitalise.

Next Up: Arsene Wenger’s men continue their preparations for the new campaign with a match against SC Neusiedl 1919 on Tuesday.



36 Responses to “Report & Highlights: SK Sturm Graz 0-3 Arsenal”

  1. Mario says:

    Gooner Chris post A.Wenger`s comments when yuo have them cheers

  2. chengiskhan says:

    JET looked like a man amongst boys. Djourou looks very rusty and needs to sharpen up big time before the start of the season.

  3. jj says:

    Maybe wilshre is not ready yet, we lacked control and that terrible tempo we played at last year is still there.I know it pre season but players are fighting for places, no fire at all.Come on arsene get them at it.

  4. Joakim Löf says:

    You should have noted an excellent contribution by Nordtveit, he was more effective than either Gibbs or Traoré, confident, defensively skilled and passes the ball really well. Brought in our forwards on several occasions creating dangerous chances. Wouldn’t be surprised if we see him in the first team this season.

  5. Andreu says:

    lansbury and JET were very good in the second half!!! lansbury pley well with his goal and almost all the attacks started with him. JEt was fantastic I can only say that.

  6. Tony says:

    not being negative but vermalaen and djourou looked poor together 1st half

  7. GOONER says:

    GOONER CHRIS, any news on almunia??? Is he leaving or is he just injured?
    Djourou didn’t look good at ALL!

  8. Paul N says:

    What do we expect from Djourou? the guy is just gettin back, no?

  9. chris says:

    traore and djourou were liabilities defensively but traore always is. was v impressed with nasri and jay thomas in the 2nd half, walcott was good but was more all action than much end product.

  10. Walter Raleigh says:

    Get off Djourou’s back, this is the 2nd game of pre-season. The lad is a great defender and will become good, he’s been out for a full year! Someone said he looked rusty…you think?! Let him get back into the flow of things.

    I’m not a big fan of JET at all, I struggle to think where he will play in a team that, at least formerly, plays at a high tempo. But fairplay to him, he played very well today, and as one person said he did look like a man against boys. I think he could be very useful when playing against the legbreakers or Blackburn.

    As far as Wilshire not looking good, he knows he’s bound for better things than a meaningless friendly. When he felt inclined, he easily glided past the opposition players. Be glad the team got another full 90 without injuries, that’s the only thing pre-season is about. We’re still missing van Persie, Cesc, and Bendtner to name the most important ones attacking-wise. Let the team get back into sync and judge them in England not Austria. I know we’re a bit starved for Arsenal football but don’t lose sight of the fact it’s still pre-season.

  11. josh says:

    lol @ everyone freakin out over djorou. the guy missed a LOT of time with a terrible knee injury. he came on for 30 minutes in the last game of the season, and youre expecting him to be match fit?

  12. big boy says:

    where are the highlights?

  13. john says:

    PPl are way too fickle its too early to judge players.

    I dont think ppl realised but in pre season players are usually nakered playing in friendly games because of the hard core training sessions.

  14. Gooner Chris says:

    @big boy: They’re up now.

  15. mitul says:

    I think djorou is playing better considering he has come from a serious injury which does not help a young player like him. However i do not believe that it will be his fitness no doubt. I believe he has to focus more on his awareness and positioning. I think top defenders sometimes do not have to rely alot on their fitness, If they read the game well they can prevent crucial goals going in.
    Koscienly on the other hand is a player who will improve in time but we need a top centre half who has a knowledge of reading the primier league quickly.

  16. Scott says:

    I may have missed something but where is Denilson? Injured?

  17. dan says:

    the reason to freak about djorou is that the new guy looks no where near ready for the physical PL and that leaves us with djorou who looked awful today.

  18. dan says:

    sadly denilson is injured and hasn’t been sold!!!

  19. big boy says:

    you sure they are up? it doesnt seem to be working

  20. Gooner Chris says:

    @big boy: Hmmm, they seem to be working for me mate.

  21. realisitically... says:

    “…judge the team in May” Heard this one before…

  22. true gooner says:

    we need a solid defender, a quality gk n anotha cdm btw denilson iz a great plya largly underated n doesnt deserve dat! he haz scored crucial n fantastic goals n he shud b praised 4 it nt hindered!!

  23. WillyG says:

    Did Wenger avoid the questions after the game?

  24. john says:

    Willg wenger never avoids a question lol have you not see his post,pre match conferences, interviews?

  25. American Gooner says:

    overall arsenal did not play particularly well. nasri was absolutely top shelf quality today – two goals were excellent and he played arshavin and walcott in on numerous occasions (anyone else notice the many poor offside calls?).

    frimpong was again outstanding. he does all the simple things well – tackles, breaks up play, never loses the ball (even makes penetrating passes – not sideways balls all the time like denilson), is tenacious, etc. he only got beat once and he constantly helped out in all areas. he was far superior to eastmond, who just does not have any defensive ability. i look for big things out of this kid.

    JET was excellent in the second half. his creativity was great, though i fear he dribbles a bit too much, which might work against these teams in preaseason but not at the top level. he needs another year of seasoning. nordveidt was also very good, especially in the second half.

    wilshire, arshavin, tv5, and chamakh had poor games for their standards.

    eastmond and traore were wretched. djourou was pretty poor. kos was okay, though he did get beat noticeably once. prefer him in the center vs. djourou, who is just too slow right now.

    theo made some great runs but overall he dribbles way too much still. he looks like a guy who runs and runs but accomplishes nothing, which is essentially what he does. i do not see great improvement from him.

    how about the pink goalie uniforms!?

  26. arsenal4ever says:

    walcott needs to be sold on loan and wenger must wake up!! I can see more empty seats for next season if we dont get a great GK and another CB + DM!!!!! Fans have enough from you french kunt!!!!

  27. WillyG says:

    @arsenal4ever: I can only see us sign a back up CB – It could be Sol Campbell still….As for A new GK? I always taught that A.Wenger will not sign anyone there.Hopefully i`m wrong..Wenger already ruled out a move for an offensive player.

  28. WillyG says:

    With this current squad I cant see us winning the league.At the very least we need a proper Gk and a partner for Vermaelen.I Think Djourou makes to many mistakes as for Koscielny,he needs time.

  29. ilya says:

    arsenal4ever = cunt, what was the point of that statement besides repeating what everyone already knows? Ur opinions are always garbage, at least try to keep them original….

  30. alf15 says:

    As per usual we aint getting a new keeper! This pretty much confirms it http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-keepers-have-to-accept-competition

    It really annoys me that wenger wont buy a proven world classkeeper! If I made so many fuck ups as Almunia has in my job, I would of been fired and replaced along time ago. Yet wenger seems to be blind to it all and sticks teh two clowns Almunia and Flapanski!! Wish he was my boss!

  31. The Left Hand Of HENRY says:

    @ iyla
    your twat who thinks he is the only REAL arsenal fan, when obviously you aint so STOP PUTTING OTHER FANS OPINIONS DOWN JUST COZ U DONT AGREE WITH THEM…… u w4nker

  32. pete says:


    Have you ever been to an actual match…? Didnt think so…
    What age are you…? 12..? I thought so…

  33. My Name Is Earl says:


    top quality signing if true!!

  34. My Name Is Earl says:


    some of these r quality lol

  35. ilya says:

    sorry for being so rude, i confused arsenal4ever with the left hand deuchbag, didn’t mean to put u down like that, it was meant for the dude that usually spouts all that purposeless negative garbage- the left hand that’s never touched a woman…..or the left hand that doesn’t leave his computer….something like that i think. I like this blog cause chris makes decent points and most comments are productive and not overly dooming. But then I see some people just whining like spoiled kids about how arsene is a “kunt” for not buying 5 new players every transfer season and it annoys the shit out of me so I’m forced to post some bitchy comment to let some of that aggression out. I don’t agree with weng on everything, example being why we haven’t purchased a quality affordable keeper by this point (there’s tons of options out there- Akinfeev/ Handanovic), but u gotta give the man the benefit of the doubt cause as REAL arsenal fans we all know that he’s a genious and has helped make Arsenal one of the most attractive, successful and classy clubs in the world. Remember guys consistent cl qualification and semi-final berths almost every season is a significant achievement, especcially considering our budget and youthfulness


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