Despite the much criticised summer transfer inactivity, Arsene Wenger and his boys proved they still have the firepower in front of goal when they smashed seven past an Indonesian Dream Team at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
The Gunners got off to a winning start as Wenger fielded a strong side made up of Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott for his first pre-season match.
As you would expect, Arsenal claimed possession from the start, with the central midfield of trio of Arteta, Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain all making an early mark minutes into the first-half.
Arteta fired a superb shot from 25 yards narrowly wide of Kurnia Meiga’s far post three minutes in the 10th minute as Arsenal searched for an opener.
Having taken control of the game from the onslaught, the Gunners finally made their dominance pay in the 18th minute, Walcott coolly slotting home from 13 yards after excellent work from Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The tourists could easily have found themselves level at half-time after Indonesian skipper Boaz Solossa scuffed a volley straight at Lukasz Fabianski deep inside the Arsenal area.
Laurent Koscielny, Gedion Zelalem, Kris Olsson, Thomas Eisfeld and Chuks Aneke came in for Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Mertesacker and Walcott at half-time. And the changes paid instant dividend as Chuba Akpom stroked home from close range after Serge Gnabry’s low cross.
The substitutions seemed to have dulled down the first-half fluency and Wenger had to throw in four of his big-guns in Bacary Sagna, Olivier Giroud, Tomas Rosicky and Lukas Podolski to add fresh impetus.
The latter substitution had the desired effect as Arsenal notched a flury of late goals.
“It was 1-0 at half-time but the gap got bigger when we made substitutions late on when they were tiring. But of course our power made a big difference in the end,” Wenger said after the game.
Giroud, who was much relevant upfront for the Gunners in last season’s fourth-place campaign, scored twice within minutes of coming on.
“I like Olivier Giroud, he scored 17 goals last season and I’m sure he will improve again.”
He beat Meiga with a deft flick after Sagna’s low cross in the 70th minute and combined with the right-back again just three minutes later, rifling a powerful drive past the helpless Meiga.
Podolski made it five, smashing a low drive home after Rosicky’s delicate touch, before Olsson slid home at the back post to make it six.
Eisfeld completed the scoring, hammering a shot home off the underside of the bar as Arsenal cruised to victory.
“All the youngsters did well tonight, I was happy with all of them,” the manager, whose contract with the London club expires 2014, added.