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Played
July 26, 2013 6:30 PM SGT
 
59′ Yuki Abe
 
Chuba Akpom 82′
Top of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly
Lukas Podolski
Lukas Podolski
Arsenal FC
Flop of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly

Urawa Red Diamonds 1-2 Arsenal: Podolski and Akpom strike in narrow pre-season win

The Gunners ended their dominant tour of Asia in slightly less flattering style, with a defensive mix-up late on proving the difference in a well-contested game of several chances

By George Ankers

Lucas Podolski,Arsenal
Getty Images
Arsenal's dominant run on their tour of Asia was narrowly concluded with an enjoyable 2-1 win over Urawa Red Diamonds.

Lukas Podolski capped off a delightful team move to score just after half-time before the hosts struck back with Yuki Abe from a corner but a terrible defensive mix-up allowed Chuba Akpom to sneak a slightly undeserved win.

There was good news for Arsenal fans as Jack Wilshere started for the first time on the Gunners' tour, with Serge Gnabry and Ignasi Miquel also part of a strong but youthful XI.

The England midfielder nearly cost his side a goal early on, however, when a weak attempt to tackle Tsukasa Umesaki allowed the midfielder to fire just wide, setting the tone for an energetic game.

Arsenal replied dangerously, Theo Walcott breaking quickly down the right and dribbling through several players before placing his shot onto the far post.

Urawa roared back, Lukasz Fabianski doing just enough to intercept Tomoya Ugajin's low cross before Per Mertesacker intervened to prevent Marcio Richardes from tapping in the rebound.

On 27 minutes, Walcott had a real chance as he burst onto a pass down the right but, when the angle was ripe for a calm finish, he instead blasted well over. Moments later, Olivier Giroud improvised when he spotted keeper Norihiro Yamagishi off his line and chipped from the far corner of the penalty area but saw it drop inches past the post.

The Gunners kept coming with real intent, Oxlade-Chamberlain volleying a finely struck long-ranger off the crossbar on 35 minutes.

After falling under the cosh for most of the half, Urawa closed it on a fine note, Ubojin bending a wicked shot towards the top corner, but Fabianski saved excellently to ensure the scores were level at the break.

It did not last long, however. A magnificent Arsenal move just after half-time brought the breakthrough, as Aaron Ramsey's magnificent pass found Walcott in the box. Cool and aware, the forward held off defenders to play in substitute Podolski, who hammered home.

Walcott was denied shortly afterwards when he chased down a long pass and looked set to round Yamagishi to finish but the keeper snatched it from his feet.

Urawa were not diminished, Richardes forcing Fabianski into a sprawling save from a free kick, before the hosts broke through themselves. Failing to deal with a resulting corner, Arsenal allowed a flick-on to reach Abe, who finished powerfully to equalise.

With Arsenal having lost momentum and starting to make more changes, the game slowed but Podolski might have had a second when he shot waywardly in the 76th minute, having been supplied by Ramsey.

Laurent Koscielny was called upon to prevent a late winner for Urawa, recovering just in time to intercept after a dangerous counter, before the hosts showed the value of good defending by letting themselves down at the other end.

Yamagishi came out too eagerly to claim a hopeful long pass but his centre-back's unhelpful header back to him could only be deflected right into the path of Akpom, who finished gratefully.


Urawa Red Diamonds

1
Norihiro Yamagishi
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
Keisuke Tsuboi
Defender
78′
 - 
4
Daisuke Nasu
Defender
 - 
3
Tomoya Ugajin
Defender
76′
 - 
22
Yuki Abe
Midfielder
59′ 60′
 - 
-
Shuto Kojima
Midfielder
 - 
34
Naoki Yamada
Midfielder
 - 
7
Tsukasa Umesaki
Midfielder
 - 
8
 - 
10
 - 
30
Shinzo Koroki
Striker
 - 

Arsenal FC

 - 
21
 - 
3
 - 
4
 - 
6
 - 
48
Miquel
Defender
 - 
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
47′
 - 
10
Jack Wilshere
Midfielder
47′
 - 
15
 - 
14
 - 
12
 - 
44

Substitutes

18
Nobuhiro Kato
Goalkeeper
 - 
25
Koki Otani
Goalkeeper
 - 
6
 - 
12
Koji Noda
Defender
 - 
17
 - 
26
Takuya Nagata
Midfielder
 - 
-
 - 
14
 - 
23
Masaya Nozaki
Midfielder
 - 
29
Shinya Yajima
Midfielder
 - 
11
 - 
19
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
1
 - 
-
 - 
28
 - 
25
 - 
7
Tomas Rosicky
Midfielder
47′
 - 
-
 - 
46
Thomas Eisfeld
Midfielder
 - 
58
Gedion Zelalem
Midfielder
80′
 - 
34
 - 
9
 - 
31
 - 
37
 - 
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
47′

Coach/Manager

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 - 

Coach/Manager

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  • Goal.com Rating
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Results
January Friendlies
Times In SGT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Jonathan Jonathan
Striker
Salzburg
1 1
Marco Reus Marco Reus
Midfielder
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Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
Striker
Dortmund
1 0
Jakub Blaszczykowski Jakub Blaszczykowski
Midfielder
Dortmund
1 0
Marcel Gaus Marcel Gaus
Striker
Kaiserslautern
1 0