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 Amsterdam Tournament: Sevilla 1 - 1 Arsenal

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KomentarNaslov komentara: Amsterdam Tournament: Sevilla 1 - 1 Arsenal   Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:22 am

Amsterdam Tournament
Amsterdam ArenA
Saturday, August 09, 2008, 6pm

Sevilla: Chevanton 81

Arsenal: Vela 4

Arsenal placed one hand on the Amsterdam Tournament trophy with a 1-1 draw against Sevilla on Saturday night.

Carlos Vela’s fourth-minute strike gave Arsčne Wenger’s youthful side an early lead. A more senior Sevilla team responded impressively. They bossed the latter stages of the first half and all of the second. The Spaniards spurned a host of chances before Javier Chevanton finally converted from close range with nine minutes left.

However the late equaliser was unlikely to change the winners of this year’s Amsterdam Tournament. The event awards an extra point for each goal scored. Therefore this result, and Friday’s 3-2 win over Ajax, gave Arsenal a final tally of eight points. They certainly finish ahead of Sevilla (3pts). The hosts (2pts) and Inter (1pt) were due to kick off after this game finished but, barring a goal-fest, Arsenal had retained the crown they won last year.

Victory is always beneficial, especially when youngsters are involved. However Wednesday’s trip 60 miles east of Amsterdam will be much more important.

Arsenal visit Arnhem in midweek to play Twente in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier. A repeat result would be good enough.

Having played his ‘big gunners’ against Ajax on Friday night, Wenger understandably rotated for the game the following day. It was an entirely different — and entirely youthful - XI with Aaron Ramsey (17) and Mark Randall (18) in central midfield, Jack Wilshere (16) and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (17) on the flanks. Kieran Gibbs (18) tucked in at left back with Justin Hoyte (23) opposite. They sandwiched the two Swiss centre backs — Philippe Senderos (23) and Johan Djourou (21). Nicklas Bendtner (20) and Vela (19) were up front. Fabianski, another 23-year-old ‘veteran’, was in goal.

Sevilla had shuffled their side too but at least they started with three of the team beaten at Emirates Stadium in the Champions League last September.

And that was three more than Arsenal!

Wenger’s men had nearly gone ahead against Ajax after 90 seconds with a well-crafted move. Ditto this evening. Vela’s raking pass found Wilshere on the right, he tucked a pass into the path of Bendtner whose drive was blocked by Javier Herras at the near post.

However this time the North London side followed that chance by taking the lead a couple of minutes later. Vela won the ball on the left, raced into the area and held off the attentions of Abdoulay Konko before steering a shot into the far corner.

The Mexican showed commendable strength and tenacity to complete a cool finish, something that bodes well as the 19-year-old tries to adapt to the physicality of the English game this season.

However Arsenal’s youngsters were never going to steamroller Sevilla this evening. Jose Crespo escaped down the left and cut the ball back for Luis Fabiano to stab a shot over the bar. Shortly afterwards Fabianski came out confidently to catch a cross from Jesus Navas with Spanish strikers waiting in the area.

On the quarter-hour, Senderos diverted Fabiano’s shot past the post. Sevilla continued to pressure but Arsenal continued to have chances. Wilshere and Ramsey both saw their drives blocked by bodies in the area.

As half time approached Sevilla started to flex their muscles and created a host of chances. Navas sliced over the bar from a narrow angle, Arouna Kone saw his drive blocked by the body of Fabianski and Fabiano was dispossessed by Djourou at the vital moment.

But perhaps the clearest opportunity of all came three minutes before the break. Diego Capel reached the left-hand byline and clipped the ball back for Fabiano in space on the edge of the area. He paddled a header wide when he should have scored.

Djourou blocked Capel’s shot in the dying seconds as Sevilla piled on the pressure and in injury time Fabiano nodded wide from Enzo Maresca’s far-post corner.

The pattern continued after the break. Navas set up Fabiano who tricked himself some space before firing over. In the 53rd minute Kone bolted clear but a heavy touch allowed Fabianski to slid out and smother the ball.

Mounting pressure form Sevilla saw Randall’s divert a cross narrowly over his own bar then Fabianski tipped over a thunderbolt of a shot from Javier Chevanton.

It was turning into one-way traffic now. Sevilla was throwing countless balls into the area. What Djourou and Senderos did not clear, Fabianski blocked.

With 22 minutes left, Wenger added some experience in the form of Denilson and Bacary Sagna. Djourou and Emmanuel-Thomas went off.

As the half wore on, you began the get the impression Sevilla would never score. Aquivaldo Mosquera nodded over on 70 minutes, Chevanton headed wide on 72.

Then on 74 minutes, a corner was only half-cleared and Sebastien Squillaci found the ball at his feet five yards out. He managed to get his shot off but again Fabianski smothered.

Eventually the pressure told. Nine minutes from time, Navas had acres of space on the left flank and this time his low cross found Chevanton on the edge of the six-yard area. He swept home in style

Sevilla kicked on for the winner. With three minutes left Navas nodded against the outside of the post from the acutest of angles.

But Arsenal held on.


Arsenal:
Lukasz Fabianski
Philippe Senderos
Justin Hoyte
Johan Djourou
Denilson 68
Kieran Gibbs
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Bacary Sagna 68
Aaron Ramsey
Mark Randall
Jack Wilshere
Theo Walcott 79
Carlos Vela
Nicklas Bendtner

Subs not used
Manuel Almunia
Gael Clichy
Emmanuel Eboue
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KomentarNaslov komentara: Re: Amsterdam Tournament: Sevilla 1 - 1 Arsenal   Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:01 am

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