Arsenal 2-1 Inter Milan Match Report

The Arsenal boys celebrate their Emirates Cup winSmiles all round as Arsenal win Emirates Cup

I didn’t catch the game today, but I did watch highlights on Arsenal TV and from what I saw Arsenal looked pretty good. Alexander Hleb worked well in behind Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Eboue impressed again on the right wing. There was one piece of dribbling from Eboue in particular where he skipped past three Inter Milan challenges that suggests to me that he might yet cut the mustard on the right. He does need to stop diving around like a muppet though.

One thing I have particularly noticed is that Arsene Wenger seems to be encouraging the boys to dribble as much as possible to create space for the other players. I think it’s working well, but it might be a different story against the more physical English sides. Nevertheless it was a superb result for an exciting Arsenal side that suggest the side’s preparations for next season are going very well. For those like myself who missed the game I’ve included a match report from and some video highlights below (stay tuned for van Persie’s quirky Dutch/English accent in the interview that is also included).

Arsenal won the Emirates CupVan Persie stunner wins it for Arsenal

Youthful Arsenal answered several questions today with a sparkling performance against Inter Milan that gave them their second win in two days and saw them left the first Emirates Cup. After David Suazo had put Inter ahead against the run of play, Alexander Hleb and Robin Van Persie responded in style for the Gunners. 

Arsene Wenger will have been delighted with the way his side played in overcoming Inter. Their trademark slick inter-passing play was often at its fluent best, as the Gunners played with a high tempo and plenty of confidence.

Looking comfortable on the ball, the hosts took the game to Inter from the start and it was a telling statistic that Inter scored with effectively their first attempt on goal – after more than an hour’s play.

By then, Robin Van Persie, Matheu Flamini, Emmanuel Eboue, Bacary Sagna and Alexander Hleb had all tested Julio Cesar and then Francesco Toldo in the Inter goal.

There must have been some apprehension in the Arsenal dug-out and among the capacity 60,000 crowd at the Emirates Stadium that Arsenal’s dominance would not be translated into goals. That was the story of last seasdon, this one had a happy ending.

Inter manager Roberto Mancini  had sprung a surprise by fielding new signing from Roma, Christian Chivu, in his starting XI, while Wenger also pulled a rabbit out of the hat by giving a start to 17-year-old Londoner Kieran Gibbs on the left of the midfield. Gibbs certainly had and enjoyable afternoon.

In Van Persie, Emmanuel Eboue and Alexander Hleb, ably supported by Cesc Fabregas and Gibbs, Arsenal had the game’s outstanding performers – although Cesar and Toldo impressed between the posts for Inter.

Van Persie was at the centre of most of Arsenal’s best moves, dropping deep to link-up with his midfield as Arsenal repeatedly created threatening attacks.

The Dutchman forced the first important save of the match, testing Cesar with a low drive and then going close with a smartly taken shot and a free-kick that dipped just over.

The right flank was a productive source for the Gunners, with Emmanual Eboue, playing in an advanced role, repeatedly spreading panic through the Inter defence with a succession of athletic, surging runs. He was ably backed up on the right by new signing Bacary Sagna, who looked completely at home.

Mathieu Flamini and Sagna both forced saves from Cesar, but the game remined goalless at the interval despite Arsenal’s dominance and invention.

Van Persie and Flamini celebrate the Dutchman’s stunning winnerThey might have had a penalty when Van Persie was pushed in the back, but instead fell behind after 62 minutes when, in an isolated attack, Suazo met a right wing cross with a perfectly placed header, despite the attentions of William Gallas, that beat Jens Lehmann at the near post. The German keeper had previously been more or less unemployed.

The pattern of missing numerous chances and being punished at the other end looked like reappearing, but within three minutes the Gunners were deservedly level. Wenger will be delighted with his players’ response, Alexander Hleb equalising at the second attempt after Eboue and Sagna played him in and his first shot was beaten out by Toldo.

And with five minutes remaining, Van Persie received the ball from Eboue on his favourite left foot but, with a sublime turn, wrong-footed the Inter defence to switch the ball to his right and hammer it cleanly into the roof of Toldo’s net.

It was a goal fit to win both the match and the Emirates Cup – and sends a message to all those who have been writing Arsenal off during the summer.

Match report thanks to

Have your say on Arsenal’s Emirates Cup win by leaving a comment.



  1. Yeah, just watched the highlight – what an amazing goal by van Persie! Did you catch the game MexicanGunner? Any thoughts? Eboue looked outstanding in the highlights (apart from his wanky diving!)

  2. The first Arsenal goal was better than the second one in my opinion. Great approach play from Hleb. I think if Wenger uses him more “in the hole” like he has in the pre-season, he could be one of the outstanding performers this season.

    I’m excited.

  3. Tell me about it. I remember posting a video showing some highlights of Hleb back in his time at Stuttgart and these past couple of games really draw some comparisons. There is no doubt that the likes of Rosicky and Hleb are better utilised centrally which means that we do need to bring in a winger though. But yes, there is much to be excited about!

  4. What a Goal by RVP, the more i see it, the more better it gets. Hleb has been a player who has impressed me durng pre-season and to see his goal roll past Toldo like it did was quite funny. I am lookin towards the new season with a lot of confidence. Our players have found where they play best. Who would of thought it Eboue on the wing? He plays good though.

  5. well fellow blog readers i was there to watch it

    it was a great day, i wanted to buy a van persie shirt but it was all sold out

    but it was a good perfomance just the crowd was let down when we let in again a silly goal.

    i was speaking to the people around me, they all think we can do something special this year.

    theirry is gone, but some of them thought it was time and well he used to slow the game so much when he plays with the team, he was not the fluent quick henry, only time we seen him destroy some team was the blackburn game away.

    this is fabregas team, he is the one who is calling the shots, i just watched him play yestaday and he is everywhere in that midfield, the inter midfield could not touch him, he is that good.

    kieran gibbs looks ok, just needs more games and more confidence, he can take on players you can see that. i think we will see him a lot in the carling cup games this season. then next season he may go on loan

    now hleb, he is a good dribbler no doubt but we dont know his best position, wenger played him up front along van persie, but i think on the left he is good. he did ok in the centre but he needs to be more selfish sometimes

    van persie, what can i say, this guy is a wizard, as soon he got that ball, i seen how he was shaping up and i knew he was going to do the drag back and blast the ball in the net, everyone was screaming soo much when he scored.

  6. i think wenger is considering who is going to play centrally next season, hleb or rosicky.

    he is experimenting which one is better….

    i think he is going to employ the 4-5-1 formation at times.

    after watching yestaday it was a shame rosicky was injured but i think rosicky might play centrally now and hleb more to the left.

    eboue did ok on the wing, he just dives too much and it will cost us, just watch

    we do need a winger, and everyone in the ground knows it. i dont know who it will be, but i think he will buy 2 players.

    those players who he buys will be able to play in numerous positions

  7. I agree! We always concede pointless goals and we normally always dominate the game but find ourselves losing at half time. We must take more of our chances and with RVP as sharp as he is i think we will get those chances in the net. Hleb defo on the left and the Amsterdam Tournament will be the games were Wenger will experiment with Roiscky. He will probably partner Adebayor with Da Silva as they both missed the Emirates Cup but he will keep RVP on the bench, because leaving this guy out of any squad is insane.

  8. anyways lads, i sent some photos and videos to spanish, so hopefully he will post some up

  9. i think one player we missed out on is mexican sensation andres guardardo he would of been good, but i think we need a winger who can play on both flanks.

    alessandro mancini or ricardo quaresma….

  10. Hey GunnerShabz, sorry I don’t have the components to play your video. However, I’m thinking of starting up a community using Vimeo or something for anyone in the blog to share photos and videos in the future. We’ll see how it goes. Did you enjoy the game?

  11. I think next season an interchangable 4-5-1/4-3-3 team will be how we play with a first team something like:
    New guy?———–Rosicky
    ——–Van Persie——–
    But then with Eduardo, Eboue, Bendtner, Ade, Walcott, Senderos, Djorou, Traore, Fabianski, Flamini Hoyte, Diaby, Denilson and some of the kids all able to play great in two or three positions and be great. I’m excited – more than anything (well, ‘cept winning the lottery) I hope Hleb can keep up the form.

  12. yeah I see the game very early here in Mexico and wooow!!! We dont need more players!

    but for more that I think I cant predict what will be the formation for a very important game like the Champions League.. I very clear with the defence and the striker(s) but what will be the better midfield?? I will play

    – – – – V Persie – – – –
    – Rosicky –
    –Hleb – – – Walcott-
    Clichy – – – – – – – Eboue
    Gallas – – Toure

  13. Interesting ideas. I definitely think that Sagna will be a starter. The impression I get from Wenger is that he will want to keep his wingers fresh through rotation but keep his backline and centre midfield combination quite consistent. It’s getting to a point where seeing certain players out of the starting line-up (eg. Eboue/Hleb/Diaby) would be disappointing but the truth is that there is only room for eleven!

  14. What a game and what a goal,Superb goal by Van Persie.This really shows that we are the comeback kings.
    After watching all our pre-season games so far,most players have put in decent performances at some point.One player though,hasn’t come close to the form he showed last season,”Fabragas”
    He has been spectacular the past couple of seasons and I am hoping he continues his progression this season but he hasn’t shown it so far.Just wondered what everyone thought about his performances in the Emirates cup.

  15. I think he’s been very solid. I can’t say much about the Inter Milan game but against PSG in the first match he was by far our best midfielder in the first half. I don’t think there are any question marks where Fabregas is concerned and he is the type of player who just needs to stay consistent to be one of our better performers next season.

  16. Fabregas is playin great. He was unstoppable yesterday against Inter and there is no doubt that that Wenger will play him. Aslong as Fabregas, Hleb, Rosciky, RVP and our backline don’t get injured, we will be the team the beat. And of course no-ones gonna do that lol!

  17. We’ll see. We’ve done well in the Emirates Cup but the Premiership will be a different story. If we can avoid injuries then I think Arsenal can challenge for the title.

  18. The Premiership is the best league in the world. But our performance against THE ITALIAN CHAMPIONS was a good performance therefore if we avoid injuries then i believe we can challenge for it. We have good quality players. Fabregas and RVP are guna shine this season.

  19. I hope so. Remember that Inter fielded a second string team so let’s try and keep realistic. I really think you’re right about Fabregas and van Persie but I think the likes of Hleb and Eboue have a fantastic chance to make a difference next season. It will be those second tier players that can help us challenge for trophies.

  20. what i hate is real madrid

    they just love pissing around dont they

    they have said within 3 years they want robben, fabregas, kaka

    this lot are so unproffesional, they just love unsettling players

  21. “We’ve got a big fat suitcase full of cash, and there will definitely be a player or two to come.” – What kind of comment is that for a coach to make?!

  22. What a match? I slept laughing. Nobody is talking about one of the great findings yesterday, I mean Gibbs. This guy had his first chance and he did so well. A natural left footed on the wing, great prospect and at only 17. Arsenal has a future; if only we can stay injury free and contain the bullies up north. Definitely we’re challenging this year. Arsene knows.

  23. Had a blast yesterday, apart from two Inter fans who DID NOT STOP TALKING.. not for one second. Hleb was fantastic for me, in the hole between striker and midfield. Nice to see him finally play in his preferred position. RVP was fantastic, dropping into the midfield at times collect the ball. This can sometimes cause problems, but Hleb and others filled the gaps well. Eboue on the right looked far better than I expected. Not enough to win the leaguye, in my opinion, but very encouraging. All the regulars looked sharp too. Everyone is waxing about Gibbs, and though he held his own, thats all I really felt he did. He misplaced passes too often, and never really took anyone on. He Opted to play it back or into the middle too much for me. A bit more confidence and kilos of muscle, and he could be a rare Enlgish gem in the 1st team, in another year or two. Dont get me wrong, the the young lad did a good job against quality opposition, but I think he needs a season on loan to a top Championship side for a year. Not the answer for me on the left, yet. Armand Traore will give Clichy a run for his money before too long, and he has that look of a winger.. hmmm. The only weak spot for me was Hoyte, which is a bit harsh as he is a RB. You could tell he is right-sided, because he was constantly(and sub-consciously) drifting towards Gallas in the centre. Natural for a RB to do that if he is on the left, but he compounded it with several crucial mistakes. He’s 5th string LB for me tho.. but 2nd-3rd string RB. Overall, a very good performance from the lads, and RVP’s goal was a fitting way to end a very classy performance. Albeit against their 2nd eleven.

  24. sam nix – Although I didn’t see the game, I’ve not overly convinced with Justin Hoyte at this stage. He seemed to overlap quite well against PSG but I don’t think he’ll make much of an impression on the first team this season with Sagna and Eboue ahead of him. Thanks for your comments.

  25. SF: I too doubt how much we will see him, but if he is happy with that, then he is a quality 3rd string! One other ting. Senderos has definitly sharpened up a bit. You can tell he has been working really hard, and seems a bit more lean and quick(if I can use that word…). My dad made the comment to me after he kept pace with what where by no means slow strikers. If he keeps improving, he may have one more chance with me. On anothe rnot, I also took some pictures yesterday, so let me know if you go ahead with vimeo..

  26. Senderos does look sharper and that’s a great boost. Let’s hope he’ll work his way back in to a position to challenge Gallas and Toure.
    As for the photo community, it sounds like a great idea, because a few people out there want to share photos and the like. I’ll definitely look into it. What a fun little community it could be if people post their Arsenal celebrations/commiserations at different times during the season. Anyone else have an opinion on it? I’ll suss it out.

  27. i totally disagree about comments on Hoyte’s performance, may be I was watching a differrent set. Hoyte has improved immensely and seems to on the rise since he featured in the U21 matches in Holland. He did better than Traore in the match. Traore’s positioning is not good enough,he runs upfield but get stuck there. In fact the LB position was rather weaker when Traore came on. I think Traore could be our missing LW if he’s pushed upfield since both Sagna and Hoyte can deputise for Clichy. Again I don’t Gibbs to be parcelled out on loan, from comments AW made, he rates Gibbs and will give him chances especially in the Carling Cup run. He’s really a revelation and I’m sure Stuart Pearce will be glad to see him. The next English big thing along with Theo, in my opinion. His touch was good for his age and his skills are unEnglish; AW regards him as the future Giggs. I liked him and was surprised about his confidence at this age and in front of 60k fans. Definitely he’s one of Arsenal’s big hopes.

  28. Interesting. Hoyte just hasn’t impressed me yet but, like I said, I didn’t see the game against Inter. I was impressed with his overlapping against PSG but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him starting in big games. Clichy used to be a lot like that so there is definitely still time for Hoyte to improve.

  29. I think Hoyte hasn’t been too bad and his performances are good but Sagna and Eboue playing more better. Eboue may be movig up to the wing so hoyte may not play 3rd string but be 2nd choice RB behind Sagna. Gibbs deserves a lot of credit he played well, on his debut for arsenal against Inter milan. that is a hard debut. Also the crowd loves him. I can’t wait to see what Bendnter can do 4 us as well. Hleb is improving and about time too! Senderos looking very sharp, not long before he becomes No.1 CB. Fabianski and Nordveit are players i will be watching closely! They might be gems!!!!

  30. Why does everyone seem to believe Fabragas wil leave in the future.Hasn’t he recently come out and said that he want to stay at the club and potentially become captain.Which is more than likely in future years as he is the most advanced youngster in the side in terms of maturity as well as ability.”I don’t he will leave in the future”

  31. I think, even through all the Daily Mail hate campaigns, Arsene Wenger is doing more for English football than anyone at the moment. Spurs pretend that buying british is something, but they just get rejects not good enough for the first eleven. Instead, we are grooming some amazing English youngsters to hopefully become great players in the future – Walcott, Simpson, Gibbs, Connelly and those from the past who seem like they are worthy of spurs – pennant, muamba, sidwell and the like. Nowhere else in England seems to have such a success rate in raising british youngsters and hopefully Gibbs and Walcott could be as good as Fabregas and Clichy from the youth system.

  32. So true Samuel. Wenger cops way too much from the media and he does such a superb job at nurturing young talent. Just because his players go on to be successes at other clubs does not mean the club should be tagged as “un-English”. It’s a joke.

  33. Wenger is the best at making youngsters superstars. Walcott, Fabregas, Diaby, RVP, Flamini, out youth system is the best in england with a lot of english players. Arsenal play players who are worthy of a place in the XI. If its not an englishman it doesnt mean the club id “unenglish”

  34. The idea of the Flickr page is great!!
    I hope to see tons of nice pics very soon 🙂

  35. hey fantastic goal from van persie (i just had to say that too). Don’t get me wrong here people but i think it wasn’t Fabregas who was outstanding in this game. He played his normal level which was good. The players who impressed me most were Van Persie, Ebuoe, Hleb, Gibbs in that order. I see Ebuoe remaining on the right wing as first choice and Sagna at the right back. Toure, Gallas and Clichy will be 1st choice too. Striking (whether you believe it or not) will be Ade and Van Persie as 1st choice and the mid will be a diversity but with Fabregas as a must be. Hleb and Rosicky will be a force to reckon this season and Walcott the next big thing after Henry’s exit.

    Am more than confident that we can challenge for any cup with the current squad although an additional wide player is more than welcome. that’s my opinion. CHEERS! 😉

  36. We need to come up with a name for Van Persie’s trademark trick (whch he used against zagreb and inter).

    two ideas are:
    the cork-screw
    Persie-cution (someone on facebook said that)

    what do u think?

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