The starting line up today was:
As you can see, Eboue was deployed in an unfamilar central midfield role alongside Denilson.
It was an edgy start for both sides with possession being swapped and the midfield having a lot of the ball and it was a while before we found our stride, with our real first attack coming on about 10 minutes when VP tried to chip Lehmann to open up the scoring. Adebayor was involved in the first chance, but also looked out of sorts, rustiness? mind elsewhere?
Nasri started his first game for the club and on this outing showed that he’s got creativity and guile in abundance and he slipped Ade through shortly afterwards, but Ade was lazily offside. Nasri looks like a very good little player and when he’s in full flight will definitely be a good player for us. He had a volley go soaring over the bar a little while later after Ade had cushioned the ball back. In between the chances, Stuttgart did have a few chances, nothing too serious, Almunia doing well and Djourou showing his rustiness.
A smart one-two from the impressive Walcott and Van Persie showed some class and Walcott was unable to finish – more of a save than a miss, I’d say. Walcott had another chance shortly afterwards when VP sent a through ball from the middle of the park to the onrushing England player, unluckily unable to finish.
The half finished goalless, but it was definitely a promising show of talent. Arsene made three substitutions, with Almunia, VP and Ade being replaced by Fabianski, Bendtner and Vela respectively.
The second half started well for us, Vela showing some skill and class drawing a free kick outside the area. Young Nasri flighted a great ball to Bendtner, who missed the target. Stuttgart also came out a bit more in the second half, showing more intent and Basturk gave the German side the lead when they broke well, nutmegging Gallas in the process.
Stuttgart 1 – 0 Arsenal
The goal kicked us into gear and Bendtner had a chance shortly afterwards. Moments later, though some good play from the front two saw Vela through on goal. The Mexican rounded Lehmann and scored from an acute angle to equalise within 7 minutes of going behind.
Stuttgart 1 - 1 Arsenal
Eboue and Nasri (who was pretty good through out) were shortly replaced by Ramsey and Wilshere respectively, taking our average age further down.
The front two combined well again – this time it’s was Bendtner turn to score and Vela’s turn to assist. The Dane headed past the former Chelsea defender and slotted past the ex Arsenal player!
Stuttgart 1 - 2 Arsenal
A pretty decent come back and there was more to come. Clichy, who has been an integral part of the squad showed some real class as he got away from two opposition players and picked up an unmarked Jack Wilshere in the box. His control and finish were years ahead of his age, and before we knew it, it was 3-1
Stuttgart 1 - 3 Arsenal
Jay Simpson came on for Vela and Lansbury for Denilson for the final moments.
The game ended 3-1 to Arsenal and was an all round good display. Definitely a confidence builder and without doubt a very good test against good opposition.
More reaction later…]]>