By Giuseppe Muro
Sebastian Squillaci made his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt on Tuesday night as Arsenal Reserves beat Blackburn 4-3.
The Frenchman partnered Johan Djourou at the centre of Arsenal’s defence for his first game in English football.
Squillaci played the full 90 minutes for Neil Banfield’s side at Underhill, and faced Premier League regulars Jason Roberts and Benjani in the Blackburn frontline.
The ex-Sevilla defender hasn’t played competitive football this season and Arsène Wenger saw the game as an opportunity to take a look at his new signing.
Here's Squillaci’s 90 minutes in focus:
1 min - Squillaci gets his first touch in an Arsenal shirt as he wins a free kick deep in his own half after being fouled by Jason Roberts. He leaves it to be taken by Nico Yennaris.
2 mins – Roberts bursts through after a cutting through-ball, Squillaci comes across and uses great strength to win the ball. There are some claims for a penalty from Roberts but Squillaci just outmuscled him. A very calm and assured start to his Gunners career.
10 mins – The defender comes forward for Arsenal’s first corner of the game. Mark Randall misses everyone and it goes behind for a goal kick.
17 mins – Squillaci shows his aerial ability, beating Benjani to a long ball. He shows great strength as he out-leaps the striker to win a commanding header.
30 mins – He plays a square ball to fellow centre-back Johan Djourou.
34 mins – Though his grasp of the English language may not be great he barks orders at his fellow defenders - and has been doing so for the first half-an-hour.
45 mins – Squillaci jogs down the tunnel as the half-time whistle is blown. An unflustered, impressive first-half of football for the new boy.
51 mins – A Blackburn attack is broken up by Squillaci as he comes out of defence to stop a through-ball before passing to Ignasi Miquel.
57 mins – A really good challenge from Squillaci on Hoilett - he looked very strong in the tackle there.
87 minutes – Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scores Arsenal’s winner as Squillaci and his side go 4-3 up.
90 minutes – The final whistle blows and Squillaci has completed his first 90 minutes as a Gunner. He will be pleased to get through the game unscathed and get a match under his belt in his quest for fitness ahead of his first-team debut.
After the match Squillaci granted an exclusive interview to Arsenal TV Online in which he discussed the match and his first two weeks at Arsenal. The video will be available on Arsenal TV Online soon.
- FREE VIDEO: Squillaci plays for the Reserves
- Picture Gallery: Squillaci in action for the Reserves
- Reserves: Arsenal 4-3 Blackburn Rovers - Report