Post-Match Report

Friendly: SV Mattersburg 1-2 Arsenal - Match report

SV Mattersburg -

Pappelstadion
Friendly Match
Friendly Match
  SV Mattersburg
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SV Mattersburg
1 2
  Arsenal
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Arsenal

By Richard Clarke in Austria

Tomas Rosicky made his Arsenal debut as Arsène Wenger's side got their Austrian tour off to a winning start at SV Mattersburg on Tuesday night.

Goals from Jeremie Aliadiere and Justin Hoyte gave the visitors the advantage before Jurgen Patocka replied with 20 minutes of the match remaining.

It was enough to see off a handy side who are looking forward to UEFA Cup football this season. Kolo Toure and the Emmanuels (Eboue and Adebayor) also played their first pre-season games after World Cup duty. But real story of the night revolved around Rosicky.

He did not do that much in his 29 minutes on the field but there were tell-tale signs of the class that saw Wenger prise him from Borussia Dortmund in late May.

The four World Cup players had only one role in the first half, to soak up the sweltering Burgenland sun on the substitute's bench and watch youngsters like Armand Traore, Mark Randall and Matthew Connolly and Nicklas Bendtner attempt to impress their manager.

Arsenal's start was perfect. In the fifth minute, Traore sent over a low cross from the left and Aliadiere thumped home on the volley at the near post. The French striker, back after a season of loan spells, might have made it 2-0 seconds later. Alex Hleb broke clear and outpaced the Mattersburg defence to go one-on-one with keeper Thomas Borenitsch. He saved well with his legs and Aliadiere nodded the rebound over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

The home side gradually gathered themselves after a shaky start and in the 17th minute Bernd Kaintz whipped in a low shot that Pascal Cygan cut out for a corner.

Then Goce Sedloski's free-kick hit the wall and Michael Morz picked up the rebound. The midfielder fired in a cross-shot that Almunia did well to parry. The keeper pulled off an even better save on the half-hour when Morz tried to go around him. The Spaniard thrust out an arm prod the ball away from the midfielder's feet.

Wenger made only two substitutions at the interval - Mart Poom for Almunia and Arturo Lupoli for Bendtner. But the home side nearly got into the game when the new keeper spilled a high shot from Kaintz.

In the 61st minutes, the changes came: Adebayor, Toure, Eboue and Rosicky for Aliadiere, Cygan, Hoyte, Randall.

The little Czech international immediately took up a position on the left-hand side of midfield. Hleb stayed on the right.

Arsenal had a stronger side, but if anything Mattersburg improved.

In the 70th minute Patocka swung over a free-kick from the left and Patrick Burger sent a stooping header bouncing off the woodwork. Almost immediately Christian Fuchs sent a corner to the far post and Patocka steered in a header home off the woodwork.

However the expected rally from the home side never materialised and Arsenal held on to their victory with ease.

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