Post-Match Report

Burgenland XI 2-10 Arsenal - Match report

Burgenland XI -

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By Richard Clarke in Ritzing

Carlos Vela and Jack Wilshere grabbed their first goals for Arsenal in a 10-2 hammering of a Burgenland XI at SC Ritzing on Monday night.

Nicklas Bendtner was the dominant figure of the first half, netting four times against a select side that seemed out of their depth as soon as Wilshere had scrambled home the opener in the first minute.

Vela contributed a couple of cool finishes as Arsenal cruised into a 7-0 at the break and then completed his personal treble seven minutes in the second half.

Wilshire won and then converted a penalty just past the hour before setting up Theo Walcott for Arsenal's 10th shortly afterwards. Burgenland's Junuz Foric fired in the very definition of a consolation goal almost immediately and Alexander Martna added an unlikely second at the death.

But this had been little more than stroll.

This was Arsenal's third visit to Ritzing in the past five years. The first had ended in a 2-2 draw. The second, in 2005, saw the visitors run out 5-2 winners in a match that celebrated the opening of the home team's newly-developed stadium. This small town on the Hungarian border only has 900 inhabitants but it possesses a ground that would grace any English Conference side.

Ritzing themselves play in the Austrian 'Mitte' Regional League however today's opponents, a Burgenland XI, were drawn from teams of a lower standard. It would be glaringly obvious throughout the 90 minutes.

Wenger's side was similar to the one held to a 1-1 draw at Szombathelyi. Bendtner and Vela were paired up front, Denilson and Ramsey were paired in the middle and the Hoyte brothers were paired in central defence. Wilshere and Armand Traore were the wide men with Manuel Almunia in goal. It was little more than a Carling Cup side for Arsenal but it was far, far, far too much for the opponents tonight.

Arsenal took the lead within a minute when Wilshere scrambled the ball home after a melee in the area. At first the goal was credited to Aaron Ramsey and it could have been an own goal aswell. However the 16-year-old will have been glad to grab his first goal for the club.

Keeper David Lehrner pulled off a couple of decent close-range saves just before the quarter-hour. First Bendtner controlled Armand Traore's hanging cross and let fly then Ramsey wriggled clear before.

It was starting to look like an easy evening, especially when Bendtner lashed home a thunderous drive from the edge of the area in the 14th minute to double Arsenal's advantage.

The Dane followed it up five minutes later with low cross-shot that crept just inside the far post.

In the 25th minute, Carlos Vela added a fourth - his first goal for the Club - when he dribbled up the right and planted his effort into the same corner.

Bendtner pounced after Lehrner parried Ramsey's shot but could not convert. However the former Copenhagen striker completed his hat-trick when he slid in a shot from the left on the half-hour.

Vela converted a low cross from the right to give Arsenal a round half-dozen and, eight minutes from the interval, Bendtner controlled a high ball from the right and clipped home his fourth goal and his team's seventh.

Having already brought on Henri Lansbury for Traore, Wenger took off Bendtner, Almunia, Gael Clichy and Denilson for Mark Randall, Theo Walcott, Vito Mannone and Jay Simpson at the break. The last of these missed a glorious chance in the opening seconds after Vela's shot was parried into his path.

However the Mexican would complete his hat-trick in the 52nd minute with a simple finish and, almost immediately afterwards, Simpson would rattle the bar from close range. Burgenland had changed their entire XI at the interval but the game had altered very, very little.

In the 65th minute, Wilshere was brought down on the right of the six-yard box and stroked home Arsenal's ninth from the penalty spot.

Four minutes later, the Englishman squared a simple ball for Walcott to tap Arsenal into double figures.

In the 73rd minute, something very strange happened - Burgenland scored. Junuz Foric fired in a drive past Vito Mannone after collecting a corner from the right.

It was Burgenland's first shot in anger.

However a couple of minutes later only a perfectly-timed challenge by Gavin Hoyte stopped them having another when Foric looked to go clear.

But it was hardly Burgenland pressure. Arsenal were attacking at will with Wilshere and Walcott both firing wide in the intervening minutes.

Still Foric went close again and in the final minutes Alexander Martna chipped a second for the hosts.

It was the final act in a game that was barely competitive but a decent 'run-out'.

And, most importantly, the crowd of 3,200 were certainly entertained.

Attendance: 3200