Post-Match Report

Singapore Select XI 0-4 Arsenal - Report

15/16: Singapore Select XI 0-4 Arsenal - Chuba Akpom

Singapore Select XI -

Singapore National Stadium
Barclays Asia Trophy
Barclays Asia Trophy
  Arsenal
      
                  Chuba Akpom (30
                   76 pen
                   79)
                   Jack Wilshere (60 pen)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Chuba Akpom (30
76 pen
79)
Jack Wilshere (60 pen)
4 0
  Singapore Select XI
   crest
Singapore Select XI

By Chris Harris at Singapore National Stadium

 

SUMMARY

 
Chuba Akpom scored a hat-trick as Arsenal began their pre-season programme with a comfortable win in the Barclays Asia Trophy.
 
The 19-year-old striker gave Arsene Wenger's side a first-half lead against a Singapore Select XI and then rolled in a penalty before completing his treble with a powerful header.
 
Jack Wilshere also scored from the spot as the tourists blew away some cobwebs with an encouraging display at Singapore's national stadium. They return here on Saturday to face Everton in the final after the Merseysiders beat Stoke City on penalties in Wednesday's opening game.
 
There were plenty of positives for Wenger to glean from his team's first workout of the summer - including the contribution of teenager Alex Iwobi. A more searching examination awaits this weekend as Arsenal build up their fitness and form ahead of the new campaign.
 

TEAM NEWS

 
Wenger rested 10 of his 27-man squad for the first game of Arsenal's Singapore trip, opting for those who had the most pre-season training under their belts.
 
That meant a start for first-time tourist Iwobi, while Wilshere lined up in the No 10 role behind centre forward Akpom. Per Mertesacker captained the side with Mikel Arteta among those given a watching brief.
 
A full house is expected for the final on Saturday but Wednesday's opener was still graced by plenty of local fans. This was their first chance since 1991 to see their beloved Arsenal in the flesh - and they turned out in force to savour every minute.
 

FIRST HALF

 
The tourists showed understandable signs of rust in the opening stages but the match soon settled into a familiar pre-season pattern - Arsenal controlling possession, their opponents working hard to close them down.
 
Wilshere started brightly and in the fifth minute his tenacity allowed Iwobi to feed Nacho Monreal, whose low cross was turned over his own crossbar by Madhu Mohana. Oxlade-Chamberlain shot wide when the resulting corner was cleared to the edge of the box.
 
Iwobi stood out too, showing some neat touches and drifting past markers with ease. He got a shot away in the 14th minute that struck Akpom, and saw a second effort blocked by Mahbud. Mahbud made an even better save from Oxlade-Chamberlain moments later, and Wilshere's follow-up was charged down.
 
Arsenal were getting closer. Oxlade-Chamberlain fizzed a long-range shot over the crossbar after 23 minutes, and seven minutes later the tourists made the breakthrough.
 
Iwobi was involved again, at the forefront of a pacy counter-attack. His cross reached Wilshere and, although Baihakki Khaizan did enough to stop the England midfielder, the ball rolled to Akpom and he slammed it into the net.
 

SECOND HALF

 
Wenger made one change at half-time - Wojciech Szczesny for Emiliano Martinez. Not that the identity of Arsenal's keeper made that much difference as the tourists continued to dominate.
 
Mertesacker had the first chance of the half, climbing to meet Oxlade-Chamberlain's corner but getting too thin a contact. Iwobi had a much clearer opening 10 minutes after the restart but couldn't keep his shot down after finding Oxlade-Chamberlain and latching onto his lofted return pass.
 
Two minutes later Arsenal conjured up the move of the match. Debuchy stormed down the right, exchanged passes with Wilshere and cut the ball back for Iwobi, arriving at pace just inside the box. The teenager made a clean contact but his shot soared over the bar.
 
The tourists had found a good rhythm and Mohana had to clear off his own line after Oxlade-Chamberlain broke the down the right and beat his man before slipping a shot through Mahbud's legs.
 
Chuba Akpom

Chuba Akpom

 
You sensed a second goal was coming, and it arrived on the hour mark. Once again Debuchy got forward, once again Wilshere released him and Sirini Camara was penalised for a nudge in the Frenchman's back. Wilshere dispatched the penalty confidently to Mahbud's left.
 
Szczesny was finally called into action, punching away Nicholas Velez's shot at his near post, and then Wenger opted to make his changes. Three came in the 64th minute - including tour debutants Chris Willock and Dan Crowley. Spanish duo Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin followed 10 minutes later.
 
Toral was immediately involved, winning the penalty that Akpom rolled in to make it 3-0, and Crowley almost added a fourth as the Singapore XI started to tire.
 
A fourth did come and it was Akpom again, completing his hat-trick with a firm header from Bellerin's right-wing cross.