Arsenal’s pre-season form continues to impress as they routed Japan’s Nagoya Grampus 3-1 in a friendly match Monday evening at the Toyota Stadium. Oliver Giroud, Theo Walcott and local favorite Ryo Miyaichi all scored for the English club while Kisho Yano scored the lone goal for the J-League club.
Giroud scored just three minutes into the match, putting in the ball past Nagoya goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki from a cross by Tomas Rosicky. At the halfway point of the first half, Giroud was tripped in the box and the referee awarded a penalty for Arsenal. Japanese international Miyaichi cooly slotted the ball in, much to the delight of the crowd, which was estimated at 42,000 that night. In the second half, Walcott made it 3-0 in the 55th minute but 18 minutes later, Yano was able to salvage a bit of pride for the local team with a great header that went past Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
In front of an almost full capacity crowd at the stadium, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger received a very warm welcome from the Japanese fans who still remember his stint as the manager of the Grampus for 18 months in 1995. He left in 1996 to move to England and has been the manager of Arsenal, a side that has consistently been in the top four of the Premier League. He walked on to the pitch alongside current Grampus manager Dragan Stojkovic, one of his former players at Nagoya during his coaching stint there.
[ via The Republic ]