Arshavin secures late success
Andrey Arshavin emerged off the bench to score twice as Arsenal secured a late 2-1 success over Atletico Madrid.
Last Updated: 01/08/09 6:29pm
Russian star Andrey Arshavin emerged off the bench to score twice as Arsenal secured a late 2-1 success over Atletico Madrid in the Emirates Cup.
Arshavin looked to have won the game when he guided home with five minutes remaining, although their Spanish counterparts replied immediately though German Pacheco.
Just when it looked like being a frustrating day's work for Arsene Wenger's men at the Emirates Arshavin squeezed the ball home from a virtually impossible angle to snatch the victory.
The opening exchanges breezed by without incident or goal-mouth action with the only source of enthusiasm coming from Arsenal fans' willingness to boo Jose Antonio Reyes.
Arsene Wenger's troops came close to breaking the deadlock in the 19th minute when Robin van Persie sent a left-footer bouncing just wide of the far post after good work by Aaron Ramsey.
Atletico caused problems of their own, but as Gunners fans will testify Reyes' right foot is nowhere near as strong as his left and he sent an effort well wide with his weaker foot.
Arsenal carved out their best chance of the half on the stroke of half-time when Van Persie picked out the marauding Emmanuel Eboue, only for summer signing Sergio Asenjo to save his right-footed blast.
The home side made three changes during the interval, although that did not preventing The Gunners looking like the more likely side to break the deadlock.
Had it not been for a great piece of defending from Johnny Heitinga, Van Persie's clever flick would have rolled into the unguarded visitors' net from Bacary Sagna's teasing cross.
Arsenal continued to press with Nicklas Bendtner firing over from a tight angle, while Vito Mannone was finally called into action on the hour mark to keep out Maxi Rodriguez's long-range effort.
Asenjo continued to impress after keeping out Ramsey's well-struck effort after he was teed up by Jack Wilshere while substitute Fran Merida sent a close-range effort wide.
Atletico twice came close to opening the scoring with Maxi Rodriguez sending a right-footed effort just wide before Mannone did just enough to halt Sergio Aguero's long-range blast.
The deadlock was finally broken when Arshavin slid the ball home at the back post from Cesc Fabregas' cross, although their joy proved short-lived as Pacheco broke the offside trap and making no mistake with the finish.
However, Arsenal had the final say with Arshavin bagging his second of the game with the last kick of the game after nodding past Asenjo before tucking home from a near impossible angle.