Gunners hammer Malaysia XI

2011-07-13 22:48
Theo Walcott (File)

Kuala Lumpur - Arsenal enjoyed a comfortable start to their preseason Asian tour, beating a Malaysia XI 4-0 Wednesday with Carlos Vela among the scorers in his return from a loan stint.

Aaron Ramsey gave Arsenal the lead from the penalty spot in the fifth minute, and Theo Walcott added the second in the 37th. Vela came on a second-half substitute and made it 3-0 in the 59th, with Tomas Rosicky finishing off the scoring in injury time.

Kieran Gibbs started at left back for Arsenal after the sale of Gael Clichy to Manchester City, and delivered an assured performance. Thomas Vermaelen started at center back after missing much of last season with an injury.

Jack Wilshere set up the opening goal by dribbling his way into the Malaysian area before being brought down by Mahalli Jasuli, leaving referee Mohd Yussof Mat Karim no choice but to point to the spot.

Ramsey kept his composure to send goalkeeper Mohd Nasril Mat Nourdin the wrong way, tucking his penalty to the right.

Left winger Subramaniam Kunalan was the biggest threat for the Malaysians, causing constant trouble for Carl Jenkinson in the defender's first start for Arsenal.

Still, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Jenkinson "showed some good qualities."

"He was willing to go forward and help out and I'm sure he will get better once he gets more games," Wenger said.

Malaysia's best chance came when Safiq Rahim's free kick from more than 35 yards out was tipped over for a corner by Wojciech Szczesny.

With Wilshere and Ramsey dominating the midfield, Arsenal doubled the lead when Ramsey's through ball released Walcott down the right and the midfielder coolly lobbed an onrushing Mohd Yussoff.

Arsenal made seven changes at halftime with Rosicky, Vela, Denilson and goalkeeper Vito Mannone all coming on.

Arsenal came close to scoring on several occasions before Vela chipped substitute goalkeeper Khairul Fahmie Che Mat to make it 3-0.

Samir Nasri, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United, came on nine minutes later along with Robin Van Persie, Andrey Arsharvin and Barcary Sagna.

Wenger said he doesn't expect the club to sell Nasri, even though he could leave on a free transfer next year.

"Our goal of course is to win the championship," Wenger said. "Whether I need to buy new players or not is a different matter. I'm willing to keep Samir for another year, even if I risk losing him for nothing when his contact expires next season."

Rosicky made it 4-0 when he headed home Arshavin's cross from close range.

Arsenal will next play in China on Saturday.

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