MX23RW : Tuesday, October 16 02:15:53
Aug 5, 2016 at 7.30pm UK at ​Viking Stadion
Viking FKViking FK
FT(HT: 0-1)
Campbell (33', 59'), Cazorla (50'), Walcott (53'), Haukas (55' og.), Iwobi (71', 81'), Akpom (89')
Cazorla (79')

Live Commentary: Viking FK 0-8 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive Arsenal's 8-0 thrashing of Viking FK as the Gunners continue their unbeaten pre-season campaign in style.

Arsenal began their pre-season tour of Scandinavia in style this evening, thrashing Viking FK 8-0 in Stavanger.

Joel Campbell scored the only goal of the first half for the Gunners, but a second-half blitz of four goals in nine minutes put Arsene Wenger's side in complete control.

Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott both got on the scoresheet before Michael Haukas diverted the ball into his own net, while Campbell capped off the goal-laden spell with his second of the night.

There was still time for Alex Iwobi to add two of his own in the final 20 minutes, though, while Chuba Akpom completed the rout in the last minute of normal time.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.

7pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's match as Arsenal begin their second tour of pre-season with a game against Norway's Viking FK. The hosts are in the midst of their domestic campaign at the moment, while Arsenal are just nine days away from their Premier League opener at home to Liverpool and will be looking to add some finishing touches to their preparations this evening. First things first, though, let's take a look at the teams...

7.02pmVIKING STARTING XI: Austbø; Ryerson, Steiring, Mets, Haugen; Danielsen, Abdi, Sale, Samuel, Aasheim; Bringaker

7.02pmARSENAL STARTING XI: Ospina; Debuchy, Bielik, Gabriel, Gibbs; Coquelin, Elneny, Campbell, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Walcott
Subs: Cech, Martinez, Bellerin, Holding, Monreal, Zelalem, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Willock, Akpom

7.04pmWhat can we make of those two teams, then? Well, the big question surrounding the hosts was just how strong a side they would name for this game. They don't get the chance to face a team like Arsenal every week, but they also have a league fixture on Sunday which surely has to take priority over a friendly. Despite that, though, manager Kjell Jonevret has limited himself to just five changes from the side that played in their last competitive outing against Odd. Captain Danielsen, who has played for the club since 2003, is one of those to retain his spot.

7.06pmAs for Arsenal, they once again name a relatively second-string side despite edging every closer to the start of the new season, and the bench also contains a lot of youngsters. Ospina is once again given the gloves ahead of Cech from the start, while it is all change in the back four from Wenger since their last outing. Debuchy, who has been linked with a move away from the club, starts on the right while Gibbs comes in for Monreal on the opposite flank. In the middle, Bielik partners Gabriel, who is back in the squad having missed the United States tour with tonsilitis.

7.08pmThere is no place in the squad for the likes of Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez, despite the latter two having been included in the travelling party following their returns from extended international breaks. They could well feature against Man City in the second game of the tour, but they will not be involved tonight. Instead, Elneny joins Coquelin in the heart of the midfield, while Campbell, Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain provide the support for the striker.

7.10pmChamberlain in particular has impressed during pre-season so far, scoring a couple of memorable goals already. The winger will hope to continue that form into the new season having failed to really enjoy a full campaign at his best so far. Injuries and, at times, a lack of opportunities in the starting XI, have stunted his development a little, and he will be desperate for a long run in the side. That is also true of Theo Walcott, who starts up front once again tonight and is likely to do so in the season opener against Liverpool too. Wenger is after another striker but, with Giroud on his break after Euro 2016, Walcott is Arsenal's main striker available right now.

7.12pmWalcott showed flashes of quality in that position at times last season, and he will be hoping to fill his boots against Viking this evening. The hosts are major underdogs for this match, with perhaps their only hope coming in the fact that they are in the middle of their campaign, so should be up to full match fitness. They may have one eye on that match on Sunday, though, and it is a fairly important one too as they look to get back on track for a European challenge this season.

7.14pmAs things stand, Viking are currently languishing around mid-table in seventh place, closer to the relegation playoff zone than they are to leaders Rosenborg. They do have a game in hand over everyone in the league aside from Rosenborg, but they are also struggling for form at the moment. They come into tonight's game winless in their last three outings and with just one point to show in that time. Sunday's match comes against eighth-placed Sogndal, so another defeat could see them fall further behind the pace-setters.

7.16pmDespite their current troubles, Viking are actually one of the most successful teams in Norwegian football history. They have eight league titles and five domestic cups to their name, while they have both played more and won more matches in the top flight than any other club. However, those glory days have long since passed, with their last league title coming in 1991 and their only solitary piece of silverware since then being a cup triumph in 2001.

7.18pmIt's not as though the fans have exactly been treated to a lot of entertainment this season either. Viking have scored a measly 18 goals in their 17 outings, just seven of which have come in front of their own fans, making them the second-lowest scores in the division. Their defensive record is more impressive, with only three teams conceding fewer, but the fans have seen a league-low 37 goals fly in in their 17 games so far this term.

7.20pmArsenal will still be confident of hitting a few past their hosts, though, and they should be nearing match fitness too with only nine days to go before the start of the new campaign. It is a big one for the Gunners too as they look to fend off competition from a whole host of teams for a spot in the top four. The Premier League title will, of course, be the ultimate goal at the start of the season, but with the upcoming campaign set to be the most competitive in Premier League history, that may prove to be a big ask.

7.22pmMany Arsenal fans have been dismayed by the club's transfer activity - or lack thereof - this summer, and it is easy to see why. While the likes of Manchester UNited, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool have splashed the cash to improve, Arsenal's only major signing so far has been Granit Xhaka. Wenger has said that he is in for a striker and a defender, with Lacazette and Mustafi among the names linked to the club, but so far things have been far too quiet at the Emirates. They will surely need more reinforcements if they are to keep pace with the rest this season.

7.24pmIt is, of course, the last season of Arsene Wenger's current contract at Arsenal, and it could well be that the Frenchman needs at the very least a top-four finish to stand a chance of being awarded a renewal. On paper, a second-placed finish last term looks like a decent return, especially compared to recent seasons, but in reality Arsenal never really challenged Leicester for the title and only an end-of-season slump opened the door for second. It was a big missed opportunity for the Gunners, and they are unlikely to get so lucky with so many big teams struggling again this term.

7.26pmThey began this pre-season slowly with a draw against French second-tier side Lens, but two victories from two on their US tour mean that they are still unbeaten. After tonight's match they will take on Pep Guardiola's Man City in Sweden on Sunday in what will be their final warm-up game. Their start to the new season is not the easiest either, with Liverpool first up and then games against champions Leicester, Watford, Southampton, Hull and Chelsea making up their opening six fixtures.

7.28pmPREDICTION: Right, we're just a couple of minutes away from kickoff here, which means that it is time for a prediction! Arsenal will be heavy favourites for this one and I can't see them failing to come away with a victory. Viking's form is not good against teams nowhere near the quality of today's visitors, so I'm going to back the Gunners to run out 4-1 winners in Stavanger tonight.

1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then! Viking get us underway in Norway as Arsenal run out for their penultimate pre-season friendly.


4 minSAVED! (Santi Cazorla)

4 minArsenal have the perfect chance to open the scoring within four minutes here, but Austbo pulls off a brilliant save from the spot kick. It was lovely build-up play from the Gunners as they worked the ball quickly into the area, with Oxlade-Chamberlain flicking the final ball into the path of Debuchy. The full-back is dragged back slightly by Adegbenro and goes to ground rather cheaply, but the referee points to the spot. Cazorla steps up and hits it with plenty of power, but Austbo makes a great stop to his right.

6 minThe visitors have dominated the ball in these opening exchanges, as was expected. However, that missed penalty may have given Viking a little hope. A goal that early could have almost killed the game off straight away, but the hosts have survived a scare now and that will boost their optimism.

8 minHaving said that, there is still a long way to go for the hosts and the early signs aren't too promising. It is almost like a training session already, with Arsenal controlling possession and probing for a way through.

10 minAustbo needs to be a little alert here as Walcott tries to race on to a back-pass, but the keeper is quickly off his line and hoofs the ball clear.

12 minThe hosts have their first chance to pour forward as they win the ball in midfield and suddenly have three players racing through. Bringaker leads the charge, but his eventual shot is blocked and another cross is nodded behind for a corner...

14 minCHANCE! Huge chance for the hosts from the corner! The ball is swung in right on Ospina and the keeper comes to collect it, but gets nowhere near. Adegbenro is up in front of him and really should score, but he can't keep his header down from close range.

15 minAdegbenro is brought down by Debuchy now and Arsenal have another set piece to defend from a crossing position. It is another testing ball from Danielsen, and Gabriel can only nod it behind for another corner...

17 minViking's pressure continues here, with Arsenal just unable to get the ball away at the moment. Danielsen's deliveries are putting them under pressure and the Gunners don't look entirely sure when defending them.

17 minThe hosts make another bright break down the right channel this time, with Sale slipped in. He reaches the byline and tries to cut it back, but his cross slams into the side-netting.

18 minArsenal come forward themselves now and Oxlade-Chamberlain does well to skip past his man, reach the byline and pull a low pass back to Walcott. The striker struggles to get it under control, though, and the best he can do is earn his side a corner.

18 minCHANCE! Big chance for Arsenal to break the deadlock as Elneny finds himself unmarked from the corner. He flicks a decent header goalwards too, but Austbo pulls off another good stop to deny the visitors.

20 minWell, the hosts have got to the 20-minute mark without conceding, and they have even enjoyed a purple patch at the other end of the field too. Kjell Jonevret will be pretty pleased with what he has seen from his side so far.

22 minSAVE! Another important contribution from the Viking keeper as he gets to the ball just ahead of Walcott. The ball had been pinged across to Gibbs, who nodded it back towards Walcott, but Austbo scrambles across and thwarts the danger.

23 minCHANCE! Another chance for the visitors as Oxlade-Chamberlain swings a cross into a good area and Campbell gets in front of his man. He has a relatively unchallenged header and should do better, but he is only able to glance it wide.

25 minOspina is unable to keep a header back from Debuchy in, gifting the hosts a cheap corner. Viking have threatened from these tonight, and they have another chance here.

26 minThis time the ball goes straight into the arms of Ospina, but the keeper almost makes another howler when trying to release the ball. Bringaker steps in front of him as he is looking to kick it clear and for a moment it threatens to bounce over the line, but Ospina is back to collect. There was no foul given by the ref, though - it would have counted.

27 minA long ball forward picks out Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left, and he takes it down into his path instantly. He then tries to roll it into the path of Walcott, who lets it go only to see it then cut out by a defender.

29 minWe're near the half-hour mark now, and it's still goalless in Norway. Arsenal have been on top in terms of possession and chances, but that killer touch in the final third is so far missing and they have also looked a little shaky at times in defence.

31 minArsenal have enjoyed the vast majority of possession over the last 15 minutes or so now. Viking had that one decent spell earlier in that match, but for the most part it has been all Arsenal.

33 minSAVE! Arsenal work their way into a shooting position, with Walcott collecting the ball in the area. His effort is scuffed, but Austbo fails to hold on to it and spills it behind for a corner.

33 minGOAL! Viking 0-1 Arsenal (Joel Campbell)

33 minArsenal finally break the deadlock, and it will go down as Campbell's goal. El Neny was once again left unmarked from a corner, climbing well in the middle to flick his header towards the far corner. It looks to be going in anyway, but Campbell makes sure by sliding in and just nudging it over the line.

35 minViking respond by coming forward themselves and winning a free kick right on the edge of the area. From what we've seen of Danielsen's delivery so far, this could be dangerous...

36 minViking try to make out as though Ibrahim will take it, but then Hauger has a go. It doesn't catch Arsenal out, though, with his effort slamming straight into the wall.

38 minThere is little doubt that Arsenal deserve this lead here, but Wenger may have been hoping to be further ahead at the interval. They could well have been with the chances they have had, but it could be up to the second-half subs to make this more convincing.

40 minShooting chance for Ibrahim from a long way out, and the midfielder cannot resist the crowds urges. His shot deflects off a defender and high up into the air, but Ospina comes off his line to claim it over Bringaker.

42 minSAVE! Arsenal catch Viking on the break quickly, with Cazorla setting them on their way with a ball forward to Walcott. The forward takes it down and cuts inside before drilling a powerful low strike towards goal, but Austbo gets his body behind it.

43 minAnother really good chance for Arsenal to break as the speed merchants Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain race forward. Cazorla again finds the former with a ball forward, but Walcott's subsequent attempt to pick out Oxlade-Chamberlain's run is terrible and the counter comes to an abrupt end.

45 minHALF TIME: Viking 0-1 Arsenal

8.24pmThe first half comes to an end in Norway, then, and it is Arsenal who go into the break ahead. They only lead by one, but they have had the chances to extend that and are certainly worthy of their advantage at the break. Viking have had one decent patch themselves, but for the most part it has been Arsenal controlling this one.

8.26pmThe only goal of the game so far arrived just past the half-hour mark when Joel Campbell tapped in from close range at the back post after Elneny had flicked a header towards goal. The marking from Viking was non-existent, with Elneny left in all sorts of space to nod towards the far corner, and Campbell just made sure by nudging it over the line.

8.28pmArsenal did have a glorious chance to break the deadlock as early as the fourth minute, though, when Debuchy was dragged down inside the penalty area. It was a fine team move that got Debuchy into that position, and although he went down a little softly, there was a definite pull back from Adegbenro. Cazorla stepped up to the spot kick, but he saw his effort brilliantly saved by Austbo.

8.30pmAustbo has been his side's best player for the most part this evening, also making good saves to deny Elneny and Walcott. Campbell has also had a decent chance that went begging, and the main worry for Wenger at the break will be that his side aren't further ahead. They haven't looked too certain in defence either, and against better opposition that Viking they may have come unstuck on a couple of occasions.

8.32pmThe hosts' have found themselves in good positions on a few occasions, but on the whole they have been unable to make the most of them. Their main threat has come via set pieces, and they should have taken the lead via that route in the 14th minute. Adegbenro got in front of the keeper to nod one towards goal from close range, but he couldn't keep his effort down when he probably should have scored.

46 minKICKOFF: Arsenal get us back underway for the second half here, and I will bring you news of the half-time subs as soon as they become apparent!

47 minARSENAL SUBS: Arsenal have introduced Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Rob Holding and Alex Iwobi for Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin and Gabriel at the interval.

47 minCLOSE! Almost a perfect start to the second half as Walcott clips a cross back to Cazorla on the edge of the area. The Spaniard watches it all the way and volleys it goalwards, but his crisp strike swerves narrowly wide of the target.

49 minAlmost another chance for the Gunners as Cazorla, who is running the show here, lifts a pass in to Walcott. The striker tries to get on the end of it, but is unable to get a shot away and his penalty claims fall on deaf ears.

50 minGOAL! Viking 0-2 Arsenal (Santi Cazorla)

50 minHappy to have him back, Arsenal fans? Cazorla caps off a classy midfield performance with a stunning goal to double his side's lead here. The ball is given to him in space around 25 yards from goal, and he is not closed down as he edges further towards the edge of the area. He then unleashes a thunderbolt into the corner that leaves the Viking keeper with no chance whatsoever.

52 minIt is hard to see any way back for Viking now. They have applied themselves well, but they are clearly second best here.

53 minGOAL! Viking 0-3 Arsenal (Theo Walcott)

53 minIt is two goals in three minutes for Arsenal as they put this game to bed once and for all. Campbell slides a pass in to the striker, who takes a touch before lashing a half-volley into the bottom corner with the outside of his foot. Lovely finish.

55 minGOAL! Viking 0-4 Arsenal (Michael Haukas, own goal)

55 minIt is now officially a rout. Arsenal make it three goals in this blitz, and this time they have one of Viking's own players to like. Cazorla is again the orchestrator of it all with a lovely pass through for Campbell, who opts to cross the ball instead o going for goal himself. His delivery looks to be a little behind Reine-Adelaide, but before it can get that far Haukas chests it into his own net.

57 minNot a bad start to this second half for Arsenal, then! They weren't as clinical as they could have been in the opening 45 minutes, but they look like scoring every time they come forward right now. It is four, and I wouldn't bet against it being more by the final whistle.

59 minGOAL! Viking 0-5 Arsenal (Joel Campbell)

59 minThe visitors are in party mode now! Four goals in the space of nine minutes have put this in the realms of embarrassing for the hosts as Campbell doubles his personal tally. Cazorla drives forward with the ball before giving it to Iwobi, who holds it up before rolling it into the path of Campbell. The winger goes round one defender on his way into the box before slamming his finish in off the bar.

61 minSHOT! Arsenal come forward yet again, and this time it is Debuchy making a lung-bursting run into the box. Campbell waits for him before slipping a pass through, but the full-back blazes his effort well over.

63 minArsene Wenger must be thinking about further changes now. The likes of Cazorla are not fully fit just yet and, while this should be a fairly easy final half an hour to build up a bit of fitness, he also won't want to take any risks over the Spaniard. Others on the bench also need match time and this game is well and truly over as a contest now.

65 minHeigre needs to be quick off his line here as Arsenal try a rare long ball forward to release Walcott. His pace looks like getting him in behind, but the sub keeper is alert to the danger.

66 minCHANCE! Another chance for Walcott as he beats the offside trap with a smart run to latch on to a fin through-ball. Heigre is again off his line, but this time Walcott gets there first and has the chance to knock it past the keeper. He doesn't get enough on it, though, and Heigre collects it.

68 minSHOT! It all opens up for Walcott again here as he collects the ball around 25 yards from goal. He rolls it into his path and tries to curl one towards the top corner, but it flies a few yards over the top.

70 minARSENAL SUBS: Arsenal changes here as Bellerin, Monreal, Willett, Akpom and Zelalem all come on.

71 minGOAL! Viking 0-6 Arsenal (Alex Iwobi)

71 minIt is six for Arsenal, and it is far too easy for them too. Cazorla is left in acres of space in a dangerous area, which you simply cannot afford to do when he is in this form, and he fakes a shot before simply laying the ball into the path of Iwobi. The youngster has time and space in the box, and keeps his composure to slide his finish under the keeper.

73 minThis could even threaten double figures if Arsenal keep their foot on the pedal here. Viking have simple fallen apart in this second half and Arsenal look like scoring with every attack.

76 minSAVE! Cazorla looks to double his personal tally as he collects the ball around 25 yards from goal and lets fly, but it is straight at the keeper, who makes the save.

78 minIt is just pass after pass from Arsenal now. They have complete and utter control of this match, and in truth that has been the case for the vast majority of this game. The second half in particular has been one-way traffic.

79 minYELLOW CARD! A minor blot on Cazorla's otherwise excellent copybook tonight as he goes into the book for a cynical foul on Michalsen. No complaints there.

81 minGOAL! Viking 0-7 Arsenal (Alex Iwobi)

81 minIt is almost becoming too easy for Arsenal here. They make it seven, and it is two for Iwobi, as he races on to a through-ball from Reine-Adelaide before firing his finish in off the post. In fairness, the keeper hasn't had much chance with any of these goals, so the finishing deserves praise, but the Gunners could only dream of coming up against this standard of defending in the Premier League.

83 minCHANCE! Viking almost get themselves the slimmest of consolations late on here as Pedersen gets in front of his man to latch on to a low cross at the front post. It is a decent chance too, but he puts his finish over the bar.

85 minJust five minutes remain in this match now, and Viking will want it to be over as soon as possible. Things looked alright for them when they were trailing by one at half time, but this second half has been a nightmare 45 minutes.

87 minCHANCES! It should be eight for Arsenal! Iwobi turns provider this time, advancing down the left channel before cutting his pass back in to Akpom. The striker's first effort is straight at the keeper, while the rebound goes into the arms of Heigre, who was still down on the ground.

89 minGOAL! Viking 0-8 Arsenal (Chuba Akpom)

89 minViking have just brought on their third keeper of the game, and he is immediately at fault for Arsenal's eighth goal of the game. Bellerin drills a low strike straight at the keeper, but he can only spill it into the path of Akpom, who tucks home the rebound.

90 minFULL TIME: Viking 0-8 Arsenal

9.26pmWell, it doesn't get much more convincing than that. Arsenal hit seven in the second half to give them a huge 8-0 victory over Viking, who simply fell apart in the second half. The deficit was just one at the interval courtesy of Joel Campbell's goal, touching in Elneny's header at the back post, but once the floodgates opened there was no closing them from the home side.

9.28pmFour goals arrived in the space of nine minutes in the second half as Arsenal moved up a gear, with the outstanding Cazorla beginning the blitz with arguably the pick of the bunch. Walcott then added a second before Haukas turned the ball into his own net just two minutes later. Campbell then doubled his personal tally to complete the nine-minute spell, but Arsenal were by no means done there. Alex Iwobi came on to add two of his own in the closing 20 minutes, while Akpom completed the rout with the last meaningful action of the game.

9.30pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's match as Arsenal begin their tour of Scandinavia in style by thrashing Viking 8-0. I will leave you with our match report, but from me it is goodbye for now!

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Krystian Bielik of Arsenal
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