MX23RW : Monday, December 10 07:03:30
Jul 15, 2017 at 11am UK at ​Parramatta Stadium, Parramatta, Sydney
Western SydneyWestern Sydney Wanderers
Lustica (58')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Giroud (33'), Ramsey (37'), Elneny (45')

Live Commentary: Western Sydney Wanderers 1-3 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Arsenal's 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, as the Gunners made it two pre-season wins from two.
Live Commentary: Western Sydney Wanderers 1-3 Arsenal - as it happened
© SilverHub

Three first-half goals proved enough to help Arsenal to a comfortable 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in their second and final tour match in Australia.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring 33 minutes in, before Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny found a way through to put the Gunners well on course for another victory.

Wanderers were given hope of a comeback when Steven Lustica rifled home just before the hour mark, but the visitors easily saw through the remainder of the match.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

10.00amHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the pre-season friendly meeting between Western Sydney Wanderers and Arsenal. Two days after seeing off Sydney FC, the Gunners return the ANZ Stadium - packed with 80,000 spectators once again today - to round off their short tour Down Under.

10.02amIt was a nice start to pre-season for the Gunners in their opening fixture, earning a 2-0 win and seeing record signing Alexandre Lacazette get off the mark with his first goal for the club. The only negative, if you can call it that, was the way in which Arsenal allowed so many chances to pass them by over the 90 minutes.

10.04amUltimately that is what these pre-season fixtures are all about, though - a chance for those attacking players to get the odd bad miss out of their system prior to the real thing getting underway. The performance of Sydney stopper Andrew Redmayne is also worthy of a mention - he was terrific against the club he once had a trial with. Now it is over to Wanderers to halt the momentum that the Gunners are attempting to build.

10.06amTEAM NEWS!

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS XI: Janjetovic, Clisby, Risdon, Hamill, Lustica, Bonevacia, Kusukami, Baccus, Cornthwaite, Melling, Majok

ARSENAL XI: Ospina, Koscielny, Elneny, Monreal, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Lacazette, Giroud

10.08amThe big news as far as Arsenal are concerned is that Alexandre Lacazette is handed a first start for the club. The Frenchman, who set the Gunners back a record fee when joining last week, netted from the bench on his first outing and he now has a chance to further enhance his fitness with a run out from the start today. Olivier Giroud is also included from the off, likely starting just ahead of his compatriot.

10.10amThere is also a chance to see Aaron Ramsey for the first time this summer, having missed out against Sydney FC last time out, and David Ospina is another who gets his first taste of pre-season action. Boss Arsene Wenger is expected to go with a three-man backline once again this morning, so Mohamed Elneny could therefore be tasked with slotting into defence, in between Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal.

10.12amFurther forward, Ramsey and Granit Xhaka pair up in the engine room, as will likely be the case by the time the Premier League season begins on August 12 with a home match against Leicester City. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain occupy the wing-back berths, the latter of whom really impressed in this formation at times at the tail end of 2016-17 and is in contention to keep his place come that opener against Leicester.

10.14amAlex Iwobi bagged an assist from the bench in that win over Sydney FC last time out, cutting the ball back for Lacazette to finally get the beating of Andrew Redmayne in goal, and he is handed a start for this second and final tour game Down Under. Iwobi is partnered with Lacazette in a two-man attacking midfield, with Giroud the man leading the line. A handful of these starters are battling for regular football next term.

10.16amIn terms of the home side, they will be led out by Robbie Cornthwaite at the 80,000-capacity ANZ Stadium, a day on from being handed the armband for the new season. Marquee striker Oriol Riera is not included in the starting lineup, however, in a squad containing plenty of youth-team players. Roly Bonevacia, Chris Herd and Josh Risdon have all joined during the off-season, and two of them are given a chance to impress in this friendly match.

10.18amWanderers have four players away on international duty with the Australia Under-23s side, including Joshua Sotirio, Lachlan Scott, Jonathan Aspro and Keanu Baccus. Manager Tony Popovic will likely line up in a 4-2-1-3 formation this morning, using Majok as the focal point in attack. Jumpei and Lustica offer support from wide positions, while Melling and Baccus occupy the deeper engine room positions.


WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS SUBS: Riera, Herd, Tokich, Hall, Thwaite, Summan, Cimenti, Russell, Leece, Maia

ARSENAL SUBS: Martinez, Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Bielik, Bramall, Coquelin, Nelson, Willock, Ozil, Walcott, Nketiah, Welbeck

10.22amMarquee striker Oriol Riera is among the Sydney subs and will almost certainly play some part in the second half, while new signing Chris Herd is also expected to feature from the bench. In terms of the visitors, they have a whole host of big-name players among their back-ups, with Wenger expected to make mass changes between the 60-70 minute mark, as was the case in the win over Sydney FC a couple of days ago.

10.24amArsene Wenger has heavily rotated his side for this morning's friendly with Western Sydney Wanderers, just a couple of days on from their opening-game win of pre-season over Sydney FC. Like that 2-0 victory on Thursday, the Gunners are competing at the 80,000-capacity ANZ Stadium today, which is once again completely sold out. They are expecting around two-thirds of the crowd to be cheering on the visitors!

Olivier Giroud reacts during the Champions League game between Arsenal and PSG on November 23, 2016© SilverHub

10.26amWanderers finished sixth in the A-League ladder last season, a whopping 30 points adrift of champions Sydney FC. The Gunners completely dominated the Sky Blues a couple of days ago, with the 2-0 scoreline not really giving a fair reflection of what we witnessed. Danny Welbeck missed from the spot - albeit from a pen that should never have been awarded - while former Arsenal trailist Andrew Redmayne pulled off six or seven terrific stops.

10.28amThere is no denying that the story of the game was Lacazette netting just 15 minutes into his first appearance for the club, while Per Mertesacker also scored a fine goal earlier on, though it was the showings of the younger players that particularly pleased Wenger. Cohen Bramall, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson impressed more than any other players on the field, with the latter giving fans hope that there could well be life after Sanchez should he indeed depart.

10.30amWestern Sydney lack the quality boasted by rivals Sydney FC, who finished 30 points better off last term, but they did at least make it through to the finals series. Popovic's men fell at the first hurdle, however, going down on penalties to Brisbane Roar. No real surprise to see the Sky Blues go all the way to be crowned as champions, but Wanderers do have a chance to get one over on their neighbours if they can beat Arsenal today.

10.32amWanderers certainly boast a certain pedigree, however, having finished runners-up three times in the A-League finals between 2013 and 2016. They also lifted the AFC Champions League crown in 2014, leading to a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup later that year, but they finished well off the pace last term and are only sixth favourites to finish top heading into the new campaign.

10.34amPopovic's men beat Shanghai SIPG in their last competitive outing, though that was just their second win in six AFC Champions League group-stage matches, seeing them finish bottom of the pile and exit the competition. They conceded a whopping 22 goals across those six games, in fact, including a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Shanghai in the reverse meeting and a 6-1 loss to Urawa Reds.

10.36amWanderers are behind each of Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne City, Melbourne United and favourites Sydney FC in terms of next season's title odds. They begin their league campaign with a home match against Perth Glory next month, before welcoming Central Coast Mariners. Prior to that is a FFA Cup clash against Wellington Phoenix in a couple of weeks' time, so Popovic will be looking to get his players fully up to speed before then.

10.38amWestern Sydney Wanderers finished runners-up in the A-League finals three times in four years between 2013 and 2016, while also lifting the AFC Champions League during that time. Last season was not so great, though, finishing sixth in the table and some 30 points off champions Sydney FC - Arsenal's previous opponents during their tour Down Under.

Coach Tony Popovic of the Wanderers watches on during the 2014 A-League Grand Final match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers on May 4, 2014© Getty Images

10.40amThe Gunners should not have too many problems this morning if their previous match is anything to go by, but Wenger will certainly be hoping to see his attacking players a little sharper in front of goal. It took until Lacazette's introduction in the final quarter of the match for Arsenal to kill off Sydney FC on Thursday and, with the Frenchman starting today, you would fancy the visitors to net a few goals.

10.42amArsenal head to the Far East after this match for games against Bayern Munich and Chelsea in the next seven days, before then jetting back home to continue their preparations for the new campaign by taking on Benfica and Sevilla in the Emirates Cup. Then comes the Community Shield showdown with Chelsea on August 6, less than a week before the season-opening Premier League clash with Leicester City. Wenger now has three weeks to get his players fully fit.

10.44amHitting the ground running has been a big problem for Arsenal in the past couple of seasons, losing their past two openers to West Ham United and Liverpool. Last season was particularly farcical, with Wenger fielding an almost weakened team against the Reds in a match that would prove to be significant in the race for Champions League football. With away games against Liverpool and Chelsea to come in the first few weeks of the campaign, they cannot afford to let that happen again.

10.46amWenger appears to have settled on a new formation for the new season, though, continuing with the three-man backline that had so much success at the tail end of last term. The Gunners won nine of their final 10 matches using that system, including victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup final that pretty much salvaged their season. Had they lost that the calls for Wenger to leave would have become deafening, but Ramsey's extra-time winner means that the Frenchman remains in place for two more years.

10.48amWenger is still looking to bring in a new player or two in the coming weeks, having so far signed Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette. Thomas Lemar is the man being most heavily linked with the Gunners, but it appears as though AS Monaco will continue to play hardball as they do not want to lose another of their talented title-winning players. In terms of outgoing activity, questions still remain over Sanchez, Ozil and Giroud.

10.50amIt appears increasingly likely that Ozil will remain at the Emirates Stadium, where he is now into the final 12 months of his contract. The future of Sanchez is less clear, with the Chile international currently enjoying an extended break following his Confederations Cup exploits earlier this summer. Wenger will hope to have a decision before the season begins, because his star man will need replacing if he is sold to one of Bayern Munich or Manchester City.

10.52amWith kickoff at the ANZ Stadium now less than 10 minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from the Arsenal camp:

Petr Cech [on margin of opening win]: "It should have been more. We must improve efficiency in front of goal because we obviously had so many chances and we only scored two goals. The most important for us at this stage of the pre-season is to get the minutes under the belt and people get fitter every game. This is the best way to prepare for the upcoming season."

Arsene Wenger [on youngsters]: "Since I've been in the game I've understood that you either have that [confidence] at 17 years of age or you don't. Some of the players I've had in my career have turned 18 and it seems natural for them to be on the pitch. They just think 'let's play', and Reiss behaves like that."

10.54amPetr Cech, who is not included in the squad this morning, admits that his side must become more clinical in front of goal. Arsenal completely dominated the match against Sydney FC a couple of days back, but it remained 1-0 heading into the final 10 minutes, at which point Lacazette struck in trademark fashion. As the Czech Republic international points out, though, fitness is more important than the margin of victory at this point.

10.56amWenger was quick to praise the showing of Reiss Nelson after the win over Sydney FC. The academy graduate was arguably the Gunners' best performer on the day, causing all sorts of problems down the flank, although he did fade as the match went on. The Frenchman also revealed that the likes of Nelson, Bramall and Willock are "very close" to the starting lineup, so they will be looking to leave their mark in the remaining friendlies.

10.58amBoth sets of players have made their way out on to the field of play at a packed ANZ Stadium. Alexandre Lacazette is handed his first Arsenal start this morning, starting alongside Alex Iwobi in a three-man attack line, with Olivier Giroud - who could well be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium before the transfer window closes - starting through the middle.

Arsene Wenger strikes a pose on September 24, 2016© SilverHub

1 minKICKOFF! We are up and running at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney! Arsenal will be looking to make it two wins from two on their tour Down Under, with the odds heavily in their favour to do so against Western Sydney Wanderers.

3 minSAVE! Andrew Redmayne produced six or seven real quality stops to thwart the Gunners a couple of days ago and, with three minutes gone in this one, Vedran Janjetovic has already been called into action to deny Lacazette from close range.

5 minGood work from Lacazette to create that opening for himself, shimmying past one player and finding the target, only for Janjetovic to get down well. Ramsey followed up with a shot that deflected off target, seeing his shout for handball rejected.

7 minMuch like we saw on Thursday against Sydney FC, Arsenal have taken complete control of the match right from the off. Just the one opening of any note so far, which was created through the skill and pace of new recruit Lacazette.

9 minSuperb play from Oxlade-Chamberlain down the left-hand side to get past his man. The Englishman looked up and spotted Giroud, whose audacious attempt was wide of target. Arsenal looking sharp in the opening stages of this friendly.

11 minWanderers having to sit deep in their own half from pretty much the first whistle. Around 80,000 in attendance today and around two-thirds of those spectators are cheering on Arsenal. They could be treated to a few goals.

13 minLustica with acres of space to run into in midfield, and he also had a teammate making a run in behind. The pass was cut out, however, and what could have been a real chance for Western Sydney Wanderers comes and goes.

15 minThe A-League side are unable to keep hold of possession once winning the ball back. Arsenal remain in complete control in Sydney, but that early Lacazette opening aside they have not really done a great deal with the ball.

17 minThe Gunners win themselves another corner, which is swung straight into the hands of Vedran Janjetovic. The 29-year-old has not been called into action quite as often as expected in the opening quarter of the match.

19 minThe ball goes long towards Giroud, but there is too much on it and Vedran Janjetovic is there to collect. Kusukami so nearly in behind at the other end, though the bounce of the ball went against him and the Gunners cleared their lines.

21 minVedran Janjetovic with one for the cameras as he dives to reach Ramsey's centred cross. Not really happening for the Gunners at the moment - they cannot quite find that final pass when in advanced areas of the pitch.

23 minMore than a quarter of the game now played and we remain all square at the ANZ Stadium. Arsenal racking up the passes but have so far created just one chance, which Lacazette was unable to make the most of up against Janjetovic.

25 minGood footwork from David Ospina to play his way out of danger. The Colombian stopper was expected to leave this summer, and could still do so in the next few weeks, but for now he is battling with Cech for the starting spot between the sticks.

27 minA free header for Giroud at the end of a right-sided free kick, which he nods straight down the middle for Vedran Janjetovic to keep out. The offside flag went up, regardless, despite the Frenchman appearing to have timed his run.

29 minWanderers have picked up the ball in some dangerous positions in this first half but, much like their opponents, they have failed to create anything. Lacazette has barely had a sniff since that rare opening two minutes into the game.

31 minThings have boiled over slightly following Xhaka's strong but fair challenge on Lustica - a bit of handbags but the referee quickly calms things down. Wanderers then put together an attack that ends with a corner being won.


34 minArsenal have a breakthrough goal thanks to Giroud's close-range finish. Monreal made the chance after exchanging passes with Lacazette and bursting into the box, remaining composed enough to pick out Giroud to do the rest from five yards out.

36 minA welcome goal for French striker Giroud, whose future at the Emirates Stadium still remains in the balance. The Gunners will now look to build on that opener in the remaining nine minutes or so of this first half at the ANZ Stadium.

38 minPENALTY APPEAL! Roly Bonevacia wants a penalty after being sent to the ground by Elneny. Replays show that he had a point, with the makeshift Arsenal defender illegally bringing down his opponent, but the referee waved play on.


40 minSuperb Arsenal goal to double their advantage in Sydney. Monreal with a stunning pass over the top, which Ramsey latched on to and lofted over a stranded Vedran Janjetovic. Route one it may have been, but it worked a treat.

42 minOlivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey on the scoresheet, with both goals being assisted by Monreal - one from inside the box and the other from deep. The Gunners strolling through this first half now thanks to those quick-fire strikes.

44 minSAVE! Good touch from Giroud inside the box, allowing him to spin and blast a shot on goal. Vedran Janjetovic was well positioned and kept it out with relative ease in the end, as the Gunners close in on a killer third.


45+1 minCruel on Western Sydney, as an Elneny strike from the edge of the box appeared to be heading wide - or kept out by Janjetovic if it was on target - only for Brendan Hamill to stick out a foot and send the ball past his keeper.


11.49amArsenal have a resounding three-goal lead over Western Sydney Wanderers at the interval, netting each of their goals in the space of 12 minutes at the end of the half. The Gunners have been dominant and deserve to be ahead, but Western Sydney Wanderers will argue that a three-goal deficit is a little harsh.

11.52amPicking up from where he left off against Sydney FC two days ago, when coming off the bench to net on his debut, Alexandre Lacazette shimmied his way into a shooting position with just two minutes on the clock. The Frenchman was kept out by Vedran Janjetovic, who would go on to pick the ball out of his net three times during a one-sided first half in Sydney.

11.55amFor all Arsenal's dominance they were unable to create too many chances in the opening half an hour, however, with their opponents working hard to keep things tight. That all changed once Olivier Giroud opened the scoring 33 minutes in, converting from a few yards out when spotted by Nacho Monreal, who linked up well with Lacazette to create some space. Monreal claimed an assist for the second goal, too, this time from much deeper as his ball over the top was latched on to by Ramsey, allowing the Welshman to loft the ball over a stranded Janjetovic.

11.58amWanderers were struggling to really get at their opponents, but they did have a shout for a penalty rejected when Roly Bonevacia was sent to the ground by makeshift centre-back Mohamed Elneny. The Gunners were never truly troubled, though, and they had a third before the opening 45 minutes were out thanks to a heavily deflected Elneny shot, seeing the ball come off Brendan Hamill and fly past Janjetovic.

12.01pmHere is a reminder of both sides' benches at the interval. Arsene Wenger waited until around 70 minutes in to make a batch of changes against Sydney FC, so we can surely expect the same to happen today.

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS SUBS: Riera, Herd, Tokich, Hall, Thwaite, Summan, Cimenti, Russell, Leece, Maia

ARSENAL SUBS: Martinez, Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Bielik, Bramall, Coquelin, Nelson, Willock, Ozil, Walcott, Nketiah, Welbeck

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck reacts after a missed chance on February 15, 2014© Getty Images

46 minRESTART! We are back under way at the ANZ Stadium! As expected, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is holding off making his changes for the next 20 minutes or so, meaning that it is as you were in terms of the lineups.

48 minOxlade-Chamberlain turns on the pace to burst down the left. He wanted a penalty after being barged off the ball inside the box, but the referee decided against pointing to the spot after taking a second or two to consider the appeal.

50 minOFF THE BAR! Almost a world-class goal from Elneny, whose curled attempt comes back off the underside of the bar. Giroud could not quite direct the follow-up header on target, instead picking out the roof of the net.

52 minArsenal coming within the width of the bar of bagging a fourth of the afternoon, then, in what is proving to be a stroll. Wenger will be thinking about making those changes shortly, with some fresh legs only likely to see their dominance grow.

54 minThe Gunners really enjoying themselves now as they continue to knock the ball around in search of a fourth goal. A matter of when, rather than if, they will score again. The Arsenal fans in attendance - and there are many of them - certainly happy with this showing.

56 minSHOT! Maitland-Niles drifts forward and gets a shot away, which has the sting taken out of it on its way through to Janjetovic. The Gunners looking very lively but have been unable to add to their scoring in this second half.

58 minOFF THE BAR! An absolute rocket from Jack Clisby. The defender put his foot through the ball, but saw the crossbar keep out his attempt. Arsenal panicked and Ospina picked up a back-pass, so a chance for Wanderers to pull one back.


60 minAm indirect free kick was awarded to Sydney following that back-pass infringement, with Lustica taking it on from six yards out. Arsenal blocked the initial attempt but he was able to blast into the roof of the net from the follow-up attempt.

62 minWESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS SUB! A little over an hour played in Sydney and we may have a game on our hands once again. Riera and Herd, two of the new signings brought in by Popovic, come on for the final half an hour.

64 minXhaka with a nice flicked pass into the box, but Iwobi and Ramsey get in each other's way. A little too easy for the Gunners at times, as a shot from range is blocked aside. Wanderers holding on a little at the moment.

66 minSAVE! Riera with his first involvement since coming on, getting the ball out from under his feet and sending a shot on target for Ospina to keep out. That looks like the cue for Wenger to make an array of substitutions.

68 minARSENAL SUBS! Wenger makes 10 changes to his side with 22 minutes on the clock, as was the case against Sydney FC. Among those to come on is Mertesacker, taking over the captaincy duties for the remainder of the match.

70 minIt may take the Gunners a little while to find their rhythm after completely changing their outfield side. Wanderers have themselves made a few changes in this second half, including the recent arrival of marquee signing Riera up top.

72 minArsenal not really able to create too much at the moment. Good build-up play from Walcott to move away from his man, but his final ball towards second-half substitute Nketiah was overhit and the attack came to a premature end.

74 minRiera certainly has something about him. The Spaniard cuts inside and has enough room to fashion a shot, which is dragged wide of goal in the end. A second Sydney goal will make things very interesting at the ANZ Stadium.

76 minAnother positive run-out for Wenger's men, then, and a successful tour in front of a combined 160,000 spectators. They will now jet off to the Far East for games against Bayern Munich and Chelsea, before heading home for the Emirates Cup.

78 minThere has been no real sign of either side scoring since those changes were made 10 minutes ago. Arsenal still the team on top but they are struggling to carve their opponents open, with a corner into the box being collected by Janjetovic.

80 minSAVE! Ten minutes for Wanderers to find some momentum and bag themselves a second goal, though on the basis of what we have seen since Lustica's well-taken strike, that appears unlikely to happen. Walcott's curler is easily saved.

82 minA few big challenges come in to prevent Arsenal from creating space for a shot. Willock is illegally fouled around 22 yards from goal by Robert Cornthwaite, but he avoids a booking. Good shooting position from the free kick.

84 minOFF THE POST! Mesut Ozil takes on the free kick 22 yards out, sending it over the wall but against the post. Janjetovic completely rooted to the spot, but he has the frame of his goal to thank for the second time in this second half.

86 minOzil with a second chance to convert from range, this time having more of an angle to work with from the free kick. A rather poor attempt in the end, though, with the ball hitting the wall and being cleared away to safety.

88 minSAVE! Good save from Janjetovic to keep out Walcott at the end of a real positive attacking move. The Gunners look as though they may have another goal in them on the basis of the past few minutes, as they move back through the gears.

90 minOFF THE POST! The frame of the goal is rattled for the fourth time in this second half. Edward Nketiah turned and got a decent shot away, which came off the post and was cleared away. The Gunners deserve another goal.


12.55pmThe referee blows his whistle for full time, meaning two wins from two for Arsenal on their tour Down Under. Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny - thanks to a big slice of luck - all netted for the Gunners to help them to a 3-1 victory. Western Sydney Wanderers gave a better account of themselves in the second half, pulling one back just short of the hour, but they could not build on that.

12.57pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while reaction from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will follow shortly. Thanks for joining!

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