April 18, 2021, 5:05

Arsenal hammer PSG in International Champions Cup

Arsenal hammer PSG in International Champions Cup

Arsenal signed off the Asian leg of their International Champions Cup campaign with a 5-1 rout of manager Unai Emery’s old club Paris St Germain in Singapore.

The Gunners, who lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid two days ago, prevailed this time with Mesut Ozil’s early goal and two second-half strikes from Alexandre Lacazette putting them in charge after Christopher Nkunku had levelled briefly from the penalty spot.

There was then a late fourth from defender Rob Holding and an even later fifth, courtesy of Eddie Nketiah.

Ozil, whose retirement from international football with Germany sparked controversy, was named Gunners captain for this fixture and wasted little time putting his stamp on proceedings at the Singapore Stadium.

PSG’s Azzedine Toufiqui had already gone close with two left-foot shots when Ozil’s cross set up Shkodran Mustafi for a header which also flew wide.

But within a minute an unattended Ozil made sure himself, tucking in from close range after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had raced clear and crossed from the right.

Alex Iwobi’s right-foot shot was saved by Gianluigi Buffon – and although Toufiqui threatened again with a long-range left-foot shot wide before the half-hour, Arsenal were dominating.

Buffon saved twice more, from Aubameyang and then a testing shot from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Mustafi went close from Ozil’s cross – but Arsenal could not extend their advantage before the break.

Emiliano Martinez, who replaced Bernd Leno at half-time, kept Arsenal ahead with a fine save from Nkunku’s shot early in the second half.

New Arsenal manager Unai Emery had plenty to shout about after a wide-margin win over his old club (Daniel Hambury/PA Wire)

Timothy Weah missed from a tight angle, as did Adrien Rabiot with a header, as PSG applied more pressure.

Then after Sead Kolasinac fouled Weah to concede a penalty, Nkunku made no mistake to level up just before the hour mark.

Emery made a raft of four further substitutions – including Emile Smith-Rowe for Ozil – and less than three minutes later, the teenage midfielder helped the Gunners get back in front when he found the perfect cross for Lacazette to get in ahead of the defence.

The France striker confirmed Arsenal’s superiority with 20 minutes left when he doubled up with a close-range header.

Holding then emphasised the advantage with his header in the 87th minute, and four minutes into injury time Nketiah completed the rout.

Source: breakingnews.ie

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