The Emirates Cup went stateside after Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with New York Red Bulls this afternoon.
The game had barely started when the Gunners were dealt yet another injury blow. Jack Wilshere hobbled off after just 3 minutes with an achilles problem, replaced by youngster Benik Afobe.
Arsenal dominated possession, as you might expect, but Thierry Henry had the first real shot of the game, a low effort from outside the box that went just wide of Szczesny’s far post.
Benik Afobe then forced a good save from the NY keeper before Aaron Ramsey was wrongly given offside when clean through. Szczesny was then called into action, making a good save from an Henry free kick from 25 yards out.
Aaron Ramsey should probably have opened the scoring when he fired over from close range with his left foot. Gervinho then thought he should have had a penalty when a last ditch tackle in the box sent him tumbling but the ref waved played on.
If any of this suggests the game was in any way exciting I apologise because it wasn’t. Still, Arsenal took the lead in the 42nd minute, Tomas Rosicky curled in a free kick and Robin van Persie had the simple task of heading home from about 6 yards out.
Gervinho should have made it 2-0 moments later. Another great Rosicky pass put him clean through but his shot was saved.
The second half was more of the same as the MLS side struggled to get any kind of grip on the game at all. Arsenal cut them open at will, Benik Afobe showing some nice stuff, without quite finding the final ball.
Chamakh and Vela replaced van Persie and Gervinho as Arsene Wenger shuffled his forward line. It was Henry who had the next chance though, a typical sidefooted effort but which was easily dealt with by Szczesny.
Arshavin, Bartley and Eboue then came on for Afobe, Koscielny and Sagna, while the Red Bulls brought on Wayne Rooney’s little brother. Who is not as ugly as Wayne but clearly football talent in the Rooney family is directly proportional to ugliness so he probably wishes that he too had a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle. That had been smashed in with hammers. The face. Not the nettles.
Despite Arsenal having all the possession and all the no chances New York equalised in the 84th minute. A corner wasn’t cleared very well, Thierry Henry played a ball which cut the Arsenal defence open and when some bloke crossed it Kyle Bartley could only hammer it into the roof his own net.
The game finished 1-1, with some boos from the crowd, leaving New York Red Bulls the Emirates Cup champions for 2011.