Match Report: Viking FK 0-8 Arsenal

santi

An emphatic display from Arsenal saw them sensationally rout Norwegian outfit Viking FK 8-0 in what was their penultimate game of pre-season.

After missing a penalty and only leading 1-0 at the break, an incredible flurry of goals in the second half saw the Gunners rip their opponents to pieces as both Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi grabbed a brace each.

Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom all managed to get on the scoresheet as well whilst an own goal from Viking defender Michael Haukus summed up the misery felt by the home side.

Arsenal dominated the first half but were unable to capitalise for the most part, with Santi Cazorla’s penalty well saved after Mathieu Debuchy had been tripped in the box. Shortly after Mohamad Elneny came close to scoring with his headed effort saved at close range by Austbe in the Viking goal.

The away side did manage to break the deadlock in the opening half, however, and again it was Elneny from a corner who was at the heart of it. Shortly after his first effort was saved, he took a second opportunity to this time head across the goal and towards the back post, where Joel Campbell was waiting to tap home.

Viking made a number of changes at half-time as they had a league game to prepare for Sunday, and after featuring a number of youngsters the vastly more experienced Arsenal side began to run riot. It was Cazorla who got the ball rolling and he banished memories of his missed penalty as he scored with wonderful left-footed from outside of the box, evoking memories of his form in his debut season back in 2012/13.

Moments later it was the much maligned Theo Walcott who managed to notch his first goal of pre-season, controlling the ball inside the Viking area before then drilling the ball hard and low into the far corner of the net. It only got worse for Viking when shortly after Walcott’s strike, their defender Haukus inadvertently¬†bundled the ball into his own net to make it 4-0 to the Gunners.

The beleaguered home side couldn’t even make it to the hour mark before conceding again, and this time it was Campbell who scored his second to inflict even more pain on the opposition. After a clever back-heel from substitute Alex Iwobi, Campbell found himself bearing down on goal and he took the opportunity with aplomb as his driven strike rattled off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net.

5-0 up and with 20 minutes still left on the clock, Arsene Wenger decided to make some changes and the likes of Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Gedion Zelalem and Chuba Akpom were all introduced to give them chances to attack a tired and despondent Viking defence.

The changes did not signal a respite for Viking as Arsenal’s refreshed attacking unit continued to apply pressure. Alex Iwobi, who’d come on at half time, got himself a quick fire brace after first being set up perfectly by Cazorla before Reine-Adelaide then set him up to score a well taken goal into the far corner of the net.

The rout was concluded with an eighth goal minutes from the end as Chuba Akpom was quick to jump in on Hector Bellerin’s saved shot and make it 3 goals in his last 3 pre-season games. He had missed a great chance moments before but did well to take the second opportunity presented to him.

All-in-all it was a great evening for the Gunners even though they were facing weakened opposition, and they look far more prepared for the start of the season than they had done in the first game against Lens two weeks prior. The final test of pre-season comes against Manchester City in Gothenburg on Sunday and the likes of Granit Xhaka, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez – all absent today – should all feature.

Man of the Match: Santi Cazorla

Callum Perritt

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