Marouane Chamakh’s first-half goal was later canceled out by an equalizer from Pato as AC Milan held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw in a frantic Emirates Cup meeting today.
The Gunners were dominant for most of the match but as always, Wenger’s men were not as ruthless in front of goal and Milan looked to counter as Flamini twice threatened during the opening 45 minutes.
But Arsenal finally scored the opener after 37 minutes as Arshavin teed up Chamakh who slid home his debut goal with ease. The second-half was no different and with the likes of Vela and Walcott on, the hosts kept their command.
Even so, their failure to net a second meant Arsenal were always vulnerable to a sucker-punch from Milan and after 77 minutes, Pato provided just that. A dubious free-kick was given against Sagna, and Pato, arguably the shortest man in the box, headed home the visitors’ set-piece with his marker Vermaelen – who had actually made a fine display thus far – and goalkeeper Fabiasnki looking stranded.
Arsenal had their tails up again and substitute Mark Randall had a golden chance to convert home an immediate response from Wenger’s men. The youngster somehow found space in the area after being set up through a mistaken touch by Milan’s defender, but Randall shot straight at the goalkeeper and his rebound was parried away for a corner.
With the match now wide open again, Milan nearly secured an unlikely winner when Zambrotta’s ferocious shot from long-range struck the top-right corner of the crossbar late on. Arsenal searched a last-gasp goal but a 1-1 draw – which leaves both sides trailing to Celtic and Lyon on the Emirates Cup table – was inevitable.
Arsenal had been the better side on the day and a draw was not so fair to the likes of Koscielny, Wilshere and Chamakh who had looked inspirational, but pre-season games, for the sake of preparing and rectifying mistakes, are not supposed to perfect anyway.
And the Gunners will have the chance to put things right against Celtic on Sunday.
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