A full-strength squad completed a good work-out in Austria as the Gunners strolled 7-1 past SC Columbia.
Arsenal were in the ascendancy from start and as countless chances went begging, their Austrian opponents had backs to the wall for almost the entire first half.
But for the sake of the old Arsenal curse, even an opposition of SC Columbia’s caliber were capable of hitting the Gunners with a sucker-punch.
The hosts counter-attacked for once, Silvestre gained back possession and handed over to Almunia who was too casual to punt the ball and allowed Columbia’s gambling striker to deflect it home.
The same old story continued as in the wake of conceding that goal, Arsenal would start converting chances and leveled matters seconds after through Bedntner’s effortless tap-in off Diaby’s effortful set up .
They were by no means rattled by Columbia’s sucker-punch and moments later, Aaron Ramsey whipped in a low effort from far out to make it 1-2. Wenger’s men were finally cruising on the score board and the two goal scorers combined to get a third before half-time. Ramsey teed up Bendtner who rounded off the goalkeeper to finish with aplomb.
As a expected, Wenger rotated his selections after the restart and reserves goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, Kolo Toure, William Gallas, Bacary Sagna, Philippe Senderos, Alex Song, Armand Traore and Van Persie well all introduced.
With 54 minutes gone, Armnd Traore exposed his paced on the left and attempted a cross which struck the arm of a Columbia defender.
Van Persie – who was nearest to the incident – signaled the referee of foul play and Arsenal were awarded a penalty kick. The Dutchman was first to step up and put Arsenal 1-4 ahead without debate.
And for something you do not see everyday (but legible in a preseason match), Wilshere and Ramsey – replaced at halftime – were brought back on for Eboue and Arshavin who had racked up 70 minutes of action.
With Adebayor gone and some of Arsenal’s aerial ability in attack lost, Robin van Persie welcomed the task of providing headers as he met Sagna’s cross well in the air to give his side a 5-1 lead.
And there would be more headers.
Van Persie floated in a free-kick on 76 minutes and Arsenal’s big men kept the ball in the air for Gallas to head past Gerhard Taschwer who was replaced immediately after by his fellow goalkeeper.
After already netting a long-range effort in the first half, Ramsey added another goal to remember out of today’s many by smashing a left-footer home from a crowded box.
And for a match with little contest, the referee chose to end the affair prematurely by blowing the final whistle on 88 minutes.
It had been a simple exercise.