Podolski’s composed finish was a result of excellent build up play from Ramsey and Walcott, with the German striker making no mistake from the edge of the six yard box. Akpom’s winner was testament to the youngsters pressure on the defence whose shaky header to the keeper allowed the young forward to slot into an open net late on.
The win completes a perfect run for the Gunners on their Asia Tour 2013, it has been a challenging trip for the squad that has seen some of the youngsters step up and excite.
17-year-old Serge Gnabry earned a start against the Japanese outfit and dazzled on the left wing once again, his contributions not going unnoticed by the boss who has labelled the German as a “very interesting, promising talent”.
Much to the happiness of the home crowd Japan youngster Ryo Miyaichi got a second half run-out and continued his road to fitness after struggling with injuries last season.
Wenger feels the 20-year-old could have a part to play in Arsenal’s season however it depends upon the activity in the transfer market, so a loan move is not entirely off the cards.
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The Arsenal boss said at his post-match press conference:
[on the match] The game was played at a good pace, we wanted a competitive game and we were not disappointed. They tried to catch us on the break, defended very well and were very sharp on counter attack so it was a good test for us. We created many chances but I would like to congratulate Urawa Reds, they played very well.
[on Ryo’s performance] He has done well, you could see that he is finding his sharpness back. He was better here than in the other game [against Nagoya Grampus] and he is on the way up. He is fighting for his position like many players. I like his game.
[on whether Ryo will go on loan] I believe he is in a position where he needs to play to have a good chance of competing at the top level. At the moment he will stay in the squad. Should we buy more players I will have to reassess the situation. At the moment he will stay with us.
[on Gnabry’s display] He was very good as well. He is 17 years old and he has a presence, power, good technique and can play on both sides. He is a very interesting, promising talent.
Both Gnabry and Ryo can play a part in Arsenal’s season and with the lack of transfer activity it is unlikely either of the two will be loaned out this year. With Gervinho’s future also up in the air, the youngsters will get more of a shot to step up and be involved should the Ivorian be sold.
If you are after some highlights from the match check out Arsenal’s official website who have granted free access to Arsenal Player.