It was strange for me sitting at the Emirates watching two sides that have nothing to do with Arsenal. It was obviously very care free and relaxed.
Valencia begun the match as the strongest team with PSG not being able to get near the Spanish side. The problem was that Valencia were playing long balls to David Villa which he really could not do anything with. PSG started to grow in confidence. Playmaker Gallardo was pulling the strings and the PSG players started using lovely drag backs and one twos to wow the Arsenal crowd.
At half time I sat in my seat with nothing but admiration for this PSG side. They lead 2-0 at the break and made Valencia look like mugs. The Spanish had to resort to fouling. I think I will adopt them as my French team. And try to watch some of their matches. They remind me of us. They eventually won the game 3-0 after dropping a level after the break.
A bit of a mixed up team for the Arsenal side. Youngster Kieron Gibbs started on the left wing which gives a little more indication to where Arsene wants to strengthen. Hleb continued in his role behind Robin Van Persie. The line up was: Lehmann, Sagna, Gallas, Toure, Hoyte, Eboue, Cesc, Flamini, Gibbs, Hleb, Van Persie.
Toure had an early freekick which was smashed over the bar, I am still waiting for one of those to go in. He must really smack alot of those in training for him to keep taking them.
Gibbs found himself in a good position after great work by Hleb but he lacked the composure to do anything with it
Robin Van Persie had many freekicks during the match. Only one was really close, it thundered over the bar. Van Persie is finding his range right now. He will have more success during the season.
Box to box midfielder Flamini had a low drive saved by the Inter keeper. Sagna also had a long range strike that was stopped by the keeper.
Emmanuel Eboue is really starting to show what he can do in this right wing position. His style is similar to Aaron Lennon. Maybe not as talented but he plays in direct zig zags in the way that Lennon does. Hleb and Rosicky will run square or diagonally inside a full back but the big difference is that with a real winger is that the winger will go outside and inside but make progress down the touchline. Eboue was causing the Inter back four all sorts of problems, even when the doubled up on him he still managed to exchange one-two's with Cesc or Van Persie and get the ball back in the box.
It will be interesting to see if Wenger prefers Walcott ahead of Eboue on the right.
Alex Hleb had another fantastic match. We haven't had a link man in that position since Dennis Bergkamp. They are different players of course. Dennis is a two touch player while Hleb is a dribbler. But they can both spot a run and match it with a complimentary pass.
Hleb is a playmaker, he isn't a winger. Arsene had been playing Hleb out of position. Alot of supporters have been on Hleb's back because of his tendency to give the ball away but playing him on the right wing limits his game, limits his passing options.
Zidane, Ronaldiniho, Bergkamp etc do not play on the right wing.
The trouble is that Tomas Rosicky would probably be more effected on the right wing as he is less of a winger than Hleb is. But they are both playmakers who need to be in central areas to make the most of their quality.
Arsenal had a penalty claim turned down when Cesc flicked a ball the ball into the path of Van Persie who was blocked off.
In true Arsenal fashion, Inter swung in a cross and David Suazo beat Gallas in the air and headered the ball past Jens Lehmann for another goal against the run of play.
It still looks like we have the same aerial problems at the back. Sagna looks steady at right back, doesn't provide that much in quality going forward but looks like he will shore up our defence (apart from crosses of course)
Eboue made another run down the right and crossed to our goalscoring creative genius, Hleb who sidefooted at Toldo, luckily the ball rebounded back to Hleb and he hit a left foot shot past the keeper for the equaliser.
Bendtner came on for Gibbs who done pretty well but looked a bit out of his depth at this level. So Hleb moved to the left wing and Bendtner partnered Van Persie. Arsenal stepped up the quality of football. Hleb, Cesc and Van Persie were playing some lovely one touch football around the Inter box and it almost came off.
Then the moment of magic that lit up the match. Robin Van Persie received the ball on the right side of the box on his left foot, he could not get a left foot shot away as he had defenders blocking his left side. Van Persie swivelled the ball around on his right side dummying the defenders and slamming the ball high into the net for the winner.
This was not Van Persie's best game for Arsenal but when it mattered he had the ability and confidence to come up with something special. If RVP can stay injury free then there is no doubt that he will be a huge player in the premiership this season and we have many amazing goals to look forward to.
Like many of our pre season friendlies so far there were a range of positives and negatives to take. We had important first team players in Gilberto, Rosicky, Clichy, Adebayor and Walcott missing from the line up and hopefully add Eduardo to that list makes a nice selection of quality players adding any additions that Arsene wants to make then things look good for the coming season.