Nicklas Bendtner and Eduardo da Silva each scored two goals in a dominant first half as Arsenal rolled to a comfortable 5-0 preseason win over Szombathelyi Haladas in Hungary on Monday.
A penalty kick from Robin van Persie provided the final margin for the Gunners, as manager Arsene Wenger used 19 players in the early evening match, the team’s second friendly against European opponents since setting up training camp in Austria a week ago.
Bendtner opened the scoring just after the quarter hour, nodding home a fine cross from Armond Traore, who looked impressive during his time on the pitch. The Danish striker then set up Eduardo just minutes later, and the Brazilian-turned-Croatian slid a left-footed shot into the corner of the net to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead.
An Eduardo free kick from almost 25 yards out made the scoreline 3-0 in the 40th minute, and a wonderful curler from Bendtner after some fine buildup play gave Arsenal its four-goal lead at the break.
Commenting before the match to Arsenal TV, Bendtner addressed some rumors that AC Milan was interested in his services by saying that he was totally committed to Arsenal. “I haven’t heard anything about (that),” he stated. “As far as I know, I am totally with Arsenal. This is where I want to be. This is something special and I want to be a part of it.”
Weenger made eight personnel changes at the half, with Wojciech Szczesny replacing Vito Mannone in goal to play the second 45 minutes to share the clean sheet. The Polish keeper made a couple of outstanding saves and also saw a Haladas penalty kick go wide to keep the hosts scoreless.
Van Persie’s goal from the penalty spot came after a re-entered Bendtner was taken down in the box. The Dutch forward looked to have his own brace after heading home midway through the second half, but he was incorrectly ruled offside on the play.
In other first-team news for the Gunners, Arsenal’s Arsenal’s Carlos Vela scored a goal and set up two others as Mexico trounced the United States 5-0 in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in New Jersey on Sunday.
Entering the game as a halftime substitute after a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Vela provided the spark as El Tri ran rampant after the break. Five different players scored goals for Mexico, but it was Vela and Tottenham’s Giovanni Dos Santos who were the stars on the afternoon, giving their country its fifth Gold Cup title.
Vela will probably not join the Arsenal camp in time for its next preseason match, set for this Wednesday against Hannover 96 in Germany, as the Gunners round out their mini-European warmup tour before heading home to host the Emirates Cup on August 1 and 2.