AFCi NEWS Borehamwood 2 - 5 Arsenal

Arsene Wenger's latest signing made his debut for Arsenal as the pre-season started in earnest with a comfortable victory over Ryman League Borehamwood last Friday. David Grondin replaced Nigel Winterburn just before half time and looked like a star in his first ever first team game for the club. He was assured on the ball, won virtually every tackle and header and sent over some telling crosses. By the time he came on, after Winterburn had hobbled off with a not-too-serious ankle injury, Arsenal were comfortably 4-1 up.

Stephen Hughes opened the scoring with a low shot into the bottom corner and it was his pass that gave Christopher Wreh the chance to double the lead. Rob Hollingdale pulled one back after a mistake by Matthew Upson but Remi Garde added Arsenal's third from the edge of the box.

The pick of the goals came from Nicolas Anelka, who caught the ball on the top of his foot and lobbed the ball with power past the despairing lunge of Borehamwood keeper Martin Taylor. Former Spurs forward Paul Moran could have reduced the home side's deficit three minutes from half time after Luis Boa Morte nudged Simon Ireland in the box. But Moran hit his penalty wide, prompting the end of the game as any sort of contest.

Arsenal brought on seven more substitutes during the second half, with Steve Bould and Stephen Hughes the only players with significant first team experience who played most of the game. Attacking opportunities were few and far between, although Steve Daly and Arsenal's Isiah Rankin added further goals in injury time.

Arsene Wenger was pleased with the performance and said: "It was a good friendly and a chance for some younger players to show what they can do. The game had a good pace and physical we were not bad."

ARSENAL
Manninger (Lukic 46)
Dixon (Crowe 46)
Winterburn (Grondin 43)
Upson
Bould
Hughes (T Black 65)
Boa Morte
Garde (Mendez 46)
Anelka (Day 65)
Wreh (Rankin 46)
Parlour (Vernazza 46)


Young Defender Scott Marshall has joined Southampton on a free tansfer under the Bosman ruling.


© Arsenal Football Club Plc, 1998