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Match Day
Ritzing
Ritzing 2-2 Arsenal
Pre-season friendly
Ritzing Stadium, Ritzing, Austria
Tuesday, July 22 2003, 7pm kick-off

ARSENAL
 Stuart Taylor
 Lauren
 Gael Clichy
 Martin Keown
 Pascal Cygan
 Ray Parlour
 John Halls
 Edu
 Kolo Toure
 Jerome Thomas
 Jeremie Aliadiere
SUBS
 Sebastian Svard
 Philippe Senderos
 van Bronckhorst
 Sol Campbell
 Fredrik Ljungberg
 Yaya Toure
 Gilberto
 Moritz Volz
 Graham Stack
RITZING 2
Sebasta 20
El Senosy 25
ARSENAL 2
Cygan 60
Ljungberg (pen) 85

FREDRIK LJUNGBERG netted a late penalty to deny brave Ritzing a pre-season victory in deepest Austria.

The home side, who play in the Fourth Division, raced into a two-goal lead against an Arsenal side still missing Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Sylvain Wiltord, Dennis Bergkamp, Ashley Cole and Robert Pires.

But the introduction of experienced internationals such as Ljungberg, Sol Campbell and Gilberto Silva turned the match after the break.

Manager Arsène Wenger was an unfortunate absentee as he opted to stay in London after suffering a stomach bug on the eve of the 10-day training camp.

And assistant boss Pat Rice selected a relatively inexperienced team, especially in attack, to start the first friendly game of the tour.

Jerome Thomas and Jeremie Aliadiere were paired up front, while John Halls and Kolo Toure occupied midfield roles.

But it was Ritzing who came racing out of the blocks and after a positive start they took a deserved lead on 18 minutes when Oliver El Senosy beat Pascal Cygan and supplied Roland Sebasta who fired in from the edge of the area.

Thomas went close to grabbing an equaliser, but home keeper Christian Stibl made a brilliant save.

And it was soon 2-0 as El Senosy made another big impact, this time turning neatly on the edge of the box before looping a shot over Stuart Taylor with the aid of a deflection off Martin Keown.

Thomas again had the best chance of responding, but fired over from Ray Parlour's neat lay-off, while Edu's 25-yard free-kick curled wide of the mark.

Rice made a handful of changes at half-time and then on the hour mark, with Philippe Senderos coming on and looking impressive in the centre back role.

Yaya Toure was also lively as he supplied a number of moments of magic and Sebastian Svard added strength in the midfield.

The recovery began on 59 minutes when Cygan powered in a header at the far post from Edu's pinpoint corner.

From that moment, it was all Arsenal, with Svard having a long-range header well saved and Aliadiere also denied by some inspired goalkeeping.

It looked as if tiny Ritzing would hold on for the win, especially when Sol Campbell's headed goal was chalked off for a push.

But with just a couple of minutes remaining, Yaya Toure skipped through the centre and won a penalty after being downed in the box.

Ljungberg took responsibility and calmly chipped the ball down the middle as the keeper chose to dive to his left.

Click here to find out a little bit more about our opponents, Ritzing.


   MATCH PICTURES 

Stuart Taylor keeps his eye on a high ball Aliadiere and Rusnak chase a loose ball
Jerome Thomas slides in Sebastian Svard holds off Pohweiser
Senderos congratulates goalscorer Cygan van Bronckhorst bursts past Raner
Parlour turns Okasek Freddie chips home the late penalty to secure a draw
 FIXTURE LIST    BACK  

 

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