Arsenal vs. Vietnam: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
For the second time in as many matches on its Far East preseason tour, Arsenal made it look extremely easy in Vietnam on Wednesday, comfortably defeating the national team 7-1 in Hanoi.
Olivier Giroud was the star for the Gunners, recording a hat-trick before the halftime whistle even blew.
The Frenchman broke the deadlock just five minutes into the friendly matchup and then poured in two goals in a one-minute span right before the break to give Arsenal a 3-0 advantage heading into the dressing room, via Arsenal's official Twitter account:
As Matt Cotleur points out, there was very little lacking from Giroud's first-half goals:
Couple of great finishes by Giroud in this first half. Really quality goals. #Arsenal— Matt Cotleur (@AshburtonGooner) July 17, 2013
Arsene Wenger would pull out seven of his 11 starters at halftime, including Giroud.
The lineup overhaul didn't hurt the Gunners one bit, though. Just one minute into the second half, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored another goal to push Arsenal's lead to 4-0.
Following back-to-back goals from substitute Chuba Akpom, the Gunners effectively put the match out of reach, taking a 6-0 lead just under an hour into the friendly. At that point, the only question left unanswered was whether Vietnam would get on the scoreboard, via Arsenal on Twitter:
With the huge lead in hand, the Gunners began drifting from the game plan and made it their mission to put on a show for the 40,000 fans in attendance.
With just 20 minutes left to play, Wenger had already replaced Arsenal's entire starting lineup.
After Ignasi Miquel scored to add to Arsenal's commanding lead, Vietnam prevented the shutout when substitute Tran Manh Dung scored three minutes later to put the home side on the board, per Arsenal on Twitter:
Dung has given the Vietnamese fans something to remember, and now the hosts are pushing in search of another goal (80) 7-1 #VNvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) July 17, 2013
Dung would earn a yellow card immediately afterward for removing his shirt in celebration.
The lone red card of the match came late in the 89th minute, when Vietnam's substitute goalkeeper Tran Buu Ngoc handled Jack Wilshere's chip shot well outside the box.
Fortunately for Vietnam, the whistle blew just moments later.
Olivier Giroud, Arsenal: A
If you net a hat-trick before halftime, you're doing something right. Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud gave his squad a huge boost early in Wednesday's match, scoring five minutes in to put the Vietnamese on their heels for the remainder of the evening.
His two back-breaking goals before halftime also allowed Wenger to make a ton of changes at the break, thus avoiding potential injury to his stars in the second half, per Arsenal on Twitter:
HALF TIME: Vietnam 0-3 Arsenal - Giroud's fine form continues with a superb first-half hat-trick in what was a fairly low-key affair #VNvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) July 17, 2013
Tran Manh Dung, Vietnam: A
The lone man to score for Vietnam on Wednesday, Tran Manh Dung managed to give the home fans something to cheer about when he made a phenomenal play late to beat Damian Martinez and prevent any chance of a shutout win for the Gunners.
He also deserves credit for making the most of his celebration. It may have earned him a yellow card, but Vietnam had very little else to cheer about in this match.
Chuba Akpom, Arsenal: A
Seventeen-year-old Chuba Akpom looked like a seasoned veteran after coming on for the Gunners in the second half. Although a lot of that had to do with the less-than-stellar competition, credit the young forward for displaying patience in the final third.
Back-to-back goals from Akpom in a three-minute span made his squad's dominant performance on Wednesday look even more impressive.
|Wojciech Szczesny (Off 71')||A|
|Bacary Sagna (Off 71')||A|
|Carl Jenkinson (Off 71')||A|
|Laurent Koscielny (Off 46')||A|
|Kieran Gibbs (Off 46')||A|
|Mikel Arteta (Off 46')||B|
|Tomas Rosicky (Off 46')||B|
|Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Off 66')||A|
|Serge Gnabry (Off 46')||B|
|Lukas Podolski (Off 46')||A|
|Olivier Giroud (Off 46')||A|
|Ignasi Miquel (On 46')||A|
|Gedion Zelalem (On 46')||B|
|Theo Walcott (On 46')||B|
|Per Mertesacker (On 46')||B|
|Aaron Ramsey (On 46')||A|
|Chuba Akpom (On 46')||A|
|Ryo Miyaichi (On 46')||B|
|Jack Wilshere (On 66')||A|
|Damian Martinez (On 71')||B|
|Thomas Eisfeld (On 71')||B|
|Kristoffer Olsson (On 71')||B|
|Chuks Aneke (On 71')||B|
|Duong Hong Sun (Off 46')||D|
|Nguyen Gia Tu (Off 53')||C|
|Nguyen Minh Phuong||C|
|Le Phuoc Tu||C|
|Huynh Quang Thanh||C|
|Phung Van Nhien||C|
|Le Tan Tai||D|
|Pham Thanh Luong||D|
|Le Cong Vinh||C|
|Nguyen Trong Hoang||C|
|Nguyen Anh Duc||B|
|Nguyen Manh Hung (On 53')||C|
|Tran Buu Ngoc (On 46')||D|
|Tran Manh Dung||A|
For Vietnam, Wednesday's result is certainly disappointing but hardly unexpected. The squad ranked 145th in FIFA's recent world rankings and simply lacks the quality to hang with a top-flight European club like Arsenal.
Meanwhile, the Gunners should come away from this result with plenty more confidence as they continue their tour of the Far East. Arsene Wenger's bunch wasn't flawless, but they definitely lived up to the hype against a severely overmatched Vietnam squad.
In the end, it's only a preseason friendly, and titles aren't won in July.
Arsenal will have a few days off to rest before gearing up for Nagoya Grampus in Japan on Monday.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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