Arsenal continued their impressive start to their preseason campaign on Wednesday with a comprehensive 7-1 victory over Vietnam at My Dinh National Stadium.
But unlike David Moyes’ Red Devils, who crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Singha All-Stars in Bangkok last week, the Gunners have looked sharp after their summer holidays.
On Sunday, July 14, they thrashed the Indonesia Dream Team 7-0, following it up with another high-scoring victory just three days later.
Sure, it’s only preseason, and Vietnam are ranked 145th in FIFA’s world rankings, but Arsene Wenger has seen plenty to whet the appetite as the Aug. 17 kick-off draws ever closer.
But who will be happiest with another Gunners win and who suffered an afternoon to forget? Bleacher Report takes a look at the winners and losers from the My Dinh National Stadium clash.
Winner: The Running Man
For one fan, Arsenal’s trip to Vietnam has become one to remember—and not because he witnessed his team smash seven past the national team.
A video of the fan in question (above)—now dubbed “The Running Man”—has already notched up over one million hits on the club’s official YouTube channel after he ran for a reported five miles alongside the Arsenal team coach.
As the players sang “Sign him up! Sign him up!” he was eventually allowed on board, where he met the travelling squad, including manager Arsene Wenger, who signed his shirt.
What’s more, he led the team out for their clash with Vietnam on Wednesday, making sure he was the biggest winner on the day, if not the tour.
"It should be a message for all of you guys that if you really want to pursue your dreams, it can happen," Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny comments on the video.
For this fan, it most certainly has.
Loser: Tran Buu Ngoc
The goals had already been flying in for Arsenal by the time substitute goalkeeper Tran Buu Ngoc replaced Duong Hon Son at half-time.
But with the Gunners already three goals to the good, it took all of one minute after the interval for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to add to the scores.
It was an early sign that the Vietnamese stopper was in for a gruelling 45 minutes of his own, and it got worse 10 minutes later when Chuba Akpom scored to make it 5-0, adding Arsenal’s sixth in 59 minutes.
Miquel made it 7-0 with 15 minutes remaining, but it seemed Tran Buu Ngoc had had enough of conceding goals when he deliberately handled outside the box to deny Jack Wilshere at the death.
He received a red card for his efforts and although he faced some of Europe’s biggest stars on Wednesday, we suspect the Vietnamese stopper will be eager to forget this outing in a hurry.
Winner: Olivier Giroud
After a slow start to his Arsenal career, it seems Olivier Giroud just cannot stop scoring.
The French ace bagged 19 goals in all competitions for the Gunners in 2012-13 and already has five goals to his name during preseason.
Giroud scored twice in Sunday’s 7-0 thrashing of the Indonesia Dream Team, adding an impressive first-half hat-trick to his tally on Wednesday to give his team a comfortable three-goal half-time lead against Vietnam.
Arsene Wenger had seen enough to be impressed by that time, pulling Giroud off at the break to give him a much-deserved rest.
If the early signs are anything to go by, Premier League defences best watch out for Giroud next season.
Winner: Chuba Akpom
Replacing Olivier Giroud at half-time, Arsenal youngster Chuba Akpom had some big shoes to fill—and boy, did he fill them.
Yet to reach his 18th birthday, the England youth international is beginning to look like the real deal in an Arsenal jersey after impressing in the lower age groups.
He scored twice within 15 minutes of his introduction against Vietnam, adding to his strike against the Indonesia Dream Team three days previous. Had it not been for some desperate defending, he could have scored a hat-trick of his own, too.
Preseason is the perfect time for young stars to make an impression with the senior team, and Akpom, it seems, is taking his opportunity with both hands.