Gunners see off Ajax
By Ben Blackmore
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Arturo Lupoli.
Arsenal exorcised a few ghosts by beating hosts Ajax 1-0 in their opening Amsterdam tournament fixture.
The Gunners finished bottom in their last appearance in the annual pre-season tournament, but they got off to the perfect start this year thanks to youngster Arturo Lupoli.
The first half saw both teams miss good chances, with Freddie Ljungberg the biggest culprit.
The Swede rolled wide with just the Ajax keeper to beat, and then fluffed an effort at a spectacular chip when it seemed easier to score.
Ashley Cole almost scored a marvellous goal not long before the break after a sublime touch from Thierry Henry, but the English left back poked wide.
The Arsenal defence were then generous in the space they afforded to Markus Rosenberg, who blasted over from 12 yards.
The second half saw more of the same, although the tempo did drop as players became tired, with Mathieu Flamini guilty of spurning the best opportunity as three Arsenal players queued up to score.
The telling moment came with just three minutes of normal time remaining, as Arturo Lupoli latched onto some fine work by Alexander Hleb to fire into the net from the edge of the area.
Angelos Charisteas still had time to hit the woodwork, but it was to be Arsenal's day in Amsterdam.
Arsene Wenger's only worry will be an injury to Phillipe Senderos, which forced the Swiss to be replaced by Pascal Cygan.