Giroud grabs first-half hat-trick in friendly rout
The Frenchman, apparently unruffled by reports linking the Gunners to Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez, took his pre-season tally to five as Jack Wilshere made his bow
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chuba Akpom and Ignasi Miquel also found the net against the international minnows, while Jack Wilshere made his first appearance of the season from the bench.Arsene Wenger made five changes to the side which demolished the Indonesia XI on Sunday, with Bacary Sagna filling in at centre-back and Lukas Podolski and Giroud up front.
And inside five minutes they took the lead, with Tomas Rosicky dinking the ball cleverly in behind for Giroud, who smashed the ball low into the bottom corner.
Despite their obvious superiority, the Gunners looked lethargic and even a little jaded at times, and only Vietnam’s lack of attacking quality prevented them encountering more problems.
But in attack Arsene Wenger’s men were creating chances at will, and on 19 minutes Podolski headed over when found by Serge Gnabry’s inviting cross.
Nine minutes later the lively Gnabry’s incisive pass put Podolski clean through, but after dodging past two challenges, Giroud failed to read the German’s pass and the chance went begging.
Five minutes before the break Podolski went even closer, lashing against the post from the edge of the area, with Gnabry seeing his low first-time rebound beaten away.
Arsenal were playing well within themselves against the side languishing in 145th in the Fifa rankings, but two goals in three minutes before half-time put them firmly in control.
On 44 minutes Giroud capitalised on a poor defensive clearance to curl the ball superbly into the corner, and two minutes later he raced onto Oxlade-Chamberlain’s slide-rule pass to dink in.
Having completed his hat-trick the Frenchman was withdrawn at the break, but Arsenal showed no mercy in the second half.
It took barely a minute for substitute Theo Walcott to surge forward down the right and square the ball for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who curled the ball first time into the top corner.
Only 10 minutes later the Gunners were at it again – this time Aaron Ramsey dinked the ball through for Akpom, and Giroud’s replacement slotted calmly into the bottom corner.
Just before the hour mark the youngster had his second, tapping into an empty net after Oxlade-Chamberlain had strolled through a non-existent Vietnamese defence and squared the ball.
On 66 minutes Wilshere replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain, and eight minutes later the Gunners grabbed their seventh, as Miquel swept home after a neat exchange of passes with Ramsey in the penalty area.
Some 12 minutes from time Vietnam got themselves an unlikely consolation, as substitute Tran Manh Dung finished off a flowing counterattack with a slightly scuffed finish which looped into the net.
At the other end, substitute goalkeeper Tran Buu Ngoc saw red for handling outside his area late on, and Arsenal comfortably saw out the win.