Saturday September 8, 2018, Kick off 2p.m.
The Arsenal Legends Foundation Match
Arsenal Legends v Real Madrid Legends
The first time these 2 football powerhouses met in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium back in June the score was 2-1 to Real Madrid Legends. Real Madrid took the lead through their 2nd all time goal scorer Raul, however Arsenal hit back and equalised through Boa Morte but Guti has the last word by escaping two challenges and scoring past David Seamen.
Arsenal and Real Madrid fans will meet at the Emirates stadium for their second charity match in aid of the Arsenal foundation and I’m sure both club heroes will put on a show for the supporters. The Arsenal foundation was set up in 2012 to help young people, the club hold events/activities to raise awareness and money for charity.
Arsenal Legends Starting Line up –
Lehmann (GK), Cygan, Winterburn, Whyte, Upson, Silva, Pires, Rosisiky, Parlour, Suker, Boa Morte
Real Madrid Legends Starting Line up –
Sanchez, Pavon, Rivera, Raul, Morientes, De La Red Amavisca, Arbeloa, Victor, Sanz, Makelele
Atmosphere in the stadium is electric, good welcome for these legends.
Early chance for Raul, he was played in but miscued his effort, both sides missing early opportunities. Real Madrid have settled the better. Robert Pires is still as skilfull as ever taking it past players with ease but has lost that yard of pace. Rosisicky looks in great shape but has lost possession a few times in the early stages. Raul does not look a day older, but yet to get into the game. Ray Parlour has still got it, he pinged a great ball over to Pires on the other side of the pitch. At right back former striker Jeremie Aliadiere is playing in place of Chris Whyte, at 35 the former striker was playing for Lorient last season with the current Arsenal midfield sensation Matteo Guendouzi.
Raul with an excellent through ball to Morientes who was one on one, only had the keeper to beat but chipped straight into Jens lemans hands, big chance for the Real Madrid legends that. The link up play brings back memories from the two legends. 25 minutes played and the pace is slightly slow as expected. Its like going back in time, Makelele is doing his usual one-twos and sitting in front of the defence as protection. Brilliant link up play from Rosisicky & Aliadiere down the right ending in through pass to Silva who shot first time, great save from the goalkeeper. Straight after Pires takes a corner and plants one on Sukers head, who head over the goalkeeper but Real Madrid have a defender on the line.. the closest we have been to a goal. With 6 minutes left of the first half Morientes has a chance on goal. but unselfishly passes to Raul who’s shot is deflected behind for a corner. Ray Parlour still has a crunch tackle in him going right through the Real Madrid left back Amavisca.
To summarise the first half Real Madrid legends have shaded the possession an had chances themselves, however Arsenal have been the closest to breaking the deadlock with a header cleared of the line. Arsenal look happy to sit back an soak up the pressure, however I feel they lack the pace to kill Real Madrid.
Second half under way and immediately Jens Lehmann has to tip over from a Rivera chip, great save from the invincibles squad member. Great play down the right from Rosicky and Aliadiere who runs the length of the pitch and cuts back to Rosicky for a first time shot which goes past the post, SO Close.. 55 minutes gone and the game is slow lets hope the action picks up, fitness levels clearly showing, numerous rolling on/off substitutes from both sides. Who remembers former Bolton man Ivan Campo?! how can anyone forget that hairstyle, which is still the same by the way! Real Madrid looking the more likely to score now.. Arsenal manager David O’Leary up in the technical area now gearing his team up. For me the Arsenal stars of the show so far have been Aliadiere who has been an attacking right back today an has created numerous chances, Lehman has been been solid an made some excellent saves when called upon. For Real Madrid it has to be Makelele & Raul who both naturally so gifted and effortlessly made the game look easy. Raul comes off to a standing ovation in the 74th minute, both sides applauding the legend off. With 8 minutes left the second half has not lived up to the first half with less chances created by both sides. The attendance has been announced on the tannoy, 45,000! a brilliant turn out by the fans and for a great cause. 79 minutes have gone and the biggest cheer of the afternoon goes to Thomas Rosicky who goes off to a standing ovation. Last 10 minutes now and Arsenal star man today Aliadiere whizzes up the field and fires a shot which is magnificently saved by the Real Madrid keeper. In the highlights video there won’t be much to show in the second half with players finding it difficult to make the killer passes to open the teams up. With the final score 0-0 their will be a penalty shoot out ohhhh very exciting, finally some action. My moneys is on Arsenal purely as I rate Jens Lehamann at penalties.
With Eminem blaring out, Robert Pires is first up and smashes the penalty bottom left, great start. Velasco up next and goes the same way 1-1, very tense right now. Giles Grimandi next and smashes it top left, WOW what a penalty. Alfonso up next and its saved! Great save from Lehman. Matthew Upson scores bottom left crowd go mental. Butragueno rolls it in bottom left easy as you like. Man of the match Aliadiere plants his penalty dead centre great strike. Former Bolton man Campo up next for Real an he to scores. Oh wow goalkeeper Jens Lehmann scores the winning penalty wow the crowd give him the biggest cheer of the afternoon!.
There we have it fantastic afternoon at the Emirates, Arsenal win the penalty shootout with goalkeeper Lehmann stepping up to take glory, brilliant afternoon for the goalkeeper. The second half did not live up to the first with fewer chances but never the less it was all for a fantastic cause and to see these legends play today was a fantastic experience.
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Review by Click Magazine writer – Ravi