Ozil, Lacazette dazzle Singapore crowd as Arsenal put five past PSG

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette were the stars of the show as Arsenal sealed a 5-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the International Champions Cup in Singapore.

Mesut Ozil enjoyed a stellar night at the Singapore National Stadium where he captained Arsenal to a 5-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain at the International Champions Cup.

Ozil opened the scoring in front of the 50,308-strong crowd before Christopher Nkunku leveled the score in the second half. Alexandre Lacazette’s brace along with Rob Holding and Eddie Nketiah’s goals ensured the Gunners went home smiling.

Despite Unai Emery putting out a strong starting lineup with Ozil as captain, it was the Ligue 1 Champions who came out on the front foot in the opening ten minutes.

Adrian Rabiot carved out the first opportunity for PSG in the ninth minute when he made a surging run down the middle before putting Azzedine Toufiqui through on goal, only for the latter to skin his shot over.

It was Christopher Nkunku who had the next chance three minutes later when he skimmed past Henrikh Mkhitaryan but his ball across goal was collected by Bernd Leno in goal.

That missed opportunity resulted in Arsenal breaking down the other end with Mkhitaryan providing a peach of a ball over the defence to play Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang in and he drilled the ball across goal for Ozil to score the opening goal of the game.

Alex Iwobi and Aubemayang had two golden chances to double the advantage in the 23rd and 28th minute but Gianluigi Buffon was on hand to thwart their efforts on both occasions.

PSG began to find their rhythm and almost found an equaliser in the 33rd minute when Timothy Weah’s long-range screamer had to be palmed away by Leno.

Weah was in again five minutes later when Toufiqui drilled a cross in from the right but the former’s cheeky backheel narrowly missed the mark.

Emery brought on Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey for the second half but it was PSG who looked the more threatening in the opening stages.

Nkunku rifled in a free-kick on 50 minutes but substitute goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off a superb save to keep his team in the lead.

Controversy struck in the 59th minute when Timothy Weah was hacked from behind by Sead Kolinasic but referee Nathan Chan waved play on, only for his linesman to reverse his decision and a penalty was awarded.

Nkunku walked up to the spot and fired in an unstoppable spot-kick into the top left corner to make it one apiece.

PSG’s joy didn’t last long as the Gunners retook the lead seven minutes later through Lacazette.

Substitute Emile Smith Rowe who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes put in a pinpoint cross from the right and the Frenchman was at the near-post to clip his shot past a hapless Buffon to make it 2-1.

Lacazette doubled his tally in the 71st minute when Buffon failed to clear a cross and the ball fell to the striker who made no mistake with Arsenal’s third goal on the night.

There was still time for the Gunners to add a fourth and fifth goal through Holding and Nketiah in the 87th and 93rd minute to round up a fantastic night for the London giants.

The victory ends Arsenal’s ICC adventure in Singapore while PSG will take on Atletico Madrid on Monday to conclude the 2018 ICC tour.

Arsenal Starting XI: Bernd Leno (GK), Sead Kolasinac, Hector Bellerin, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkrodran Mustafic, Matteo Guendouzi, Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

PSG Starting XI: Gianluigi Buffon (GK), Loic Mbe Soh, Alec Georgen, Kevin Rimane, Stanley Nsoki, Lassana Diarra, Christopher Nkunku, Adrian Rabiot (C), Antoine Bernede, Azzedine Toufiqui, Timothy Weah