Emmanuel Adebayor scored two and made the other as Arsenal came from 2-0 down against Ajax last night in the Amsterdam Tournament.
The Gunners started the game well and should have been 2-0 up within minutes, but, as with last season, the Togolese striker needed to squander a couple of gilt edged chances before finally finding his scoring boots.
First Manu failed to convert when played in against the hosts' keeper following some great one-touch football from Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott. Then Ade-cool saw a shot blocked on the line as he latched onto the rebound from a superb Emmanuel Eboue shot.
But it was Ajax who opened the scoring when Luis Suarez volleyed high into Manuel Almunia's net in the 34th minute after Kolo Toure's poor header failed to clear the danger. And two minutes later Klaas Huntelaar doubled the advantage with a fantastic volley from the edge of the Arsenal penalty box.
Plaudits must be given, by the way, to Arsene Wenger, who must have been reading Arsenal Addict prior to kick-off as he chose the same team that I went for...
Le Gaffer opted for:
Bacary Sagna, Kolo Toure, William Gallas, Gael Clichy
Emmanuel Eboue, Cesc Fabregas, Denilson, Theo Walcott
Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor
Of that starting 11, Cesc was sharp again and Denilson looked very accomplished in the defensive midfield role. And for all of the Eboue haters out there, I have to say that the Ivorian was one of the best players on the park and it was the two Emmanuels that linked up for Arsenal's opener.
Eboue's strong 66th minute run down the right flank ended with him swinging in a pinpoint cross for Ade to rise high above the Ajax defence and power a header beyond the despairing Bruno Silva Barone.
A minute later Nicklas Bendtner replaced Theo and he didn't have to wait long to get in on the action, this time with Adebayor turning provider by picking out his Danish colleague with a pass from the byline for Bendtner to stroke Arsenal's equaliser into the net.
And the comeback was complete in the 83rd minute when Denilson showed his class by getting in behind the Ajax back four to set up Adebayor for a similar finish to the one converted by Nicklas.
All in all it was a good run out for Arsene Wenger's men, especially seeing as they play another Dutch side, FC Twente, in the Champions League in mid-week.
What was concerning, however, was the ease with which Ajax created their goals and it has to be said that our centre backs were at fault for both by not closing down their strikers quickly enough.
But the form of Adebayor should be enough to silence the boo boys fairly rapidly and if he can break the habit of missing the easy chances only to convert the trickier ones, we might just see him go on to smash his goal scoring record from last season.
I reckon that last night's starting line up will be what Le Gaffer sticks with in the opening games of the season, while the cameo appearances of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Philippe Senderos late in the game could also become a regular sight for us Gooners as the Arsenal bid to build an early season lead at the top of the Premier League table.
What did you make of last night's game? Is there any position in the Gunners' set up that you think should be strengthened? And what did you make of the strong performances of Eboue and Denilson? Share your comments here