Football: Attacking football on display as more than 50,000 fans witness Arsenal beat PSG 5-1

The 50,308 people in attendance is a new record for the Singapore leg of the International Champions Cup.
The 50,308 people in attendance is a new record for the Singapore leg of the International Champions Cup.ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

SINGAPORE - A crowd of 50,308 was treated to a display of attacking football as Premier League side Arsenal trounced French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain 5-1 in the International Champions Cup (ICC) at the National Stadium on Saturday evening (July 28).

The attendance is a new record for the Singapore leg of the ICC. The previous best figure was recorded last year when 48,522 watched the Chelsea-Bayern Munich clash and the new mark is just shy of the 52,107 who saw Arsenal play Everton at Kallang in 2015 during the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament.

The Gunners took the lead in the 13th minute when Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened up the PSG defence with a through pass for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who drifted into space on the right flank.

Before the opposition defence could reorganise, the Gabonese forward squared the ball for an unmarked Mesut Ozil to tap home.

But it was not all about the Arsenal No. 10. Starring opposite him is evergreen goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

The 40-year-old Italian pulled off three quality saves in the first half to deny Aubameyang, Ozil and Alex Iwobi to warm applause from the Kallang crowd.

After the break, PSG levelled the score after forward Timothy Weah, the son of 1995 Ballon d'Or winner George, was brought down inside the box in the 58th minute by left-back Sead Kolasinac. From the resultant penalty, French midfielder Christopher Nkunku sent goalkeeper Bernd Leno the wrong way.

However, the Gunners continued to pile more pressure and the French champions cracked in the 67th minute when Emile Smith Rowe, who turned 18 on the day of the match, crossed from the right for forward Alexandre Lacazette to finish.

And Lacazette got his brace four minutes later when Buffon's weak punch spun across goal gave the Frenchman an easy header in front of an open goal.

Even with a comfortable lead, the hungry Gunners wanted more and defender Rob Holding notched the fourth with a powerful header off a corner that looped into the net in the 87th minute.

And, in the final minute, 19-year-old English forward Eddie Nketiah broke the offside trap before firing home.

This year's ICC will conclude on Monday when PSG meet Spanish LaLiga giants Atletico Madrid.