JAKARTA (AFP) – Arsenal donned their new, Brazil-style away kit and played like five-time world champions as they blew away the Indonesia Dream Team 7-0 at the start of their Asian tour on Sunday.
Unveiling their yellow shirts and blue shorts in Jakarta, academy whizz-kids Chuba Akpom and Kristoffer Olsson scored on their first-team debuts as Arsenal poured on six goals after half-time.
England striker Theo Walcott got the opener on 19 minutes, Olivier Giroud grabbed a rapid-fire double and Lukas Podolski and fringe midfielder Thomas Eisfeld both scored late on.
Fittingly for the occasion, it was exhibition stuff and eclipsed English champions Manchester United, who lost 1-0 to the Singha All-Star XI in Bangkok in their first game under new boss David Moyes on Saturday.
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all have new managers this season, giving Arsenal hope that their stability under Arsene Wenger can finally help them end an eight-year trophy drought.
“It was a good game tonight, good technical skill. We could test some young players tonight,” said Wenger.
“It’s a positive night in a friendly environment. We were welcomed fantastically. I felt a little bit like we played like at home, such big support.”
The yellow-shirted visitors laid siege to the Dream Team goal from the start and academy striker Akpom, 17, passed up two good chances in the early minutes.
Akpom was only denied by some last-ditch defending when Aaron Ramsey’s dangerous ball to the far post was nodded back into the six-yard box by Walcott, playing on the right of attack.
The opener never looked far away and Walcott duly slotted it from the edge of the box on 19 minutes after neat skills from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, in a strike which was warmly applauded by Wenger.
Akpom was left frustrated when Oxlade-Chamberlain took on and missed a difficult shot into an empty net rather than pass to his team-mate for what would have been the simplest of debut goals.
Serge Gnabry, another youngster hoping to impress Wenger, was also doing his career prospects no harm and he nearly doubled Arsenal’s lead with a strong run and shot on 37 minutes.
The Dream Team were largely chasing shadows but they escaped to half-time without further damage — before the floodgates opened as Wenger threw on first-team regulars including Podolski, Giroud and Tomas Rosicky.
Gnabry laid on Akpom’s goal, a tap-in, after another marauding run down the left flank. Giroud also got off the mark from close range, on 70 minutes, before turning and blasting his second just three minutes later.
The inexperienced Dream Team were given some unsporting boos by the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium crowd as they ran out of legs against the Premier League outfit.
And Arsenal finished with a flourish of three goals inside the last seven minutes, starting with Podolski who received the ball from Tomas Rosicky and drilled home a left-footed shot in the 83rd.
Two minutes later, Swedish 18-year-old Olsson’s goal also came courtesy of Rosicky and Eisfeld then smashed in the final strike off the underside of the bar to bring up Arsenal’s seventh. Arsenal next head to Hanoi — where they will become the first Premier League team to play in Vietnam — and then to Japan, where their visit includes a game against Wenger’s former club, Nagoya Grampus