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Premier League's best youngsters are English

Tactics and Analysis 11 hours ago
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Jul 29, 2012

Arsenal held by Kitchee

Arsenal suffered another poor pre-season result as they were held 2-2 by Kitchee SC, twice falling behind to Hong Kong champions.

Highlights: Kitchee 2-2 Arsenal

Spanish striker Yago opened the scoring for the Asian side after a mistake from Ignasi Miguel, but Theo Walcott got Arsenal level as he fired home at the near post.

Abou Diaby was the provider, dispossessing Huang Yang in midfield and picking out the England winger, who slotted past goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng.

Kitchee almost retook the lead with an audacious free-kick routine two minutes later, when Jordi Tarres chipped the ball over the wall and Dani Cancela was just off target with an overhead kick.

But more poor defending handed them a second goal in the 29th minute as Yago was allowed to set up Cheng Siu Waii. His acrobatic effort was saved by Wojciech Szczesny but Cancela followed in to score.

The Gunners pressed in the second half as Arsenal's young forward Benik Afobe had chances either side of half-time, but hit the post with his first effort and then put a header over the bar from a good position.

Substitute Gervinho impressed and indeed it was he who raced past the Kitchee defenders with just over ten minutes left to cut back for Thomas Eisfeld to slot into an empty net for the equaliser.

However, Arsenal spurned late chances again - Gervinho almost grabbing a late winner with a backheeled flick that was saved by the legs of Wang - and manager Arsene Wenger will be certain that he has a lot more work to do before the start of the Premier League season.

Wenger said after the match: "I think defensively we looked fragile, especially in the first half. In the second half not so much because we were not challenged. Defensively we have a lot of work to do as a unit to do much better.

"We let everybody play and some players are not yet at the level of the Premier League. It is a learning process. If you don't do it in pre-season then you never do it - you give them a chance to see what is requested at the top level.

"I played all of the defenders during this tour to see who is ready and who is not. We have Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker at home - three experienced defenders."

Colin Kazim-Richards and Sam Baldock scored two goals in the space of three minutes to earn West Ham a 2-2 draw with German second division side Energie Cottbus in a friendly match at the Stadion der Freundschaft.

The hosts took the lead in the eighth minute after Daniel Adlung broke down the left and curled in a shot that slipped through goalkeeper Stephen Henderson's grasp and into the net.

The home side added to their lead on 42 minutes when Adlung scored his second of the match with a 20-yard shot that nestled into the bottom corner.

But West Ham got back in the game on 77 minutes as Kazim-Richards volleyed home from the edge of the area and they pulled level just two minutes later with a looping Baldock header.

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