Lukas Podolski and Chuba Akpom scored the goals as Arsenal recorded another win
Not their best performance of the tour but another victory for Arsenal and no injuries, so their tour concludes with thumbs up.
88 min: Sagna rushes to the rescue as Urawa threaten again. Arsenal counter-attack and could grab a third ... except Miyaichi goes for glory himself rather than pass, and the chances fades.
86 min: Good move by Arsenal, with simple passes by Miyaichi and Rosicky setting up Podolski, who finished weakly.
A lamentable mix-up in the home defence presents the youngster with a chance to slot into the net from 16 yards, which he duly does and then performs a neat celebratory dance.
80 min: Koscileny makes a crucial last-ditch tackle to again stop Urawa from inflicting a defeat on Arsenal, who are starting to look like they jsut want to get on the plane home.
79 min: The feistiness in the stands seems to have spilled over on to the pitch: Podolski squares up to an Urama player who was pretending to have been booted in the face by the German. The ref intervenes. "Thought you ought to know that feisty in Japanese is 'Sekkyoku-tekina'," educates Justin Moyse. "That would make you feisty just saying it!"
76 min: Miquel makes his first really positive contribution going forward so far, pulling the ball back from the by-line to Podolski, who shanked his shot.
Arsenal substitution: Walcott off, Akpom on.
73 min: Walcott clips in a corner, which Koscielny meets with a powerful header ... but only because he shoved the defender out of the way.
71 min: We have pictures again! And it seems that during out absence, Zelalem joined the fray. The lad is only 16: we can only hope he did not witness too much of whatever ESPN protected the rest of us from ....
Still no footage from ESPN. There must be some formidable smut going on. "Urawa Red fans are among the noisiest I've seen anywhere," gushes Dave Vickers. "I watched them get a whipping, 4-0, to my team, Kawasaki Frontale a few weeks ago, and their away support didn't stop singing or waving their flags throughout the whole 90 minutes. I guess you could call that feisty" If signing and flag-waving is all you need to be feisty, then there were lots of feisty folks outside a certain London hospital during the week.
65 min: Arsenal are in danger of being put to the sword: perhaps they took off Samurai Mertesacker too soon? Actually, Koscielny has just hurled himself at a cross and headed it behind for a corner before the lurking forward could convert. And on that note, ESPN lose their pictures again: we can only speculate as to what sort of obscenity has broken out. Yes, yes use this interlude to imagine obscenity. As usual.
62 min: Arsenal are slowly descending into a shambles. A definite lack of feistiness from the visitors, as Urawa play their way through them with ease. Fabianski rushes off his line to charge down a shot and prevent the hosts from taking the lead.
60 min: Much bouncing and drum-baning from the local following that goal by Abe (who, as his reward, has been substituted). "The Urawa support is indeed 'feisty'," confirms Justin Moyse. "They have the largest support by far in Japan and Saitama is the working class blue-collar suburb of greater Tokyo. Not many other supporters, bar Gamba Osaka, confront the Urawa Reds support."
Arsenal fail to deal with a corner at the near post and the ball bounces up to the home team's centrehalf, who walloped it into the net from eight yards!
56 min: Jenkinson concedes as foul after being turned inside out by the home winger. The ensuing freekick is flashed across goal, whereupon Fabianksi punched it out for a corner. "'Feisty' to an Arsenal fan could be someone stood up (probably northern) shouting loudly and maybe gesturing a bit!," guffaws Richard Walsh.
53 min: Walcott sent through one-on-one ... he tries to round the keeper ... but the keeper read his intentions and snaffled the ball.
52 min: Great run by Rosicky - whose has enjoyed a good tour, following from his fine end to last season - and he pulls the ball back to Walcott from the byline. The winger/striker/puzzle bangs it straight at the keeper.
Corner to Urawa as they try to respond. It's rubbish. "I'm an EnglishArsenal fan watching the game at Saitama Stadium," hurahs RIchard Carter-White. "It's very hot and humid, and the home support is quite feisty." Feisty, how? Have they been caught in a mosh, Celtic-style?
The subs combine to make the breakthrough. Ramsey slipped a cunning ball into Walcott (not a sub), who showed good presence of mind to take it in and then tee up Podolski, who rifled into the net from 15 yards.
Arsenal subs: Miyaichi, Rosicky, Ramsey, Jenkinson and Podolski are on. Giroud and Mertesacker are among those to have left. I'll update on you on the others as soon as I figure them out.
Not exactly high-octane stuff but reasonably diverting all the same. That's good enough on a Friday afternoon, isn't it? Right, so do come back for more in a mo.
41 min: Incredible! One of the players has just torn off his kit and ran around the pitch stark naked! At least that's one possible explanation for the sudden break in transmission by ESPN. Last I saw Arsenal had another freekick near the edge of the box ... then the plug was pulled ... and when we were allowed watch again, Urawa were on the attack and, indeed, Fabianksi was forced into a fine save, flinging himself across goal to tip a good effort around the post.
37 min: Arsenal are becoming increasingly dominant. A goal seems a matter not of "if" but of "when?". Or, given the significance of the game, "Meh, why?".
34 min: Arsenal besiege the Urawa goal, forcing two decent saves from the keeper and much panic before Oxlade-Chamberlain cracks a half-volley from the edge of the box against the crossbar!
32 min: Freekick to Arsenal about 25 yards out = prime shooting opportunity. Giroud steps up ... and his shot is deflected just wide. "I know you're supposed to be neutral obviously but I can't imagine you'd have this gig if you weren't a Gooner," deduces Tony Walton, wrongly. "The squad finished last season strongly enough to get our hopes rising to the boil - but now!? The French kid, the Brazilian kid plus Gnabry and Theo, Jack and The Ox playing like senior pro's…!! IT'S ALL TOO MUCH ~ gotta go & lie down in a cooool room." Yes, you do that.
30 min: Fabianki just doesn't reassure: he showed good instincts to dash off his line and intercept and dinked through-ball ... but then he spilled it. Sure, he recovered it quickly but still, this is the sort of shakiness that Julio Cesar would have been hoping to see.
28 min: A reasonable lob attempt by Giroud drops just wide.
27 min: Oh Theo! He squandered countless chances against Nagoya and he's just done it again. After a cutting Arsenal move, featuring another lovely touch by Oxlade-Chamberlain (or rather, a non-touch: it was a smart dummy), Walcott raced free on goal ... but blazed over.
23 min: A rather aimless spell as the teams appear remember that this is an essentially meaningless encounter ...
19 min: Wilshere is growing in prominence in the game, starting to run midfield, and the constant movement of Walcott, OXlade-Chamberlain, Gnabry and Giroud is giving him plenty of options.
17 min: Lovely interplay between Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain - featuring a super flick from the latter. WIlshere then slips a nice ball into the path of Walcott, but a defender hurries across to stifle the danger. "I once saw Doncaster play in a Brazil strip at the Orient on a bitterly cold January afternoon in the late 90s," recalls Ian Burch. "Whether this inspired the O’s I don’t know, but Donny were thumped 8 – 0 and ended up being relegated to the Conference that season."
14 min: Urawa are decent but Arsenal look capable of scoring every time they come forward, especially when they do it at speed following an unsuccessful home attack. Wilshere has just picked out Giroud with canny ball over the top but the striker's attempted lob was blocked in extremis by a retreating defender.
12 min: Gnabri, who made a strong impression after coming on against Nagoya, turns past the last defender but the home goalkeeper charges off the line to smother the ball.
10 min: Nice move by Urawa - and unconvincing goalkeeping Fabianksi, who fumbled a hard low cross from the right and was lucky that the forward poked over from a close range.
8 min: An Urawa move breaks down and Arteta sweeps the ball wide to Walcott, who dashes down the right and into the box before sliding the ball past the keeper from 16 yards ... and against the post! Arsenal regain possession and work it back to Walcott, who gets off another shot, this time with his right foot from 12 yards: his curler towards the far post eludes the keeper but is headed away by a vigilant defender.
6 min: Urawa have more about them than Nagoya did earlier this week and they're threatening to punish Arsenal's early sluggishness, moving the ball about with purpose.
4 min: A token attempted tackle by Wilshere on the edge of his own area does nothing to stop the Urawa winger from working his way into a shooting position but his low effort hurtles a few yards wide. If this were a competitive match, you'd bawl at Wilshere for making a such a flimsy attempt to intervene but in these circumstances his caution is understandable.
2 min: Arsenal kick-off and immediately begin knocking the ball, making the hosts scamper after the. After 90 seconds of exclusive Arsenal possession, Walcott is chopped down to give the tourists a freekick. He takes it quickly, slipping it to Sagna, who raids into the box before Urawa finally get a touch and clear.
So Koscielny has recovered from his ankle, which can only be good news for Arsenal and allows Sagna to revert to right-back. For those of you interested, Arsenal are wearing their yellow and blue gear that makes them look a little like Brazil. Or Crystal Palace from the mid-90s.
Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Miquel, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Giroud, Gnabry
Here's a link to footage of Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker dressed as Samurai warriors. Perhaps their Japanese hosts should respond by dressing up in some sort of German-themed garb. Could anyone lend them an outfit? Not you, Prince Harry ...
Welcome to the final match of Arsenal's two-week Asian tour, during
which they have won many hearts … or at least challenged for them in a
responsible manner, so Arsene Wenger's conscience is clear. Ah, but
that's an outmoded gag, isn't it? Because Arsenal are back in the big
time, as shown by their needlessly extravagant bid for Luis Suarez -
£40m plus £1 is 0.99p more than was required to trigger the odd clause
that allows the Uruguayan to arrange a deal that Liverpool can still
render redundant, which makes the clause of questionable use but there
can be no doubt that Suarez would be brilliant for Arsenal and if they
get him it will transform their prospects for the season ahead (and
Brendan Rodgers' quotes suggest he's banking on Suarez staying at Liverpool solely because of the club's ability to inspire inadvertent
exhibitionism by a Swedish politician). Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud is going about responding to all the speculation in the right way: welcoming the imminent arrival of top players while simultaneously banging in goals during the pre-season friendlies, showing that he will remain an
important player irrespective of who else joins. There have been other
positives from the tour, too: the whole team looks sharp, Jack
Wilshere is enjoying a full pre-season for the first time in a long
and some of the even younger youngsters have been highly impressive
(especially Gedion Zelalem). Still, it's not all rosy and, Suarez
aside, Wenger could do with flexing of his new financial muscle: you
fancy Arsenal would benefit from strengthening in defence, as well as
a truly reliable keeper, and if Arsenal really want to show they are
serious, they should make a move for Marco Verratti, who is currently
miffed with PSG and would be a superb addition to Arsenal's midfield.
As for today's encounter with Urawa Red Diamonds, who knows what we
could learn from it?