Ade absent as Gunners draw at Bees

Emmanuel Adebayor was missing as Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw by Barnet in Saturday's traditional pre-season friendly at Underhill.

Last Updated: 18/07/09 at 17:42 Post Comment

Arshavin: On target at Underhill

Arshavin: On target at Underhill

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The Gunners are reported to have accepted a £25million offer for Adebayor from Manchester City, who are discussing personal terms with the Togo striker.

In his absence impressive academy product Sanchez Watt formed a first-half strike partnership alongside Andrey Arshavin in a starting line-up that blended youth and experience.

Tomas Rosicky made his first appearance since January 2008 following his recovery from serious hamstring and knee injuries.

The Czech Republic winger, who joined Arsenal in May 2006, floated across midfield and understandably looked off the pace, although he occasionally showed some neat touches.

New £10million signing from Ajax Thomas Vermaelen made his club debut and was the only player to feature in both halves with Arsene Wenger making 10 changes at the interval.

Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie and Kolo Toure were among the senior players absent for the Gunners.

Rosicky and Arshavin gave a tantalising glimpse of what could be in store next season as they combined cleverly to create a chance for Watt, who was denied by a smart save from Will Viner.

Barnet looked to capitalise on some lacklustre pre-season defending by Arsenal but were carved open themselves in the 44th minute when Watt picked out Arshavin with a pinpoint cross that the Russian buried.

The lead lasted only a minute, however, as Ismail Yakubu met Danny Hart's free-kick with an athletic glancing header that evaded Manuel Almunia on its way into the top right corner.

Individual brilliance by Dutchman Nacer Barazite restored Arsenal's lead shortly into the second half as he weaved his way to the edge of the area where he chipped the ball home.

Wenger had emptied his bench and this took its toll on Arsenal who looked far less menacing than in the first half.

Hart forced a robust save from Vito Mannone from long distance and then Vermaelen came to the rescue as Arsenal's defence began creaking.

It eventually cracked with eight minutes to go, Elliott Charles capitalising on the ongoing confusion to stab home from close range to earn Barnet a deserved draw.

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