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August 10, 2013 3:00 p.m. IST
 
Negredo 79′
58′ Aaron Ramsey
 
 

Arsenal 3-1 Manchester City: Walcott helps Gunners blow away Pellegrini's men

The Premier League runners-up controlled possession but were put to the sword by a ruthless and clinical performance from the north Londoners, with the winger hugely influential

By Ewan Roberts

Kieran Gibbs & James Milner
Gettyimages
Arsenal laid down a marker ahead of the new Premier League season by defeating Manchester City 3-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki in the two sides' final pre-season fixture.

The Gunners took an early lead, somewhat against the run of play, as Theo Walcott raced through on goal and effortlessly chipped the ball into the back of the net.

The England international also had a hand in both the north London club's second-half goals, releasing Aaron Ramsey to double the lead before Olivier Giroud added a third with a fantastic lob, though Alvaro Negredo grabbed a late consolation for City.

Arsenal were close to full strength, with Laurent Koscielny and Jack Wilshere returning to the starting XI and Lukas Podolski starting up front ahead of in-form Giroud. Manuel Pellegrini also fielded a strong side, pairing Edin Dzeko alongside new-boy Negredo upfront.

Both sides came into the match off the back of defeats, against Galatasaray and Bayern Munich respectively. Although last season's Premier League runners-up controlled the opening exchanges, with Pablo Zabaleta overlapping to great effect, it was Arsenal who took the lead.

In a rare moment of possession after City's early dominance, Wilshere found a pocket of space in the hole and sent a wonderfully weighted through-ball behind Gael Clichy for Walcott. The 24-year-old latched onto the pass and sent a cute dink over the onrushing Joe Hart.

City almost produced an instant response. James Milner freed David Silva down the right channel and continued his run into the box. The Spaniard returned the ball, but Milner's powerful shot flew over the bar.

A long, hopeful punt into the box almost caused Wojciech Szczesny embarrassment, with Negredo out-jumping the Poland international before Koscielny booted the ex-Sevilla striker's acrobatic effort clear from beneath his own crossbar.

Arsenal were looking most dangerous on the counterattack, and it was another swift break that almost brought a second goal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fed Bacary Sagna, cutting infield, whose fierce low drive brushed the fingertips of Hart and smashed against the foot of the post.

Each side made three changes at the break, though City maintained their control over proceedings. Yaya Toure released Negredo with a floated pass behind the Arsenal defence, but substitute keeper Lukasz Fabianski rushed off his line and pushed the ball away from goal.

The 27-year-old, the fourth-highest scorer in La Liga last term, wasted another chance moments later. Once again breaking the Gunners' offside trap, the Spaniard collected Silva's through-ball but fired wide of the far post.

Negredo's profligacy would prove costly. Ramsey picked up the ball and drove forward, before playing an inventive one-two with Walcott. Half-time substitute Giroud dummied the winger's return pass, allowing Ramsey to burst through on goal, round Hart and pass the ball into an empty net.

Walcott turned provider again moments later. This time he arched a long-range, cross-field pass into the path of Giroud, who beat Vincent Kompany to the ball before executing a perfect lob from the edge of the box, leaving Hart helpless.

City's control of the ball finally paid dividends with time running out, as the previously wasteful Negredo raced through on goal, fending off Koscielny with astonishing ease to calmly rolled the ball under Fabianski – though it was too little, too late for City.


Arsenal FC

1
Wojciech Szczesny
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
Bacary Sagna
Defender
 - 
4
Per Mertesacker
Defender
 - 
6
 - 
28
Kieran Gibbs
Defender
 - 
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
 - 
10
Jack Wilshere
Midfielder
 - 
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
58′
 - 
15
 - 
14
Theo Walcott
Striker
8′
 - 
9
 - 

Manchester City

 - 
1
Joe Hart
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
 - 
4
 - 
6
 - 
22
Gael Clichy
Defender
 - 
25
Fernandinho
Midfielder
 - 
42
Yaya Touré
Midfielder
 - 
7
James Milner
Midfielder
 - 
21
David Silva
Midfielder
 - 
10
Edin Dzeko
Striker
 - 
9
Negredo
Striker
79′

Substitutes

21
 - 
45
 - 
25
 - 
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
 - 
58
Gedion Zelalem
Midfielder
 - 
12
 - 
14
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
29
Richard Wright
Goalkeeper
 - 
30
 - 
2
 - 
38
D. Boyata
Defender
 - 
13
 - 
14
Javi García
Midfielder
 - 
17
Jack Rodwell
Midfielder
 - 
15
 - 
8
Samir Nasri
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Own Goal
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  • Assist
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  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
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Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Jonathan Jonathan
Striker
Salzburg
1 1
Marco Reus Marco Reus
Midfielder
Dortmund
1 1
Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
Striker
Dortmund
1 0
Jakub Blaszczykowski Jakub Blaszczykowski
Midfielder
Dortmund
1 0
Marcel Gaus Marcel Gaus
Striker
Kaiserslautern
1 0