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Jack Wilshere starred as the Gunners strolled to victory...

Arsenal 3-0 Rangers – Lineups/Stats

Emirates Cup


Arsenal were worthy winners of the Emirates Cup, beating Rangers convincingly at the Emirates stadium.


Arsenal went into the game knowing a draw was enough to win the tournament, while Rangers needed to defeat the Gunners to secure the trophy.


Arsene Wenger's side weren't tempted to take a defensive approach and dominated the game from the offset, with Arsenal leading by two goals after ten minutes. They naturally eased up after this point but still monopolised possession, creating chances effortlessly in both halves.


Rangers showed more fight in the second half, creating a few good opportunities, but the Gunners were too strong and extended their lead further to roll out 3-0 winners.


Jack Wilshere opened the scoring after 90seconds as Arsenal tore through the packed Rangers defence. Andrey Arshavin played the ball across the field, Wilshere left it for Cesc Fabregas who picked the ball in the right of the penalty area.


The Spaniard cut back into a pile of bodies but found Arshavin in the middle of the penalty area with a neat pass, who had made a run from deep.


Arshavin played it back towards the penalty spot first time, and the ball was picked up by Wilshere who struck the ball with his left foot. His shot spewed under the goal keeper and into the back of the net. 1-0 to the Gunners.


Arsenal were 2-0 up after 10minutes. Fabregas played the ball long and it was nodded back to Fran Merida by Arshavin, the young Spaniard then played a beautiful disguised pass to Eduardo who was attacking the right side of the penalty area.


The Croatian took a touch and cooly curled the ball into the far corner, with the ball going in off the post.


Rangers had their first real attack 18minutes into the game, Pedro Mendes swung in a corner from the right but it was dealt with comfortably by Alex Song and Arsenal cleared their lines.


Arsenal were caught napping in the 26th minute, Mendes was released down the right when a sloppy offside trap left Eboue lingering. The ex-Portsmouth midfielder crossed into the middle and Mickael Silvestre was uncomfortable as he turned the ball behind for a corner, nothing came of the chance.


Merida, who was having an excellent game, then tried his luck from 30 yards. His left footed strike was powerful but was watched comfortably wide by keeper Allan McGregor.


Rangers troubled Arsenal with a pair of set pieces just before the end of the half. The first came from the


Wilshere delighted with a piece of individual brilliance, moving across the edge of the 18 yard box lifting the ball over Mendes and controlling the ball onto his chest. He found himself outside the left of the box, and he attempted an audacious chip over McGregor in goal. The Scotsman managed to tip the ball over the crossbar.


Minutes later, Arshavin played an exquisite first time ball over the top of the defence from deep, releasing Eduardo for a one-on-one with the keeper. The Croatian lingered on the ball slightly and was closed by McGregor and the chance was gone.


Rangers were a little livelier in the second half, crafting an opportunity down the right with substitute Nanco Novo breaking into space. He squared the ball across the face of the goal, and Eboue challenged to deny Steven Naismith.


The ball fell to the back post and Song got across quickly and produced an excellent block to deny Rangers on the rebound.


At the other end Wilshere was involved again, laid off by Fabregas, the youngster showed quick feet in the box to engineer space, unleashing a flashing drive that just missed the top right-hand corner.


Rangers sprang on the counter attack on the 61st minute, Mendes released the Gers as they broke on the Gunners. Song slipped high up the pitch, as the last man, and allowed Steven Davis room to charge into.


The former Villian rolled the ball across the box to Naismith who was breaking into the left of the box, but the Scot wasted the chance and hit the ball straight at Manuel Almunia.


Substitute Herschel Sanchez Watt chased lost cause into the left hand side of the box, sliding in to win the ball back. It fell to Aaron Ramsey who crossed to back post where Wilshere arrived, hitting the ball on the bounce and smashing it into the top left-hand corner. 3-0 to Arsenal.


Substitute Kenny Miller had a good opportunity to grab a consolation four minutes from time, being slid into the right of the box, but he sent his shot well wide of the far post.


Arsenal played the game out, holding onto possession, and were crowned winners of the third annual Emirates Cup.


Owen Watson, Goal.com


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