Arsenal finished their last game of preseason the same way they started it, with a bang.
Man City have had a fairly eventful summer, having secured the signatures of Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Jovetic, and Alvaro Negredo, along with getting a new manager, Manuel Pellegrini. Arsenal, on the other hand, have signed Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer. What was the final score?
Arsenal’s starting XI was pretty strong, only missing one or two players that will probably start against Aston Villa. City’s lineup was also strong, starting some of their new boys who thrashed A.C. Milan 5-3. The game started off in City’s favour, playing at their own pace. City came close on a couple of occasions early on but the final ball was missing. Szczesny made a good save from Negredo but besides that, Arsenal were never really tested. Arsenal’s goal came almost out of the blue with Aaron Ramsey feeding a delicious through ball to Walcott who finished with aplomb. The speed and the direction of the pass from Ramsey was superb, especially as he was facing the other direction. Walcott still had a bit of work to do but he finished well, considering he had missed a couple of identical chances against Galatasaray and Urawa Red Diamonds. Arsenal only had one other chance coming from a thunderbolt from Sagna’s left foot. Joe Hart got fingertips on it as it hit the post.
The second half saw a few changes, including putting Giroud on for Podolski. You would have expected City to have come out with a bit more attacking prowess but it was Arsenal who wanted it more. Arsenal’s second was quite similar to the first goal, with Ramsey and Walcott linking up again, only this time it was Walcott who was provider. Ramsey rounded Hart easily and tapped home into an empty net. Two minutes later, Arsenal were three-up thanks to a wonderful ball from Walcott to find Olivier Giroud who lobbed the keeper to find the net. It was all too easy for Arsenal, giving the manager a chance to bring on some young players- including Sebastian Perez, Zelalem, and Isaac Hayden. Negredo scored a consolation for City in the 80th minute but it was too little to late as Arsenal ended the day champions of the Carlsberg trophy thing.
Individually, I thought the stand out players were Walcott and Ramsey. Aaron Ramsey has to be the player that has impressed me most this season, although Koscielny and Giroud have both been impressive. Ramsey’s passing and dribbling has been top notch, and he even managed to show composure to score a goal today. You get the feeling that he really wants to impress and improve his game each week, and for those reasons he has shown what type of player he can become. Overall it was a good victory for Arsenal. Nobody played bad and everyone got a chance to play. Perez looked like he had potential and from the little bit I saw of him today, I hope that he is given a contract. He looks like he has a bit of fire in him, something that Arteta doesn’t necessarily have. Arsenal looks to be in good shape for the start of the season, even without any new signings.