• Arsenal 3-0 Manchester City, Community Shield

Arsenal take season's first blood

ESPN staff
August 10, 2014
Captain Mikel Arteta lifts Arsenal's first Community Shield since 2004 © Getty Images

Arsenal earned the first bragging rights of the season as they beat a lacklustre Manchester City side 3-0 in the Community Shield at Wembley.

Santi Cazorla opened the scoring on 21 minutes with a neat turn and finish from the edge of the area before Aaron Ramsey latched onto a loose ball after some good work by Yaya Sanogo to lash home from close range.

Olivier Giroud all but confirmed the result when he curled in a delicious finish from 25 yards midway through the second half.

City did not have any Englishmen in their starting XI - Willy Caballero started in goal ahead of Joe Hart - while Bacary Sagna watched from the stands against his old club, as did former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, signed on loan from New York City.

Arsenal fielded summer recruits Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy, with World Cup winners Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski all still absent ahead of next week's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.

Arsenal made most of the early running, as Sanchez combined well with Jack Wilshere.

When City did get a corner, former Arsenal forward Samir Nasri was loudly jeered by the Arsenal fans behind the goal - the French midfielder having labelled supporters of his old club "stupid" for their continued jibes since his big-money move three seasons ago.

Arsenal maintained pressure down the right, from where Debuchy - signed from Newcastle to replace Sagna - delivered a couple of decent crosses that were just too high for Yaya Sanogo, deployed as a central striker.

City's defenders could do nothing as Olivier Giroud let fly from 25 yards to all but seal the result © Getty Images

City felt they had a penalty claim on 14 minutes when Nasri crashed a shot at Debuchy, which the defender blocked with his chest at point-blank range rather than his arm, according to referee Michael Oliver.

The FA Cup winners were soon on the offensive again, this time left-back Kieran Gibbs marauding into the penalty area before his shot was blocked by Gael Clichy, another former Arsenal player now with City.

Arsenal were ahead after 21 minutes. Sanogo and Wilshere worked some space at the edge of the City penalty area, before the England man was upended by Dedryck Boyata.

The ball broke left to Cazorla, who sidestepped Clichy before sliding a low shot back across Caballero and into the far corner.

Sanogo then dragged a shot wide from the edge of the City penalty area as the Premier League champions were opened up again.

City showed a bit more invention as the first half drew towards a close, but lacked any real penetration in final third. Edin Dzeko powered his way into the left side of the Arsenal penalty area, but his cutback towards Stevan Jovetic was blocked.

Arsenal doubled their lead after 42 minutes with a simple goal, yet one of the highest quality.

Sanchez's ball from the right was held up at the edge of the City box by Sanogo. The France forward showed great strength to lay a pass back to Ramsey, who stepped past his marker before clipping the ball into the net and wheeling away in celebration - just as he had done at the other end in the FA Cup final here some 12 weeks ago.

The second half saw the expected substitutions by both teams. Arsenal replaced Sanchez with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo with Giroud and Laurent Koscielny with Nacho Monreal. For City, David Silva replaced Nasri.

The Premier League champions looked more lively following Silva's introduction and Jovetic saw his header strike the post following a deep right-wing cross by Jesus Navas.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny then produced a good save as he stopped a low effort from the Montenegro forward.

On the hour, Giroud cracked in a sublime third.

There seemed little on for the France forward when he picked the ball up some 25 yards from goal, surrounded by three defenders. But that did not matter as Giroud promptly fired in a rising effort which nicked off Matija Nastasic and into the roof of the net.

The closing stages were low key, but the end result will nevertheless give Arsenal fans hopes they may just be able to last the distance with City when the action gets under way for real next weekend.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright shares a joke with Arsene Wenger before kick-off © Getty Images
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