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Pre-Season Friendly: Arsenal 3 Manchester City 1

10 August 2013 18:02

Arsenal issued a statement of intent ahead of the new Premier League season with a 3-1 win over Manchester City in Helsinki on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger's team completed their pre-season preparations in style as Theo Walcott starred, opening the scoring before Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey increased the gap.

The London side dominated throughout, leaving Manuel Pellegrini's side on the back foot in a confidence-denting encounter which saw Alvaro Negredo's 79th-minute effort provide scant consolation.

And after winning just half of their pre-season matches, the Chilean fielded a strong side for the event including new signings Fernandinho and Negredo.

But the Spaniard did not get off to the best start, tripping himself up while attempting an audacious backheel finish, although it would not have counted, with the linesman’s flag raised for offside.

It was Wenger’s side who seized the initiative in the eighth minute, however, as Jack Wilshere threaded a fine through-ball into Walcott who zipped past Gael Clichy before coolly lifting the ball over Joe Hart.

And while the early goal was somewhat against the run of play, Wenger’s men continued to hang on, showing stability in defence as Negredo’s effort was cleared off the line by Laurent Koscielny after the Spaniard had won the ball ahead of Wojciech Szczesny.

City continued to press, and they looked certain to equalise after 28 minutes when Edin Dzeko went one-on-one with Szczesny only to see the Poland international get his body in the way.

Koscielny was again on hand to block Dzeko after Negredo had got to the byeline to pull the ball back.

Half-time brought three changes for each side – with the winning team introducing Lukasz Fabianski, Santi Cazorla and Giroud while City added Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri and Micah Richards to the mix.

But it was Arsenal who profited from the changes as Ramsey stormed past the defence and rounded Hart to slot home to take his side 2-0 up after less than 60 minutes.

It only got worse from there for Pellegrini’s men as Giroud lobbed the England international just three minutes later after an exceptional through-ball from Walcott.

Giroud again had the ball in the net soon after, although he was adjudged offside.

City’s determination eventually paid off, with Negredo finally getting the reward for his relentless attempts, side-footing through Fabianski's legs after holding off the attentions of Koscielny.

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