Arsenal stormed to a comprehensive 3-0 Community Shield triumph over a lacklustre Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger's team ended a nine-year trophy drought by beating Hull City in the FA Cup final in May and the north London club returned to the national stadium to produce an emphatic display in the traditional season curtain-raiser.
Injuries and late returns from World Cup commitments combined to leave City without seven of the XI that sealed a second Premier League title in three seasons with a final-day win over West Ham in May, but Arsenal were also missing Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski, who helped Germany triumph in Brazil.
It was Arsenal who acquitted themselves to far greater effect in the first half, as showpiece new signing Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla all buzzed inventively behind Yaya Sanogo to torment City's outgunned midfield and makeshift back four.
Cazorla and Ramsey's goals for a 2-0 advantage at half-time were the least Arsenal deserved and, although David Silva's introduction sparked an improvement from City, fellow substitute Olivier Giroud secured the win with an excellent long-range effort.
Arsenal dominated the opening exchanges but clear chances evaded them, and it required a last-ditch challenge from Mathieu Debuchy to prevent Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri from breaking the deadlock against his former club in the 14th minute.
That chance did nothing to turn the tide for the Premier League champions, for whom Yaya Toure and Fernando were being badly overrun in midfield and the opening goal stemmed from Arsenal exploiting generous amounts of space in front of City's back four.
Wilshere went to ground under a 21st-minute challenge from Dedryck Boyata but the ball broke to Cazorla on the edge of the box, who shifted the ball onto his left foot to finish clinically.
Sanogo dragged wide following Cazorla's searching ball in the 25th minute and Fernando lunged to block a drive from the Spain international as Arsenal continued to swarm forward.
Another debutant Arsenal defender, Calum Chambers, made a timely intervention to deny Nasri with the goal apparently gaping on the end of Aleksandar Kolarov's 39th-minute cross, but Wenger's men grabbed a deserved second three minutes before the interval.
City were torn apart on the break and Ramsey collected Sanogo's pass, evaded Matija Nastasic with a cute touch and slotted home.
Sanchez had chances to extend the advantage in stoppage time and a ragged City backline were relieved to hear referee Michael Oliver's half-time whistle.
Silva's impact was instant as City resumed on the front foot and Stevan Jovetic headed against the post from Jesus Navas' 51st-minute centre before blazing the rebound off target.
Jovetic then received Kolarov's cutback to draw a sharp near-post stop from Wojciech Szczesny - the Arsenal goalkeeper's first save of note.
But Arsenal sealed victory in style after the hour, as substitute Giroud lashed a dipping 25-yard strike beyond Willy Caballero's despairing dive, the recent signing from Malaga having been preferred to England's Joe Hart in Manuel Pellegrini's line-up.
City's performance will evoke uncomfortable memories of a pitiful title defence in 2012-13, although their launch of that campaign with a swaggering Community Shield win over Chelsea perhaps undermines this fixture as a useful form guide. Arsenal will hope this fine showing carries far more significance.
|McCall: Rangers need a miracle|
|Sporting Kansas City 4 Dallas 0: Nemeth, Zusi destroy 10-man visitors|
|Geferson replaces Marcelo for Copa America|
|PSG captain Silva in doubt for Coupe de France final|
|Valverde: Bilbao to stick to style in Copa final|
|Youngsters promoted to Australia´s squad to face Kyrgyzstan|
|´Another round of indictments´ expected in FIFA case|
|Disappointed FFA, US Soccer still want change|
|Gutierrez: Ashley abandoned me|
|US senator urges Blatter to release Garcia Report|
|Gutierrez, Taylor released by Newcastle|
|Figo calls on re-elected Blatter to resign after ´dark day´ for football|
|Szczesny blasts father over ´idiotic´ comments|
|Blatter vows to leave ´strong´ FIFA|
|Blatter re-elected as FIFA president|
|BREAKING NEWS: FIFA elections set for second round of voting|
|Atsu wings in for Bournemouth campaign|
|Klopp: Pokal final not about me|
|Clement says Real goodbyes|
|Inter v Empoli: Icardi looking for final flourish|
|BREAKING NEWS: Blatter - I will fix FIFA|
|Northern Ireland v Qatar: O´Neill keen to prepare for Romania test|
|Palestine drop proposal for Israel suspension|
|Suarez will only get better, warns Iniesta|
|Martinez keen to recruit quickly|
|Monk keen to build on successful Swansea campaign|
|Fit-again Suarez set to aid Barca´s treble quest|
|Anonymous ´bomb´ threat received at FIFA Congress|
|Qatar organisers insist World Cup bid met ´highest ethical standards´|
|Wilkinson and Sorensen leave Stoke|
|Blatter: You can´t ask everyone to behave ethically just like that|
|Van Bronckhorst positive about Feyenoord future|
|Australian police to look into FFA-Warner dealings|
|Dardai signs Hertha deal|
|Protester interrupts FIFA Congress|
|Spurs complete Wimmer signing|
|Warner questions charges following release|
|Mexico v Guatemala: Herrera´s men kick off Copa preparations|
|New Zealand no longer supporting Blatter|
|´Post-World Cup trauma´ affected Mertesacker|
|Racing Club 0 Guarani 0 (0-1 agg): Draw sees Paraguayans through|
|Hamburg shocked by Karlsruher attack - Labbadia|
|Serie A Preview: Napoli, Lazio eye Champions League|
|Hodgson will not overstay England welcome|
|Scholes: United must keep Di Maria|
|Leyton Orient appoint Hendon|
|Benteke has a buy-out clause - Sherwood|
|US Soccer will support Prince Ali in FIFA election|
|Dynamo disappointed with officials after City friendly abandoned|
|Calls for Suarez appeal gather momentum|
|Eredvisie Review: Vitesse denied by late Uth goal, NAC Breda boost survival hopes|
|Rangers 1 Motherwell 3: McCall´s men facing uphill struggle|
|Hamburg 1 Karlsruher 1: Bundesliga side escape with draw|
|Blatter vows to lead FIFA clear of trouble as corruption scandal rolls on|
|Bundesliga: Bayern Munich season review - League crown not enough to signal successful campaign|
|Genoa forced to wait for UEFA licence|
|Injured Cardozo out of Paraguay squad|
|CONCACAF provisionally dismisses Webb and Li|
|Klopp: Career highlights of a charismatic coach|
|Verona v Juventus: Ogbonna seeks strong Champions League warm-up|
|FA charges Demetriou over betting breaches|
|Atalanta v Milan: Inzaghi faces last chance to prove worth|
|King joins Bournemouth as QPR rebuild begins|
|Plymouth part ways with Sheridan|
|Hernandez banned for three matches|
|Chelsea star Fabregas has nose surgery|
|Blatter: More bad news may follow|
|Galliani hopeful over Ancelotti deal|
|Frontzeck to continue as Hannover coach|
|Tremmel released as Tate waves goodbye to Swansea|
|Arsenal v Aston Villa: Sherwood out to upset holders|
|UEFA open to boycott of World Cup - Platini|
|Porto activate release clause for Casemiro|
|Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona: Catalans seeking second leg of treble|
|Auxerre v Paris Saint-Germain: History beckons for Ligue 1 champions|
|Cole confirms West Ham departure|
|UEFA elect not to boycott FIFA Congress|
|Borussia Dortmund v Wolfsburg: Klopp aiming for triumphant farewell|
|Flamini hails Coquelin impact at Arsenal|
|South Africa deny wrongdoing in World Cup bid|
|Benitez confirms Napoli exit|
|McShane among six released by Hull|
|Cerci committed to Milan|
|West Ham expect Collins to return for pre-season|
|Real deny Pogba bid|
|Important to keep Chelsea squad together - Mourinho|
|Alonso: Gerrard was magic|
|Pochettino silent on Ings speculation|
|Visa threatens to ´reassess´ sponsorship amid FIFA scandal|
|Blatter skips FIFA Medical Conference|
|MLS Preview: Revs not out for revenge against Galaxy|
|MLS Review: Sounders go top in West, Timbers and Galaxy win|
|AFC stands by Blatter|
|Matheus ´alright´ after collapse - Markevych|
|Copa Libertadores Review: River, Inter through to semis|
|Signing Toni a ´long shot´ for Adelaide|
|Ramsey good enough for Barca - Coleman|
|Bacuna pushing for Benteke stay|
|Evans stunner settles City friendly in Toronto|
|Banega: Emery a great coach|
|Emery tight-lipped on Sevilla future|
|Argentina finalise Copa America squad|
|Nike issues statement following arrest of FIFA officials|