Clydesdale Bank Premier League – Arsenal lift Emirates Cup
Arsenal won the Emirates Cup with a convincing 3-0 win over Scottish champions Rangers.
A Jack Wilshere double and an Eduardo (pictured) first half effort were enough to hand the Gunners their first trophy of the new season and consign Rangers to the runners-up berth.
It was all Arsenal in the first half, but the visitors were much more competitive in the second period until Wilshere finished them off with 20 minutes remaining.
The hosts took the lead in the north London sunshine with the first meaningful attack of the game when Andrei Arshavin set up Wilshire, whose left footed finish should have been stopped by Allan McGregor.
The ball found its way to the 17-year-old via Cesc Fabregas and the youngster’s second minute effort was too hot for the Rangers keeper to handle.
Arsenal doubled their advantage after 10 minutes when a cleverly disguised through ball from the industrious Fran Merida found Eduardo, who advanced into the area before calmly side-footing the ball past McGregor.
The hosts were carving out chance after chance with their slick passing and movement with Wilshere impressing in front of watching England manager Fabio Capello.
Indeed it was Wilshere who created the moment of the opening half when he took the ball casually past three Rangers defenders before hitting a chip that had McGregor scrambling to make a fingertip save three minutes before the interval.
Rangers closest opportunity of the opening half came after 27 minutes when Mikael Silvestre sliced a clearance narrowly wide of his own goal.
Rangers began the second period with a restructured team and considerably more passion in front of their sizeable travelling following and Steven Naismith had two chances to pull a goal back within 15 minutes of the restart.
Manuel Almunia had to be alert to thwart Naismith on each occasion however and the Glasgow side were made to pay by man of the match Wilshere after 71 minutes.
Madjid Bougherra attempted to usher an Arsenal through ball out for a goal kick, but was dispossessed and Aaron Ramsey and Sanchez Watt combined to set up Wilshere, who made no mistake with a confident finish from close range.
Kenny Miller could have pulled one back for Rangers late on, but the striker dragged his shot wide from a good position inside the Arsenal penalty area.
This was a satisfactory pre-season run out for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, who may just have unearthed another gem in Wilshere.
Sean Calvert / Eurosport