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First things first, a toast to what is hopefully the first of many more trophies for Arsenal this season. Well played in parts to the team to win the Emirates Cup. We were the only team to win in 4 games at the Grove.
The final score did not do justification to the control we had on the match against Celtic. But that is football. No one said that by playing well for 70 minutes would guarantee you the match, not even when a team is 3 nil up. For a moment there, Celtic looked like gaining their second comeback in as many days but Arsenal held out.
Two players who rarely get on the scoresheets, Carlos Vela and Bacary Sagna struck to give us a comfortable 2-0 lead going into half time. The highlight of the half did not belong to the goal scorer, but to Jack Wilshere instead. His controlled power on the volley straight from Tomas Rosicky’s corner was sublime. Too bad it hit the crossbar.
Samir Nasri continued his streak with the third for Arsenal as Theo Walcott supplied his second assist of the game after the earlier opening goal for Vela. Both have looked fresh in the pre-season and the season can’t come soon enough for them.
Laurent Koscielny continued his integration into Arsenal by getting another 20 odd minutes, replacing the excellent Thomas Vermaelen. He lost a couple of header challengers but more than make up for it with his calm reading of the game. Manuel Almunia also did well in goal, preventing a couple of attempts from Celtic. Although he did not have to do anything to stop Giorgios Samaras from skying a penalty kick.
Friendly it may be, but the way we conceded 2 goals in the space of 10 minutes was very bad. Both times, poor marking and lack of awareness of where the opposition is, put paid to Almunia’s hopes of keeping a clean sheet. Small details it may be but come the kick-off in 2 week’s time, these are the defensive errors which Arsene Wenger will need to drilled out of his team, if we are to harbour any hope of landing a silverware.
It’s back to the training ground for these players as the next game is not until this Saturday. Those currently out with niggly injuries will hope to recover in time for Legia Warsaw and show Wenger that they too deserve to start at Anfield.