Singapore - FA Cup holders Arsenal claimed more silverware and sent out a message
of intent for the new Premier League season as they overpowered Everton
3-1 to win the Barclays Asia Trophy on Saturday.
opened the scoring for the Gunners midway through the first half and
Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil struck in a four-minute spell after the
interval before Ross Barkley pulled back a late consolation goal for
Everton in front of a crowd of more than 52 000 at the National Stadium.
am pleased with this performance because the focus in pre-season is to
get the quality of our game back and for long periods we played in a
convincing way," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
the game tonight was a great advert for the Premier League in Asia and
for us it was a perfect trip because we had tremendous conditions,
fantastic fans and we had two convincing games with no injuries so
Playing his first game for Arsenal following
his transfer from Chelsea last month, goalkeeper Petr Cech was called
into action after eight minutes to smother Gerard Deulofeu's dangerous
cut-back from the right by-line.
However, the Gunners dominated
possession and they took the lead in the 22nd minute when Cazorla
chipped the ball forward from the centre-circle for Walcott who beat
goalkeeper Joe Robless in a race for the ball and fired home from the
edge of the Everton box.
Everton had the ball in the net in the
41st minute when Arouna Kone's shot was deflected in after Cech had
tipped a Steven Naismith header against the crossbar but the offside
flag had already gone up.
Cech made a fine save to turn away an
angled drive by Luke Garbutt early in the second half but Arsenal then
turned up the pressure with Walcott shooting narrowly wide and Robless
making good saves to deny Cazorla and Hector Bellerin.
Arsenal pressure finally told in the 58th minute when Cazorla received
the ball from Ozil on the right of the Everton box and cut inside before
firing a low shot past Robless at his near post.
Kone missed a
glorious opportunity to cut the deficit when he headed over an inviting
cross by Phil Jagielka on the hour and Arsenal took full advantage of
the let-off as Ozil played a one-two with Cazorla before bursting into
the box to fire past Robless.
Barkley got a consolation goal for
Everton with 15 minutes left, firing a rasping left-footed drive past
Cech from 20 metres after the Arsenal defence had been caught in
possession in their own half.
Despite the defeat, Everton manager
Roberto Martinez was pleased with the benefits that his side had gained
from taking part in the competition.
"In pre-season, you don't get
many opportunities to get a competitive game like that against the
quality of Arsenal and from that point of view, it was a great workout,"
said the Spaniard.
"Obviously we wanted to win and probably it
showed that we are in pre-season because the lapses of concentration
were very poor by our standard. But all in all, I thought it was the
perfect way to stretch the squad and test it, and I think that the
benefits from this tournament will be immense.
Stoke City had
earlier secured third place in the competition after goals in either
half by Steve Sidwell and Marko Arnautovic gave them a 2-0 win over a
Singapore Select XI.