Arsenal won the inaugural Emirates Cup beating Inter 2-1. The tournament format was such that you get an additional point for every goal scored. So Arsenal ended up clear winners with 10 point – 6 points for 2 victories and 4 for the 4 goals. The youngsters in the team showed their composure while still maintaining their passing game. They ran around the Italians weaving passes all over the field. This was a high class performance from the Gunners and definitely a notch above their previous match.
Hleb playing just behind the striker, Persie is a wonderful move by Wenger with Eboue playing ahead of Sagna and newcomer Kieran Gibbs playing in the left flank with Fabregas and Flamini in the middle of the park. Hoyte played on the left flank with Toure and Gallas the captain in the centre of defence. Lehmann was on duty under the crossbar. Playing in his first match for the senior team the 17 year old Gibbs showed that he was no kid when it comes to playing for the senior team. He showed his class and was given a standing ovation by the crowd when he was substituted. I am sure we will see more of him as the season progresses. Wenger has found the right positions for Hleb (one of the most under-rated footballers in EPL) and Eboue. Eboue’s combination with Sagna is something to be savoured for the future. I can see that partnership building slowly and steadily. Eboue’s forward play is gonna earn some penalties too.
Arsenal had all the chances in the first half and there were quite a few positives like the shot from outside the box which none of the players hit last season were all back. Persie had a freekick being saved by the goalie and another clipping the back pole. It was an eventful first half. As usual we concede the goal, which came out of nowhere. A precise header which beats Lehmann. And then the familiar story of having all the chances but taking none and the opposition taking it was coming to mind. And then Hleb takes the ball from Arsenal half, combines with Eboue and Sagna before getting it back scores a nice team goal. Scored were level. The commentator said “now somebody should step to the next level and win the match for Arsenal”. Persie heard it I guess because he comes up with a nice twist and turn and blasts it with his weaker foot to put it beyond the Italians. It was a fitting goal that could win any tournament.
Now there is hope. I think with this team we can look at a Top 3 finish which was looking difficult with all the transfers out of the club. Wenger may buy one or two more players according to him. But he knows whats best for the club.