Arsenal started their season in style yesterday with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Manchester City to win the Community Shield for the first time since 2004, but it was the manner of the performance which will surely give Gunners boss Arsene Wenger most satisfaction heading into the new Premier League campaign.
Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy made their competitive debuts and each performed to a standard which suggests they are capable of having a huge impact at the Emirates Stadium.
Joel Campbell's late appearance from the bench meant Arsenal had four debutants in a single game for the first time since a League Cup tie with Shrewsbury Town in 2011, and the quartet had a day to remember in front of more than 71,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.
Perfect start for the Gunners
Wenger watched his side start with a drive and purpose that blew City away in the first half, with Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey on the scoresheet in shades of their dramatic 3-2 victory over Hull City at the same stadium in May.
Olivier Giroud rounded off the scoring with an absolute beauty from distance after the break, finding the back of the net from 30 yards with a clever curling effort which you can check out in the video below.
Manchester City will point to the fact they had no fewer than eight players missing thanks largely to World Cup exertions, but there's still plenty of reason for Manuel Pellegrini to be concerned ahead of their Premier League opener against Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
City facing a race against time
Wenger was crowing about the variety and depth of his attacking options after a resounding, morale-boosting win, but for every Arsenal positive there was a reason for Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini to be frustrated.
Admittedly City were without no fewer that eight star players thanks to World Cup exertions, but that can be no excuse for a string of perennial back-ups who looked some way short of match sharpness and failed miserably in their attempt to press home a first-team claim.
Summer signing Fernando was well of the pace and toiled in central midfield and he was far from alone, giving Pellegrini plenty to ponder as the likes of Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany slowly work towards full fitness.
The last three Community Shield winners have all failed to go on and claim Premier League glory, but try telling that to Arsenal fans who have every right to set their expectations sky high following a display full of vibrancy and purpose that could be a pre-cursor of things to come over the next 10 months.
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