HELSINKI — Arsenal recorded a 3-1 victory over Manchester City in Helsinki on Saturday, while Liverpool slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Celtic in Dublin.
Arsene Wenger’s men produced a confident performance against the Citizens in their final pre-season friendly to claim a psychological edge over the title hopefuls ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Theo Walcott fired the London side into the lead after just nine minutes of play, drifting in from the right flank before lifting ball over the advancing Joe Hart and into the back of the net.
Despite the convincing nature of the final scoreline, City more than matched their opponents for much of the match – Arsenal managed just four shots on target during the entire contest.
However, they lacked a cutting edge in front of goal, with Wojciech Szczesny denying Edin Dzeko’s goal-bound effort.
At the other end of the pitch, Hart tipped a stinging long-range effort from Bacary Sagna against his post, but the scoreline remained unchanged as the two sides went into the half-time break.
Walcott’s pace and direct running was always going to cause City’s defence problems and he had a hand in Arsenal’s second goal in the 59th minute, setting up Aaron Ramsey for a simple finish from close range.
Hart was caught out of position just four minutes later as Giroud lobbed the England international to make it 3-0 to the Gunners.
After plugging away for much of the encounter, Alvaro Negredo got the reward his efforts deserved, holding off the challenge of Laurent Koscielny before firing under the advancing Lukasz Fabianski on 89 minutes.
Meanwhile, at Aviva Stadium, Liverpool were given a wake-up call by Celtic ahead of the new campaign, as they edged the Reds 1-0 thanks to early goal from towering striker Amido Balde.
The Merseyside outfit were found wanting in front of goal, having created a host of chances to draw level.