Aug 12, 2014

    Wenger: Gunners' 3-0 win sets the tone


    ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger felt his side have established a benchmark for their season after a convincing 3-0 win over Premier League champions Manchester City in the Community Shield.

    Substitute Olivier Giroud capped a one-sided victory with a brilliant 25m strike on the hour mark at Wembley on Sunday, after first-half goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey had put Arsenal in control.

    Arsenal's league title bid last season was fatally undermined by losses to their biggest rivals - including a 6-3 humbling at City - and Wenger is hopeful that the FA Cup winners have now turned a corner.

    "Winning today gives us a positive platform to prepare," the Frenchman told his post-game media conference.

    "You want to win the game and you want to look at the quality of the performance as well.

    "It was important for our confidence to win the game, but it was even more important to have a big part in the game with the quality.

    "And that is a comfort for me to see that we can produce the kind of quality that we have produced for some long patches in the game."

    Wenger was pleased by the performances of new signings Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez. He said that 19-year-old Chambers, who again played at centre-back, was "outstanding" and described Debuchy's display as "excellent". He also felt that Sanchez was "always a danger".

    The manager also revealed that Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta has succeeded Thomas Vermaelen as club captain following the Belgian defender's move to Barcelona, with Per Mertesacker named vice-captain.

    The pain of defeat for City was softened by the fact that they were without several key first-team players, including captain Vincent Kompany, right-back Pablo Zabaleta and striker Sergio Aguero.

    "It was not the day today to make pressure for different players. It was one game more for pre-season," said manager Manuel Pellegrini.

    "It is always bad to lose, but we don't need to worry."