By Chris Harris at Wembley
Arsenal experienced that winning feeling at Wembley once again as a polished performance saw off Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Santi Cazorla opened the scoring for the FA Cup holders with a low shot in the 21st minute and Aaron Ramsey added a second three minutes before the break, finishing expertly after good work from Yaya Sanogo.
The best was saved for last though, substitute Olivier Giroud producing a thunderous effort from 25 yards to put the seal on a eye-catching victory over a rather subdued City side.
This is the 13th time Arsenal have lifted the Shield in its various guises but it is the nature of the victory that will most please Arsène Wenger.
His replenished squad look fit, focused and fluent, and they will be on a high when the first points of the Premier League season are at stake against Crystal Palace next weekend.
After this triumph there will be talk of 'laying down a marker'. That can be overplayed, but momentum is vital in football and Arsenal have plenty of it going into the new campaign.
SETTING THE SCENE
Arsène Wenger selected three of his new signings for Arsenal's 20th appearance in this pre-season showpiece.
Alexis Sanchez was stationed to the right, ahead of Mathieu Debuchy, while the versatile Calum Chambers partnered Laurent Koscielny in the centre of defence. There were two changes from last weekend's Emirates Cup finale - Sanogo and Kieran Gibbs replacing Giroud and Nacho Monreal.
Like Arsenal, Man City arrived at Wembley without their World Cup finalists. Another notable absentee was former Gunner Bacary Sagna; his reunion with the club he left last month will have to wait until the teams meet at Emirates Stadium on September 13.
This was Arsenal's first Charity or Community Shield appearance since 2005 and their first at Wembley since 1999. The Gunners and City would share a little slice of history too - the first English game to feature 'vanishing spray' for free-kicks.
Heavy rain had drenched Wembley in the hours before kick-off but the sun was out - as it had been for Arsenal's FA Cup triumph - when the match began.
Arsenal were bright too, confident with the ball and energetic without it. Alexis spotted Jack Wilshere's burst through the centre as early as the second minute but the England man was crowded out. Then Cazorla tricked his way to the byline as City were put under more pressure.
The first serious chance came in the eighth minute when Alexis slid a clever ball inside Aleksandar Kolarov, Debuchy showed desire to get his cross in and Gael Clichy headed clear with Sanogo lurking.
The champions were chastened, but they burst into life in the 14th minute. Jesus Navas got the wrong side of Wilshere and he picked out Samir Nasri, whose low shot struck Debuchy on the chest. Alexis, showing his defensive qualities, did well to block the follow-up from Fernando.
Normal order was restored almost immediately as another slick Arsenal move saw Gibbs accept a return pass from Wilshere and get a shot away. Then, in the 21st minute, the goal Arsenal had threatened did arrive.
The ball was moved from right to left just outside the penalty area and, after Sanogo's pass to Wilshere ran loose, Cazorla steadied himself to shoot precisely into the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the box.
This was impressive stuff from Arsenal and they didn't let up. The influential Cazorla played in Sanogo but the Frenchman fired wide of the far post, then Cazorla himself saw a curling effort clip the heels of Clichy and go behind.
City looked lively on the break - not least when Edin Dzeko raced 50 yards to beat Chambers. But Arsenal ended the half on a high when Alexis picked out Sanogo's run and he found Ramsey, who cleverly flicked the ball over a defender's foot before slamming the ball into the net.
Jovetic was first to go close for the champions after 52 minutes, climbing to meet a cross from Navas which Szczesny bundled against a post. The Spain international got to the rebound but smashed it high over the crossbar.
The same man tested Szczesny even more a few minutes later, the Arsenal goalkeeper pushing out a strong arm to block a fiercely-hit drive from just inside the box.
A goal for City at that point would have changed the complexion of the game. Instead, the Gunners went three ahead with a blockbuster from Giroud.
Collecting a short pass from Debuchy, the Frenchman span and curled an unstoppable effort beyond goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
There was time for Joel Campbell to get a run-out - Arsenal's sixth substitute - but by now this surprisingly one-sided Community Shield had petered out.
Arsenal's excellence had made sure of that.
- Koscielny 46
- Sanogo 46
- Sanchez 46
- Wilshere 67
- Ramsey 83 Goal!
- Cazorla 70 Goal!
- Monreal 46
- Campbell 83
- Oxlade-Chamberlain 46
- Rosicky 70
- Flamini 67
- Giroud 46 Goal!
- Kolarov 75
- Reges Yellow Card
- Toure 60
- Navas 83
- Nasri 46
- Dzeko 60
- Richards 75
- Sinclair 83
- Silva 46
- Milner 60
- Zuculini 60