By Josh James in Beijing

Arsenal finished their three-day stay in China with defeat to Manchester City, but the overwhelming feeling remains that Arsenal's Beijing experience was a hugely positive one.

The magnificent Bird's Nest Stadium was three quarters full for the match, with Arsenal fans easily outnumbering their Manchester City counterparts - in fact the Premier League trophy was roundly booed when City briefly paraded it before kick-off.

It was a shame, then, that the fanatical Gunners support didn't have at least a goal to cheer, though Arsenal did everything but find the net at a sodden Beijing National Stadium.

Once the post-match media commitments were fulfilled the team immediately headed to the airport for the three-and-a-half hour flight to Hong Kong - the third and final destination of the 2012 Asia Tour, Presented by Emirates.

Up until the game the last day in China, in contrast to yesterday's hectic schedule, was an altogether more sedate affair as the team prepared for the evening's game - the showpiece occasion of the tour. The players were left to their own devices at the five-star St Regis Hotel in Beijing, other than a stretching session in the lavish surroundings of the grand ballroom.

Earlier that morning Arsène Wenger dropped in on a Nike Chance coaching session in Beijing, featuring 17 and 18 year-old aspiring footballers all hoping to make their way through a globally organised competition and earn a place in the Nike Football Academy.

After watching the session, Arsène gave the young players the benefit of his pearls of wisdom, telling them that technique was the most important area of their game to work on ("the quality of your first touch is the real secret of football") - but added coaches can only help improve players who want to improve themselves.

You can, of course, see more behind-the-scenes footage from the tour throughout the weekend on


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27 Jul 2012