Post-Match Report

Everton 1-3 Arsenal - Match Report

Mesut Ozil

Everton -

Singapore National Stadium
Barclays Asia Trophy
Barclays Asia Trophy
  Arsenal
      
                  Walcott (22)
                   Cazorla (58)
                   Ozil (62)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Walcott (22)
Cazorla (58)
Ozil (62)
3 1
  Everton
      
              Ross Barkley (75)
          
   crest
Everton
Ross Barkley (75)

By Chris Harris at Singapore National Stadium

SUMMARY

Arsenal are heading home from Singapore in high spirits after a sparkling performance to win the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Theo Walcott's smart finish gave the Gunners a half-time lead but Arsene Wenger's side saved their best for the second half. Santi Cazorla fired in from the edge of the box after a sustained spell of pressure and Mesut Ozil added a third from Cazorla's second assist of the match.

There could easily have been more - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went close with a chip while Walcott and Olivier Giroud spurned good chances.

Everton were energetic before the break and scored a consolation through Ross Barkley, but they couldn't match Arsenal's pace and penetration - or their fitness. The benefits of intensive training sessions in Singapore were there for all to see as Arsenal kept their tempo high despite the humidity.

There was a notable 'debut' too as Petr Cech made his bow in an Arsenal shirt and that, like everything else, was lapped up by an appreciative, excitable crowd.

Having secured their pre-season silverware, the Arsenal players unfurled a banner to thank their supporters in this region. It has been a successful trip - and it could provide the foundations for a successful season.

TEAM NEWS

Cech's first appearance in an Arsenal shirt was the headline news before kick-off.

The former Chelsea keeper was one of 10 changes to Wenger's side as the manager made full use of his 27-man travelling squad. Only Jack Wilshere kept his place from Wednesday's win over a Singapore Select XI as the likes of Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Giroud got their first taste of pre-season action.

Walcott started wide of Giroud with Wilshere on the opposite flank and Ozil in the No 10 role. Per Mertesacker was rested so Cazorla led the Gunners out - just ahead of Cech - to face an Everton side that beat Stoke City on penalties to reach the final.

This was a Premier League clash on foreign soil but, aside from a pocket of noisy Everton fans behind one of the goals, it was clear where the local fans' allegiances lay. The virtually-full national stadium was a mass of red, white and yellow as the seventh Asia Trophy reached its climax.

FIRST HALF

It took a little over two minutes for Cech to get his first touch as an Arsenal player - to huge applause. But the club's new No 33 was only really troubled once in the early stages, helping to keep out Gerard Deulofeu's low ball across the six-yard box after the Spaniard had got away down the right.

Everton were busy, outmanoeuvring Arsenal in midfield every now and then with James McCarthy, Tom Cleverley and Gareth Barry a compact three in the centre. But Arsenal looked more creative in possession and started to pull their opponents out of position with clever passing and movement, especially out wide.

Walcott and Wilshere switched flanks occasionally to keep Everton guessing and the latter stormed down the left early in the game, only to be crowded out.

Giroud - who scored in both games against Everton last season - tried to slip a ball through to Ramsey inside the box but saw it intercepted. Ramsey did get a shot away when Ozil found him in a similar position but he dragged his effort just wide.

Walcott's last club game was the FA Cup final and he matched his unerring finish in that fixture with another well-taken strike in the 22rd minute. A burst from left to right was spotted by Cazorla and the Spaniard's lofted pass was buried past Robles.

Cech was called into action five minutes before the break, tipping Naismith's header onto his crossbar. The offside flag was up but Cech wasn't to know and his reflex save brought the second biggest cheer of the first half.

SECOND HALF

Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Wilshere at half-time and it was another England man, Walcott, who fired the first shot of the second half. It was deflected wide but it heralded a fine spell for Arsenal.

Walcott, dangerous from the left, collected a slick backheel from Ramsey and rolled the ball across goal where Luke Garbutt cleared.

Cech made a flying save from Garbutt as Everton responded, but Arsenal were straight back on the offensive as Cazorla tested Robles. Then Walcott dribbled a shot wide after Giroud miskicked.

Arsenal's dynamism and variety in attack was evident yet again when Oxlade-Chamberlain raced down the right and crossed for Giroud. The Frenchman arrived a fraction too late to nod it past Robles but the onslaught continued as Bellerin forced Robles to tip over.

The pressure finally told from the resulting corner. Ozil took it short to Cazorla and they swapped passes before the Spaniard dummied to shoot and cut inside on his left foot to arrow a low effort into the net.

Everton needed something quickly and they should have scored on the hour mark but Kone got his header all wrong from Phil Jagielka's cross.

Walcott bent a first-time effort over the bar after Giroud's excellent ball released Ramsey, but Arsenal did score a third from their next attack. Ozil found Cazorla and he slipped the ball back to the German for a cool finish.

Oxlade-Chamberlain's delightful chip floated wide before Barkley lashed a shot beyond Cech to give Everton a glimmer of hope.

By that point Mikel Arteta was on the pitch - his first appearance since November - and the captain and his team-mates held out comfortably to get their hands on some silverware.

On this evidence, there could be more to come.