Wilshere double downs Gers
Jack Wilshere bagged a well-taken brace as hosts Arsenal beat Rangers 3-0 to lift the Emirates Cup.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 02/08/09 7:05pm
Teenager Jack Wilshere bagged a well-taken brace as hosts Arsenal beat Rangers 3-0 to lift the Emirates Cup.
The 17-year-old midfielder opened the scoring in just the second minute and Eduardo confirmed Arsenal's dominance by scoring the Gunners' second goal in the 10th minute.
Rangers went close to pulling a goal back but Wilshere hit a fine second to seal victory late on.
Both teams named stronger sides than those that won on Saturday, with Arsenal starting with regular goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, captain Cesc Fabregas and Andrey Arshavin, who came off the bench to score both goals in the 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.
Wilshere also started after impressing off the bench against Atletico and he carried that form into the final by grabbing an early opener.
The youngster let the ball run wide to Fabregas on the right wing and the Spain midfielder chipped the ball into Arshavin inside the box.
The Russia striker laid the ball back to Fabregas with a deft touch with the outside of his right boot, and although a Gers defender nudged the ball away from Fabregas, Wilshere was on hand to fire home from 16 yards, despite Allan McGregor getting a hand to the shot.
Classy Arsenal continued to pour forward, with Arshavin knocking a long ball down for Fran Merida in the 10th minute.
The Spanish youngster had time to play in Eduardo in the right channel and the Croatia striker steadied himself before steering his shot past McGregor and in off the far post.
Rangers took time to get a foothold in the game and Arsenal's Mikael Silvestre turned a Pedro Mendes centre wide of his own goal.
Merida was narrowly wide with a 25-yard strike before Fabregas cleared a close-range effort by Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra off the line.
Wilshere was then denied a superb second just before the break as he beat two Gers defenders before attempting to chip McGregor from 20 yards but the Gers goalkeeper managed to tip the ball over.
The Scottish champions introduced Lee McCulloch, Kenny Miller and Nacho Novo for the second half and Steven Naismith had an effort blocked by Alex Song from a Novo cross.
Arshavin was just off target at the other end following good work by Fabregas but Rangers continued to threaten on the break and Almunia made a smart block from Naismith.
Sanchez Watt and Aaron Ramsey then came into the fray for Arsenal and they combined for fellow youngster Wilshere to make it 3-0 in the 72nd minute.
Bougherra tried to shield the ball out over the byline but Watt hooked the ball back for Ramsey, who picked out the run of Wilshere at the far post and he smashed in a right-footed half-volley from 12 yards without even breaking stride.
Miller dragged a shot wide late on for Rangers as they failed to claim a consolation in a hugely encouraging performance by Arsenal.