Steven N’Zonzi’s superb goal gave Sevilla a 2-1 win at Arsenal in the Emirates Cup, but the hosts claimed the title regardless.
Alexandre Lacazette scored on his first home start for Arsenal as his side defended their Emirates Cup title, despite Steven N’Zonzi’s wondergoal consigning the Gunners to a 2-1 loss against LaLiga side Sevilla on Sunday.
Arsenal knew they were guaranteed to win the pre-season tournament for the fifth time if they avoided defeat against Sevilla, who had to win by two clear strikes due to the competition’s unusual awarding of an extra point for each goal scored.
Sevilla had already hit the post when they scored the opener after 49 minutes, Joaquin Correa swapping passes with Wissam Ben Yedder and beating the offside trap to slip a cute finish beyond Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Club-record signing Lacazette hit back for the tournament hosts, finishing off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low cross to score his maiden goal at the Emirates Stadium.
Sevilla went back in front through N’Zonzi’s exquisite strike, the reported Juventus target picking out the top-right corner with a first-time shot from 25 yards.
But Eduardo Berizzo’s men could not find a third goal that would have given them 10 points leaving Arsenal to top the standings on goals scored thanks mainly to their 5-2 win over Benfica on Saturday, despite the Spanish side winning both of their games having also beaten RB Leipzig 1-0.
Sevilla had the first clear chance after 14 minutes, but Wissam Ben Yedder’s effort struck the post after he was slid through on goal by Ever Banega.
With Arsenal employing the back three, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Hector Bellerin pushed forward and the latter blazed the England international’s cross over the top from six yards.
Danny Welbeck failed to test David Soria after outpacing Daniel Carrico, while Aaron Ramsey was off target after jinking away from three Sevilla defenders.
Nolito volleyed narrowly wide and Gabriel Mercado pulled an effort off target after robbing Joe Willock on the edge of the Arsenal box as Sevilla’s pressing caused Arsene Wenger’s men problems
And the Liga side took the lead shortly after half-time, Correa beating Cech with a neat finish after a clever one-two with Ben Yedder.
Lacazette could only pick out substitute goalkeeper Sergio Rico from Aaron Ramsey’s first-time lay-off as Arsenal sought an equaliser, but the striker found the net from his next opportunity.
Oxlade-Chamberlain showed pace and strength to burst down the right flank and, although Welbeck mishit his low cross, Lacazette was on hand to tap in at the back post.
That left Sevilla needing two goals to overhaul Arsenal in the table and they got one through N’Zonzi’s brilliant effort when a throw-in dummied by Ganso gave the midfielder space to bend in a whipped finish that gave Cech no chance.
But Sevilla failed to add a third and Arsenal’s rout of Benfica was enough to secure a second pre-season tournament title for Wenger’s side after their previous success at the International Champions Cup.
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