Former Chelsea star wrecks Arsenal’s hopes as Galatasaray win Emirates Cup
- Credit: PA
Emirates Cup: Arsenal 1 Galatasaray 2
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba returned to haunt Arsenal with a late double to inflict their first pre-season defeat and deny them the Emirates Cup.
With 12 minutes remaining, the Gunners led Galatasaray through Theo Walcott’s first-half strike – which would have been enough to secure the trophy for a fourth time.
But Drogba won and then scored a controversial penalty before adding a second goal to ensure that the Turkish side claimed the spoils ahead of Porto, Arsenal and Napoli.
New signing Yaya Sanogo almost made a dream start to his Arsenal career as he burst through in the first minute, but his low finish was comfortably kept out by Fernando Muslera.
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Another couple of opportunities fell to the former Auxerre striker in the first half – although he was adjudged offside for the first and ballooned the second into the stand.
Walcott should have put the Gunners ahead in the 19th minute, nipping ahead of his marker to meet Santi Cazorla’s sweeping crossfield pass, but he flicked the ball wide of both goalkeeper and post.
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However, it was the England international who broke the deadlock six minutes before the interval, exchanging passes with Mikel Arteta and curling a cross that eluded everyone and sailed in at the far post.
Galatasaray had barely mustered a shot on goal in the first half, but they threatened at the start of the second after sending on big-name substitutes Drogba and Wesley Sneijder.
Drogba and Nordin Amrabat both brought saves from Wojciech Szczesny, while Emre Colak blazed over from distance, but the Turks never managed to put Arsenal under sustained pressure.
An equaliser looked unlikely until it came out of the blue, with Drogba going to ground easily under the challenge of substitute Ignasi Miquel and dusting himself down to send Szczesny the wrong way from the spot.
Due to the tournament’s convoluted points system, that goal left Porto top of the table – but Galatasaray continued to press for a winner and they got it three minutes from time.
Sneijder cut in from the left and picked out Drogba, who turned Per Mertesacker and fired home on his left foot to spark celebrations from the Turkish supporters.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs (Miquel 67); Arteta; Walcott (Podolski 81), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey (Akpom 81), Cazorla (Zelalem 61); Sanogo (Giroud 61).