World Football

Emirates Cup 2014: Examining Notable Scores and Performances

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Dani Parejo (R) of Valencia with the trophy after the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and AS Monaco at the Emirates Stadium on August 3, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2014

Valencia triumphed in the Emirates Cup 2014 as they beat Benfica 3-1 to claim the trophy on Sunday with Arsenal losing 1-0 to Monaco.

The Gunners missed out on winning their home pre-season tournament despite their opening 5-1 victory over Benfica on Saturday, denied a penalty late on against the Ligue 1 side. Per Bleacher Report UK:

However, Valencia were good value for their tournament win and will take heart ahead of the new La Liga season having finished a lowly eighth last term.

Here are the scores from the weekend's matches:

Emirates Cup 2014 Results
Aug. 2Valencia vs. Monaco2-2
Aug. 2Arsenal vs. Benfica5-1
Aug. 3Benfica vs. Valencia1-3
Aug. 3Arsenal vs. Monaco0-1
The Telegraph

Let's have a look at some of the notable performances from the action in pre-season in North London.


Sanogo Bags Four

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Yaya Sanogo of Arsenal celebrates scoring his 4th goal with fans during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Benfica at the Emirates Stadium on August 2, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The Gunners' opening 5-1 win was an all-round encouraging performance for Arsenal fans as well as something of a surprise as the often-underwhelming Yaya Sanogo scored four goals.

The 21-year-old French striker was much maligned last season as he failed to register a single goal, but his performance against the Portuguese side offered great encouragement in a superlative display, per football writer Iain Macintosh:

Furthermore, there were fine displays from a whole host of Arsenal players as boss Arsene Wenger laid plans for a title challenge in the new Premier League season, per French football journalist Julien Laurens:

However, as BT Sport's Jake Humphrey highlighted, the Benfica side at the Emirates was a far cry from the one that won the domestic treble in Portugal last season, although Arsenal still deserved credit:

Monaco presented something of a tougher challenge, and Arsenal looked far less convincing on Sunday, thus a perfect weekend it was not for the Gunners, but there were certainly encouraging signs. 


Falcao Returns

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Falcao of Monaco in action during the Emirates Cup match between Valencia and AS Monaco at the Emirates Stadium on August 2, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The long-awaited return of Radamel Falcao for Monaco saw the Colombian bag the winner against Arsenal in his first start in six months.

A first-half header from a free-kick was enough for Monaco to claim a good win, and the Ligue 1 side looked impressive, causing Arsenal plenty of problems.

Falcao's goalscoring return will be very encouraging for Monaco ahead of the new season, although the 28-year-old may be on his way to Real Madrid, per Agence France-Presse's Tom Williams:  

The fact that Valencia were able to bag two goals in their draw with Monaco and then beat Benfica 3-1 showed they were worthy winners of the tournament. However, as BBC Sport's Gary Lineker points out, there is very little relevance to pre-season games:

A strong tournament then for Valencia and Monaco, a shocker for Benfica and a mixed weekend for hosts Arsenal.

But with four quality sides on show, the competition will have offered each of them valuable preparation time ahead of their respective league seasons. 

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