Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 11th 2014 Contents BARCELONA, Spain---
Barcelona bolstered its
defense on Saturday by
acquiring Belgium inter-
national Thomas Ver-
maelen from Premier
League team Arsenal.
Vermaelen agreed to
sign a five-year contract
after passing a medical
exam, Barcelona said. He
will be presented at
Camp Nou yesterday.
Barcelona held off
interest from Manchester
United in Vermaelen to
clinch an undisclosed deal
with Arsenal that Spanish
media reports said was around €19 million
Vermaelen joined Arsenal in 2009 from
Dutch club Ajax and played 150 matches
in six seasons, scoring 15 goals. He was
the captain of Arsene Wenger s side for
the past two seasons despite only making
14 appearances last campaign.
The 28-year-old Vermaelen will now
be under the orders of Barcelona s new
coach Luis Enrique and will compete with
Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and fellow
newcomer Jeremy Mathieu for playing
time in the centre of Barcelona s defense.
Vermaelen is Barcelona s fifth significant
signing this summer after the Catalan club
finished its first season without a major
trophy in six years. Besides bringing back
Rafina and Gerard Deulofeu from loans,
Barcelona has also bought controversial
forward Luis Suarez, midfielder Ivan
Rakitic, and goalkeepers Marc-Andre Ter
Stegen and Claudio Bravo.
Barcelona opens its Spanish league sea-
son on August 24 against Elche.
LONDON---Arsenal prepared for the Premier
League season by collecting the Community
Shield with a 3-0 victory over Manchester
City yesterday, picking up where the team
left off at the FA Cup final by adding another
piece of silverware at Wembley. Santi Cazorla
and Aaron Ramey, who both scored in the
FA Cup triumph that ended Arsenal s nine-
year trophy drought in May, also netted
against City with well-taken first-half strikes.
A makeshift City was a shadow of the team
that won the Premier League for the second
time in three years in May. And Olivier Giroud
added to City s discomfort by scoring with a
dipping strike on the hour in the traditional
curtain-raiser to the English season between
the Premier League and FA Cup champions.
"We have a great team ethic, we are all
together and hopefully we can take that into
the season," Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere
said. Arsenal opens its Premier League cam-
paign against Crystal Palace on Saturday, look-
ing to win the title for the first time in 11
Winning the Shield might set the tone for
the opening weeks of the season, but is likely
to be forgotten by quickly. For David Moyes,
it counted for nothing that his brief and unsuc-
cessful Manchester United reign began by lift-
ing the trophy here a year ago.
Given how City s makeshift team performed
in the first half, with just four of the players
who started the title-clinching Premier League
finale in May, this game clearly ranked low
on the priority list.
Perhaps most surprisingly, England goal-
keeper Joe Hart was on the bench as new
signing Willy Caballero was preferred in goal.
But Hart, who was dropped during last season
and fought to regain his City place, saw the
recruit from Malaga concede three times.
At the first match at Wembley since Eng-
land s pre-World Cup friendly against Peru
in May, the shortage of Englishmen at top
clubs was exposed again. With Hart dropped,
City s starting lineup lacked a single English-
man while Arsenal had a core of three, includ-
ing new signing Calum Chambers who was
assured in defense.
Arsenal s trio of German World Cup win-
ners---Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas
Podolski---are still on their post-Brazil break.
But the cup winners, with $60 million-forward
Alexis Sanchez making his full debut, were in
control throughout against a City side that
provided little threat.
Just like in the FA Cup final win against
Hull, Cazorla scored Arsenal s first goal. Jack
Wilshere and Yaya Sanogo combined before
the ball broke for Cazorla to strike low into
the net in the 2st minute.
Sanogo dragged a shot wide and had a head-
er collected by Caballero before helping ensure
that Arsenal s cushion was doubled before
half time. Completing a swift break, the French
forward held off Dedryck Boyata before passing
for Ramsey to neatly stab the ball in the 42nd.
Although City appeared more effective at
the start of the second half, with Stevan Jovetic
denied by Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczes-
ny, the deficit was extended on the hour when
Giroud was given the space to send a dipping
strike past Caballero.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, August 11, 2014
MOSCOW---Hulk scored twice as Zenit St
Petersburg underlined its Russian Premier
League title credentials with an 8-1 thrashing
of Torpedo Moscow on Saturday.
The emphatic win sends Zenit provisionally
top of the table after two games of the new sea-
son, level on points with defending champion
CSKA Moscow, which beat Mordovia Saransk
1-0 earlier Saturday.
As well as the double for Brazil striker Hulk,
Zenit coach Andre Villas-Boas saw his other
strikers Jose Rondon and Alexander Kerzhakov
score two goals each. Also on target for the hosts
were full back Igor Smolnikov and midfielder
Oleg Shatov, before Dmitry Aidov managed a
late consolation for newly promoted Torpedo.
The match was played behind closed doors
as part of Zenit s punishment for an incident
last season when fans invaded the pitch and
one of them attacked a Dynamo Moscow player.
The win continues strong league form for Zenit,
who beat Arsenal Tula 4-0 last week, but were
made to work hard in Europe in midweek, even-
tually beating Cypriot club AEL Limassol 3-1
over two legs.
CSKA struggled to break down newly pro-
moted Mordovia, only prevailing after Seydou
Doumbia was fouled by his former teammate
Viktor Vasin and converted the resulting penalty
on 79 minutes.
Friday s games saw FC Ufa take its first Premier
League win in its second ever top flight game,
beating Amkar Perm 1-0. FC Rostov drew 2-
2 with FC Kuban.
Arsenal beats Man City 3-0
to win Community Shield
Arsenal's team celebrate their win against Manchester City with the trophy at the end of their English Community Shield soccer match at
Wembley Stadium in London, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Hulk double as Zenit wins 8-1 in Russian league
mier League champion Man-
chester City has completed the
signing of midfielder Bruno
Zuculini from Argentinian side
The 21-year-old Argentine
was part of City s pre-season
tours of Scotland and the United
States and scored in a friendly
against Kansas City.
Zuculini says he s "looking
forward to the experiences which
this move will bring and to
improving myself as a player."
Zuculini, who made 92
appearances for Racing Club, is
available to play in the
Community Shield against Arse-
nal at Wembley Stadium on
Man City signs Argentinian midfielder Zuculini
Barcelona signs Vermaelen
FC Barcelona's new Belgian Thomas Vermaelen. AP PHOTO
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