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Saturday 18 July 2015, 13:30
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  • Arsenal
  • Everton

Ross Barkley's thumping second-half effort in Singapore wasn't enough to prevent Everton suffering defeat in the Barclays Asia Trophy final.

With the Blues trailing 3-0 to goals from Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, Barkley unleashed an unstoppable drive high into Petr Cech's top corner.

But it was to prove only a consolation as Roberto Martinez's men missed out on the trophy in front of a competition record crowd of 53,000.

Martinez made eight changes to the side that started Wednesday's semi-final against Stoke City, with only Gareth Barry, James McCarthy and skipper Phil Jagielka retaining their places.

McCarthy had been a doubt after picking up an ankle knock against the Potters but passed a fitness test on Friday to keep his place in the centre of the park.

However, it was the incoming Gerard Deulofeu who caused Arsenal a few problems early on, the Spaniard's poke across the box after charging to the byline almost teeing up a chance for Arouna Kone.

Deulofeu Singapore

Yet Arsenal looked comfortable in possession and when they forged a chance for Walcott on 20 minutes, Joel Robles showed a strong hand to steer the England man's driven shot over the crossbar. That a late offside flag would have denied Walcott anyway did not detract from the Spaniard's stop.

Unfortunately for the keeper, he was powerless to keep out Walcott's next attempt just three minutes later.

Nipping ahead of Seamus Coleman to collect a fine ball over the top, the Arsenal forward made no mistake in firing low into the net.

Everton had to wait until four minutes before the break to register their best chance of the half - and when it came they were denied by the agile Arsenal new boy, Cech.

Asia Trophy Final

Luke Garbutt swung a free-kick brilliantly into the box, and though Naismith did well to meet it, his efforts were matched by the former Chelsea custodian, who kept his team in front by athletically tipping the ball on to the crossbar. Kone drilled the rebound in off Barry but the flag was up to frustrate the Ivorian.

Garbutt was continuing to impress at left-back and tested Cech with a powerful long-range effort on 52 minutes before Walcott gave the Blues a let-off by squandering a golden chance after a defensive mix-up.

Robles was also forced to push one over from Hector Bellerin on 57 minutes and, from the resulting corner, Cazorla shuffled into space on the edge of the box, then picked his spot low through a crowded box.

Kone headed over from a floated Jagielka centre on the hour-mark and Ozil quickly made it 3-0 to the Gunners, calmly slotting home from inside the box after being played in neatly by Cazorla.


In intense evening heat, Everton's hopes of overturning the deficit looked impossible but Barkley's effort - one worthy of any game - gave them hope.

Had Barry been able to get more power on a 79th-minute header from another decent Garbutt free-kick delivery, the climax may have provided greater tension than it did.

Martinez's men now head back to Finch Farm to begin preparations for next weekend's trip to Scotland and games against Hearts and Dundee.