Arshavin leads Arsenal to victory

LONDON: Russian international Andrey Arshavin came off the bench to score twice as Arsenal beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the Emirates Cup on Saturday.

All three goals came in the last five minutes.

Cesc Fabregas lofted the ball over to the back post from the right, where Arshavin arrived to volley past Sergio Asenjo.

However, German Pacheco then beat the offside trap to slot in an equaliser with just two minutes left.

In one final twist, Arshavin latched onto a poor backward clearing header from Tomas Ujfalusi to slot the ball in from the tightest of angles.

Arsenal welcomed back Czech winger Tomas Rosicky, who had been out of action for some 18 months with a string of niggling injuries, and his return was a welcome boost for manager Arsene Wenger following the loss of Samir Nasri to a broken leg.

The Spanish side, who started with former Gunner Jose Antonio Reyes in attack and were captained by ex-Manchester United forward Diego Forlan, could yet face Wenger's men again in competitive action next month in the Champions League play-off.

Earlier, Rangers defeated Paris St Germain 1-0 thanks to a 75th-minute goal from defender Madjid Bougherra.

"I am pleased we did not concede a goal and I am happy with the performance," said Rangers boss Walter Smith.

"Our goalkeeper (Neil Alexander) did not have a great deal to do but you could also put that down to Paris St Germain not having the sharpness in front of goal.

"The game on Sunday (against Arsenal) will be an interesting one to see how we stand up to that test." Smith was boosted by the return of Kevin Thomson who is stepping up his rehabilitation from a cruciate knee injury.

The midfielder suffered ligament damage last November and was not expected to return before this September.

The 24-year-old came on as a second-half substitute and Smith hopes Thomson he will be ready for a full 90 minutes before the end of this month.

"Kevin is back," said Smith. "But we have to take a little bit of care with him.

"It is part of his rehabilitation that we only want him to do a specific amount of minutes in games.

"But he is on target and hopefully we will have him available for a full 90 minutes before the end of August." Paris St Germain coach Antoine Kombouare was disappointed with his team's lacklustre showing.

"I am not happy because I don't like to lose," said Kombouare.

"The team was not really passionate and didn't show any aggression. They worked hard and we were good in our organisation. But we could not score any goals."