By Richard Clarke
Arsenal warmed up for Sunday's clash with the English champions by beating the Scottish title-holders 3-0 at Ibrox on Tuesday night.
Edu's deflected shot, Lauren's penalty and Sol Campbell's far-post header put paid to Rangers' challenge in another high-tempo friendly in Glasgow. Arsenal drew 1-1 a few miles across the city at Celtic Park on Saturday and these two results set up Arsène Wenger's side nicely for the Community Shield against Manchester United in Cardiff at the weekend.
Even Patrick Vieira looked back to back to his best with 62 minutes as he continues to ease himself back from injury.
In fact the only blot on the night was when Stefan Klos saved Lauren's second penalty 12 minutes from time.
In contrast to how the game ended, Rangers enjoyed all the pressure in the early stages. Mickal Arteta hit the base of the post from a free-kick near the corner flag in the seventh minute. Then, midway through the half, Arsenal gave away an indirect free-kick inside their own area. Michael Ball played it short to Arteta, whose swerving shot was expertly parried away by Jens Lehmann.
At this point the closest Arsenal had come was when Ashley Cole dribbled into the area and lost the ball but in clearing Rangers defender Robert Malcolm smashed the ball against the left back and it rebounded back over the Rangers bar with keeper Stefan Klos struggling.
It had spat with rain in the Glasgow in the hours preceding kick-off. It made the surface slightly greasy and number of players slipped over in the early stages. One such tumble by Vieira gave the ball to Barry Ferguson in the centre circle. The Rangers captain, who had an impressive first half, picked out Peter Lovenkrands on the left. The winger drilled his pass across the face of goal narrowly missing two Rangers strikers and their markers en route.
Despite that Arsenal were starting to knock the ball around with confidence. However, their opening goal needed a large slice of luck. In the 31st minute, Edu was allowed time to turn just outside the D. His shot deflected off team-mate Freddie Ljungberg and deflected into the far corner leaving Klos flat-footed.
And, as every football fan knows, the confidence a goal instils cannot be overestimated.
Within a minute, a slick move ended with Ljungberg tapping clever pass to Francis Jeffers who found enough space wrap his left foot around a shot that tested Klos to the full. Even right back Lauren tried his luck from distance.
However the former Cameroon international was needed at the other end just before the break. He stole the ball from Lovenkrands when the Dane had chested down a deep cross from Maurice Ross at the far post and looked set to pull the trigger.
Within two minutes of the restart, Arsenal doubled their lead. Vieira tumbled over a challenge from Ross and referee Kenny Clark pointed to the spot. Lauren dispatched the penalty past Klos with comfort.
Arsenal now had the bit between their teeth. Just before the hour, Bergkamp sent over a sweet right-foot cross to the far post where Campbell met the ball with a downward header leaving Klos helpless.
Soon after the goal, Wenger replaced Vieira. The captain had looked something near his usual dominant self as he continues to comeback after a knee operation in the summer.
Twelve minutes from time, Craig Moore tripped Ljungberg to give Arsenal another penalty. Lauren put it the same way but this time Klos guessed correctly and saved low to his left.
By that time, however, Arsenal's victory had already been assured.