Arsenal underlined why they are still in the hunt for Liverpool's controversial Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez on Saturday when they scraped a largely unconvincing 3-1 win over Manchester City in a pre-season friendly played in Helsinki.
The Gunners were distinctly short of firepower upfront, and although French striker Olivier Giroud got on the scoresheet, all the attacking initiative came from midfield and they could muster only four shots on target.
Big-spending City, on the other hand, appeared to have little appetite for the contest and after a bright start faded and failed to produce more than a single goal through Alvaro Negrado 12 minutes from the end - but it was too little too late.
The first goal came as early as the ninth minute when Arsenal winger Theo Walcott glided on to an incisive through ball from Aaron Ramsey to chip the ball over a stranded Joe Hart in the City goal.
For all their running, Arsenal had no-one to apply the finishing touch until Ramsey cut through a static defence on the hour, collected Walcott's pass and slottted past Hart with Vincent Kompany stranded on the line.
Minutes later, Giroud, a half-time substitute, made the most of a defensive mix-up between Hart and Kompany to nip in and only had to apply a deft fnishing touch, delicately chipping home for the third.
Meanwhile, Arsenal's pursuit of Suarez appears doomed to failure after Liverpool owner John W Henry told the unsettled Uruguayan he wouldn't be allowed to leave at any price.
Suarez has been desperate to leave the Reds since the end of last season and Arsenal have tried to take advantage by making a Â£40 million plus Â£1 bid that was supposed to trigger a clause in the forward's contract that allowed him to talk to interested clubs.