2008 Emirates Cup
The 2008 Emirates Cup was a pre-season football friendly tournament hosted by Arsenal at its home ground, the Emirates Stadium in London. It was the second Emirates Cup, an invitational competition inaugurated in 2007. Held on the weekend of 2–3 August 2008, the participants of the tournament were Arsenal, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Hamburg.
|Teams||4 (from 1 confederation)|
|Venue(s)||1 (in 1 host city)|
|Champions||Hamburg (1st title)|
|Goals scored||8 (2 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Ivica Olić (2 goals)|
Each team played two matches, with three points awarded for a win, one point for a draw and none for a loss. An additional point is awarded for every goal scored. Arsenal did not face Hamburg, and Real Madrid did not play against Juventus. On the opening day of the tournament, Real Madrid beat Hamburg 2–1, while Arsenal lost to Juventus by a single goal. Although the hosts defeated Real on day two, Hamburg won the Emirates Cup as they recorded a 3–0 victory against Juventus.
The Emirates Cup began in July 2007 once Arsenal finalised plans to stage a pre-season competition at its home ground. Named after Arsenal's main sponsor Emirates, the competition's inaugural edition was attended by over 110,000 people across the two days. La Liga champions Real Madrid, Italian outfit Juventus and German side Hamburg were confirmed as participants for the 2008 edition, alongside hosts Arsenal. Hamburg's inclusion came after their withdrawal a year earlier due to European commitments. Coverage of the two-day event was broadcast in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports.
Real Madrid took on Hamburg on the opening day of the tournament. There was a contingent of former Premier League players and staff, as Real Madrid’s lineup featured Ruud van Nistelrooy and Jerzy Dudek, while Hamburg was coached by former Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol. Van Nistelrooy almost scored inside three minutes of the first half when his teammate Raúl put him through on goal. Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost distracted the striker by rushing towards him. Paolo Guerrero headed wide for Hamburg, before Real Madrid took the lead five minutes before the half-hour mark. Hamburg's Nigel de Jong was beaten off the ball in his own penalty area by right back Míchel Salgado, who set Van Nistelrooy up for a straightforward tap in. Real Madrid dominated and were punished for missing multiple chances to extend their lead when Mohamed Zidan scored Hamburg's equaliser. Receiving the ball from the left-hand corner of Real Madrid's half, the striker curled the ball past goalkeeper Dudek which went in off the crossbar. David Jarolím and Guerrero came close to putting Hamburg 2–1 in front, but Daniel Parejo five minutes from time sealed the win for Real Madrid, heading in Juanmi Callejón's cross.
Real Madrid lost to Arsenal on the second day of the Emirates Cup. Emmanuel Adebayor scored the only goal of the match, converting a penalty in the second half. The striker was booed throughout the tournament as he failed to clarify his plans for the future during pre-season, even though he had agreed a contract extension according to Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger. "To my face he told me he wants to stay at the club and that is what happened," Wenger told reporters. Arsenal were defeated by Juventus the day before; David Trezeguet's goal came after the hosts failed to deal with a free kick properly. Gaël Clichy, Cesc Fàbregas and Kolo Touré were absent for Arsenal, though captain William Gallas did feature in the second half. New signing Samir Nasri started the match against Real Madrid.
Each team played two matches, with three points awarded for a win, one point for a draw, and a point for every goal scored.
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
|Van Nistelrooy 25'
Olić 90+1', 90+2'
|2||Daniel Parejo||Real Madrid||1|
|Ruud van Nistelrooy||Real Madrid|
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