City edge Arsenal in Beijing

Manchester City exposed problems in the heart of Arsenal's defence to seal a 2-0 victory at Beijing's iconic Bird's Nest stadium on Friday.

Two goals just before half time from Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure proved enough for the English Premier League champions in the pre-season friendly that was marred by torrential rain.

Arsenal sorely missed their talismanic captain Robin Van Persie as they lacked bite up front. The Dutch striker has been at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war since he told Gunners boss Arsene Wenger that he will not be extending his contract into next season.

City boss Roberto Mancini earlier this week said he was a keen admirer of Van Persie, who remained in England.

Arsenal seemed most aggressive in the early stages of the game. Theo Walcott burst through the right on four minutes to cross for fellow England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but the chance was snuffed out by Stefan Savic.

Ten minutes later Gervinho weaved inside the box to lay off for Walcott, whose effort was blocked. Walcott then created a chance for himself much to the delight of the home crowd, who cheered his every move. The forward made space just beyond the left side of the penalty area, but his attempt to curl the ball into the right corner went narrowly wide.

Moments later Carlos Tevez darted into the box and attempted to play himself though by clipping the ball around Arsenal rookie Carl Jenkinson. But the Argentinian pushed the ball too far and it ended up safely in the hands of Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

City were beginning to gain the upper hand and went in front five minutes before half time. Jenkinson - who was playing his debut after signing from English league one side Charlton Athletic - was caught out of position, and Yaya Toure dribbled beautifully into space before laying the ball off for the in-coming Zabaleta who drilled home from inside the box.

City made it 2-0 by again taking advantage of some poor defending from Arsenal. The dangerous Alexandar Kolarov ran into acres of space down the left and cut a deep ball into the box, which was laid off by Sergio Aguero for Yaya Toure to tap in from close range.

City took their foot off the pedal in the second half and defended deep, much to the frustration of Arsenal. Oxlade-Chamberlain was unfortunate not to draw one back for Arsenal when he hit a rasping shot from the edge of the area which bounced off both posts.

And half-way through the second half, Tevez jostled past Kieran Gibbs to find space for himself on the right. He crossed for Aguero who somehow missed the target from close range.