A disappointing crowd of 71,500 saw Arsenal sent out a statement of intent for the season as they impressively dismissed Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley.
The FA Cup winners took the lead through Santi Cazorla's angled shot and added to that when Aaron Ramsey drove in a strike to finish a counter-attack.
Premier League champions City came close when Stevan Jovetic had a header hit a post and a shot saved.
But Olivier Giroud's dipping 25-yard strike secured a Arsenal's win.
The FA had been expecting in excess of 80,000 and the attendance is down on last season's 80,235 that saw Manchester United beat Wigan. A crowd of just over 77,000 saw Manchester United beat Manchester City in 2011. (The 2012 game was at Villa Park because of the Olympics).
Sunday's crowd was the lowest for the game since it returned to the New Wembley in 2005.