Report: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (Arsenal win 4-1 on penalties)


Arsenal: Cech, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette

Subs: Ospina, Kolasinac, Willock, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Walcott, Giroud

Arsenal came from behind thanks to a goal from new boy Sead Kolasinac, and won the the Community Shield after a penalty shoot-out at Wembley today.

There were key men absent for Arsene Wenger as he went into the game without Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin and Laurent Koscielny, while new boy Alexandre Lacazette started up front.

The first real moment of danger came after 6 minutes from a driving run and cut back from Alex Iwobi, but the ball deflected wide off Lacazette. Moments later a superb Granit Xhaka pass over the top saw Danny Welbeck head straight at Courtois.

A dangerous break saw Welbeck storm through the Chelsea lines but when he was cynically hauled back by Azpilicueta the referee had no option but book the Spaniard. He was followed into the book by Hector Bellerin who slid in on Marcos Alonso, clearly the Arsenal man just wanted it more.

A beautiful flowing move from deep in our own half ended with Lacazette curling a shot which crashed back off the post, before Per Mertesacker was laid low by a Gary Cahill elbow. The Arsenal skipper sustained a nasty looking cut to his eye and was replaced by Sead Kolasinac in the 30th minute.

Petr Cech had to be alert to make a stop from Pedro, Alonso picked up a yellow card for a cynical block on Bellerin, and Willian was booked for a dive in the box although it did look as if contact from Hector made him clip his own heels. Still, Chelsea diving at Wembley is not that unusual.

Iwobi showed his quality again with a driving run and some neat footwork in the box to get a shot on target, Welbeck whacked a shot well over the bar, and as the teams went in level at the break Lacazette’s effort remained the closest either side came to a goal.

That changed inside the first minute of the second half when Chelsea took the lead. A Xhaka clearance went high rather than far, Cahill headed it back into the box and Victor Moses was alert to slam the ball home from close range. 0-1.

There was further danger moments later, a short corner routine saw Arsenal exposed and only for Nacho Monreal heading off the line the lead might have been extended.

At the other end Elneny had a pop from outside the box but sliced wide with his left foot, and the Egyptian almost equalised with a shot from a very tight angle when it looked as if he was going to cross. The swerve on the ball almost caught out the Chelsea keeper who palmed the ball away.

Rob Holding was alert to stop a low Willian cross, Welbeck was denied by a David Luiz block, before Arsene Wenger made two changes – bringing on Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott for Lacazette and Iwobi.

Arsenal pressed for the equaliser, and almost got it via a long-range cracker from Xhaka, only to see Courtois make a brilliant fingertip save to prevent the goal. There was further drama when Pedro was sent off for a nasty raking challenge down the Achilles of Elneny.

From the resulting free kick the Gunners got the goal they were looking for, Xhaka floated the ball in and Kolasinac rose highest to nod the ball home and to level the scores. 1-1.

Danny Welbeck was replaced by 17 year old Reiss Nelson with a couple of minutes to go, Walcott miscued an attempt from the edge of the box, and as the game entered injury Morata headed just wide but the linesman’s flag was up for offside.

As the game finished level, we went straight to a penalty shoot-out, trialling the ABBA system we told you about in midweek.

Chelsea went first, Gary Cahill scored. Arsenal took the next two penalties. Theo Walcott buried his in the top corner, while Nacho Monreal calmly slotted home to the keeper’s left.

That meant two for Chelsea and Thibaut Courtois took his and blasted it way over the bar, followed by Alvaro Morata who put his wide. That gave Oxlade-Chamberlain a chance to put Arsenal in real control, which he did, and then Olivier Giroud stepped up knowing that he could win it.

The Frenchman did just that, slamming the ball home, and Arsenal completed the pre-season treble with the Community Shield.

Watch the full shoot-out here.

Now for Leicester.

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