Arsenal won an entertaining Community Shield clash with London rivals Chelsea on Sunday, with the game ending in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Before the game, four wreaths were laid on the pitch in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, with a minute’s silence following.
Premier League champions Chelsea started with Michy Batshuayi up front and new-signing Alvaro Morata on the bench.
Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both rested, looked sharp from the start and on 22 minutes, record-signing Alexandre Lacazette hit the post, after good interplay with Danny Welbeck.
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Before the half-hour mark, Per Mertesacker, in his final season as a player, was forced off after a gruesome c(bit totally accidental) clash with Gary Cahill’s elbow. Summer-signing Sead Kolasinac would eventually replace the bloodied German.
As the half wore on, Chelsea improved, with Pedro testing Petr Cech with a powerful shot.
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Willian then channeled Victor Moses in the FA Cup final and was booked for a dive in the Arsenal box. Although the yellow card was arguably harsh.
Immediately after the break, Moses of all people opened the scoring, with the Nigerian the quickest to the ball after Arsenal failed to adequately clear a corner.
The Gunners pushed for an equaliser, with Arsene Wenger sending on Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott for Lacazette and Alex Iwobi.
Morata eventually got his chance on 74 minutes, coming on for Batshuayi.
Arsenal went close to equalising when Granit Xhaka unleashed a superb long-range effort, only for Thibaut Courtois to produce an equally fine save.
Antonio Conte would then send on another new-boy, with Antonio Rudiger coming on for Marcos Alonso.
Soon after, Chelsea would pick up another red card at Wembley against Arsenal, after Pedro caught Mohamed Elneny on the back of the calf with his studs. Although it was arguably more of a clumsy challenge than a vindictive one.
To add to insult to injury for the Blues, the Gunners would score from the resulting free-kick, with Kolasinac heading home from Xhaka’s flighted ball.
Chelsea sent on youngster Charly Musonda while Arsenal starlet Reiss Nelson also made an appearance.
The Gunners continued to push for a winner, with Walcott failing to make the most of a couple of decent opportunities.
However, the game would ultimately end 1-1, and go straight to a new-fangled ‘ABBA’ penalty shoot-out.
Blues’ captain Cahill fired home the first, with Walcott netting the Gunners’ first.
Nacho Monreal was up next, with the Spaniard sending Courtois the wrong way, before the Belgian ‘keeper himself blasted his spot-kick over the bar.
Morata strode up to take the next penalty, only to fire wide, leaving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to fire low and hard past Courtois.
That left sub Giroud to win the trophy for the Gunners, with the Frenchman blasting home the winning spot-kick.
What an entertaining contest that was!
Although Cech still hasn’t saved a penalty for Arsenal in bloody ages!