More Silverware For Arsenal-
As the FA Cup holders Arsenal met the Premier League champions Chelsea at the Wembley Stadium on Sunday, for their Community Shield clash, things were expected to be quite intense, in this game prior to the start of the new campaign. An epic battle between the two London based giants as always was expected and the two teams did not disappoint, with regards to the same.
The Gunners started the game on the front foot, after their loss in the friendly match against the Blues, a few weeks ago, which was positive for the crowd to see, who had come to cheer their favourite teams on.
Despite there being no goals in the first half, Per Mertesacker’s injury was the main talking point of the opening 45 minutes and a challenge from Gary Cahill saw his counter-part leave the pitch.
The London derby is always really intense and Wenger’s top summer signing Alexandre Lacazette, nearly proved his worth as he hit the post in the first half.
However, though the French manager’s side was making most of the play, it was Victor Moses who gave his team the lead, at the start of the second half.
Things were going right for the Chelsea boss, as his team were on their way to avenging the FA Cup final loss from the last term. The club’s key signings Morata and Antonio Rudiger also came on, for their debut, since making the move last month.
Well, Pedro had other plans, as his silly challenge on Mohamed Elneny saw the former Barca man being sent for an early shower and his team had to play with 10 men for the rest of the game.
Sead Kolasinac capitalized on the opportunity that was taken from the resultant free-kick and headed in to make it level once again. There were no more goals and the game went to spot-kicks after full time.
Gary Cahill scored the first one for the Blues, followed by Theo Walcott and Nacho Monreal, who were successful too. An unlikely kick taker, Courtois stepped up and made a meal of his kick, putting one into the crowds. Morata stepped up next and his shot went wide. For Arsenal, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain kept his composure, followed by Olivier Giroud, which saw the Gunners lift the Community Shield 4-1 on penalties.
Petr Cech- (8.5/10)
Made a few decent saves to keep his team in the match and his confident goalkeeping in between the sticks would have given his side the push to go and win the game. Though he did not really have to save the penalties due to poor efforts, Cech’s presence has always been an inspiration for any team that he has played for.
Rob Holding- (7.5/10)
Looked good at times, very calm and composed. However, made small errors in between, though it did not prove to be costly. He has grown into his own and showcased some good defensive skills.
Per Mertesacker – (7/10)
Till the time he was on the pitch, Per lead his team well. Unfortunately had to go off due to that horrific injury to his forehead, after the clash with Cahill, which saw him come back on later as a mere spectator and lift the title.
Nacho Monreal- (7.5/10)
Did a really good job for his team, both at the back and when he pushed forward as well. Started off on the left and later on switched to a central role in the back-line, after the introduction of Kolasinac.
Hector Bellerin- (6.5/10)
Not a good day for Bellerin, who was troubled quite a bit by Alonso, whether it was at the back while performing his defensive duties or while pushing forward. He kept pushing forward in search of an equalizer and after the sending off of Pedro, along with the substitution of the Spaniard, enjoyed a bit more comfort.
Mohamed Elneny- (7/10)
A decent game in midfield, as he did not lose the ball too often and looked to create chances for his team to push forward.
Granit Xhaka- (8/10)
A really good match for the Swiss international, who had an eye for goal, though one of his superb efforts was saved brilliantly by Courtois.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain- (7/10)
His performance was noticeable, though he did not have that magic to take the ball and score a goal. The game time will surely give him more confidence that he is an integral part of the team. Scored from the spot in the shootout with confidence.
Alex Iwobi- (8/10)
Looked like one of the best players on the pitch at times and seemed to be in form. He made some quick runs with the ball from his own half, into the opponent’s territory. Some wonderful skill on display in the first half too, though his finishing still can improve, to say the least. Good to see him play like that.
Danny Welbeck- (7.5/10)
A decent outing for the England international who linked up well with Lacazette and co., creating some chances which were not finished off. His fitness and form will delight the manager if he can keep going.
Alexandre Lacazette- (7.5/10)
Looked a threat in the first half when he struck the frame of the goal. Got a few good chances to convert, though he just fell short by a whisker and will want to improve and make a name for himself, as the season goes on. Looked an upgrade to Giroud with his movement and work-rate, surely.
Sead Kolasinac- (8/10)
The man of the moment. Brought on, fortunately, after Per had to go off with his injury. Looked a bit shaky at the start, but grew into his own and began contributing both at the front and the back. Scored the crucial header, which levelled the score and took his team into penalties.
Theo Walcott- (7.5/10)
Did enjoy his time running at the Chelsea defence, especially after the sending off. Would have liked to get on the score sheet. Took an excellent penalty kick to put the pressure on Chelsea in the shootout.
Olivier Giroud- (7.5/10)
Came on and tried his best to fit into the team with a few changes happening around him. Invited fouls onto him and did not give up, with a message being sent to Wenger that he wants to stay. Scored the winning spot-kick.
Reiss Nelson- (7/10)
Brought on to get some experience in a big-match and did try his trickery against a tiring Chelsea defence. Looks a decent prospect. Hopefully, Wenger can utilize him well in the days to come.