A game that was expected to have the intensity of any top game, was once again to be played between FA Cup winners Arsenal and Premier League champs Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. The match was expected to be an epic battle and the fans were hoping that it would not be as one sided as the friendly that the Blues won a few weeks ago and they were not disappointed at all.
Though there were no goals in the first half, the action was quite intense with both teams looking to make good use to the possession and trying to find an opening goal. Also, Per Mertesacker hurt his forehead, when a challenge from Gary Cahill nearly beheaded the opposition skipper.
Any form of the London derby between these sides is always expected to be highly intense and there was end to end stuff at times, though a slight rustiness was the cause of a goalless half, in which Arsene Wenger’s summer signing Alexandre Lacazette did hit the frame of the goal.
However, the team from west London did manage to take a lead when Victor Moses slid towards a ball that was put into the box, after a corner was initially headed out. With pace and power on the ball, he put it past a helpless Petr Cech to give his team the lead.
It seemed as if everything was going right for Conte and his men and a revenge for the FA Cup final loss, at the end of last season, was totally on. Alvaro Morata and Antonio Rudiger made their debut for their new clubs as well.
It would have probably been the case, if former Barcelona man Pedro would have not put in a stupid challenge on Mohamed Elneny, which saw him being sent off, with nearly 10 minutes of normal time left to play.
With the set-piece that followed, another singing of the current transfer window, Sead Kolasinac made it 1-1 with a headed goal that Thibaut Courtois could do nothing about.
Both sides held on the scoreline till the end of full time and it was time for penalties. The situation seemed favourable for Conte and his team, after the sending off of Pedro.
Gary Cahill took the first penalty and he scored with ease. Theo Walcott followed with more of the same and so did Nacho Monreal. Despite that, what followed was a moment of madness.
For some reason, Courtois decided to play hero for his club, though he ended up doing a “John Terry” and smashed it into orbit.
With the pressure already on, it was Chelsea’s major summer signing Morata to step up and take some responsibility. It was not mean to be the case and the Spaniard hit the post side of the post and the ball went out.
What followed next were cool and composed finishes by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud, who ensured that their team won yet another Community Shield title.