Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-1 on Penalties
Written By: Robert Halter
Premier League champions Chelsea contested the FA Community Shield with F.A. Cup winners, Arsenal at Wembley stadium, early August. After Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined with Alex Iwobi on the left, he was unable to find Alexandre Lacazette, in the fifth minute. Arsenal then pressed again three minutes later, as a ball over by Granit Xhaka was met with a cushioned header by Danny Welbeck which was caught by Thibaut Courtois. In less than ten minutes, the Gunners had a third opportunity, when from a threaded pass by Mohamed Elneny, at his near post Courtois deflected away a strike by Iwobi. In the twenty second minute, after Lacazette combined with Hector Bellerin, the ball was pulled back to him by Welbeck, and a right footed shot by Lacazette, struck the base of the right post. Four minutes later, following a poor back pass by Bellerin, the outstretched leg of Petr Cech, averted the danger. After Per Mertesacker was left with a bloody face from an elbow by Blues captain, Gary Cahill, the Arsenal captain left the field of play, before Victor Moses exposed a gap on the right side of defence but the quick feet of Cech, blocked his shot. The Gunners then brought on Sead Kolasinac in place of Mertesacker. On thirty five minutes, a looping ball over by Willian, fell to the masked crusader, Pedro, and his rising shot was parried away by Cech. In the forty fourth minute, after Oxlade-Chamberlain found Iwobi in the box, his soft shot was collected by Courtois. But it was the Blues that broke the deadlock a minute into the second half, when from Willian’s corner, a poor clearance by Xhaka, was headed back in by Cahill, and the ball was turned past Cech, into the right side of the net by Moses. The Blues then pressed again within four minutes with Pedro and Cesc Fabregas down the left, and a miss placed header by Rob Holding, was hit back to Cech from an unmarked Michy Batshuayi. After an aerial challenge with Holding, a clash of heads between David Luiz and Cahill, left both the Blues defenders requiring treatment. On fifty eight minutes, after the ball was played over by Xhaka, on the right flank, a bending dipping delivery by Elneny, was kept out from under the crossbar by a leaping save from Courtois. On sixty four minutes, Iwobi put the ball through to Lacazette but he took one step too many as Courtois cleared the danger zone, before Olivier Giroud replaced Lacazette and Theo Walcott took the place of Iwobi. Later the Blues took off Batshuayi for new signing, Alvaro Morata. On seventy six minutes, after the ball was laid off by Holding, a bending dipping strike by Xhaka from long range, was turned away by an outstretched flip over from Courtois. Another new Blues player, Antonio Rudiger took over from Marcos Alonso. But Chelsea were dealt a blow as Pedro received a straight red card for clipping the heel of Elneny, as referee Rob Madley sent him off and from Xhaka’s free kick, a header by Kolasinac went past Courtois, into the bottom right corner for an Arsenal equaliser. Chelsea then changed Willian with Charly Musonda while Arsenal later switched Welbeck with Reiss Nelson. Into stoppage time, after Morata was pulled down by Holding, from a Fabregas free kick, the ball spun off Morata’s head before a penalty shoot out using the new ABBA format. Cahill scored the first penalty for Chelsea with a right footed shot to the top left corner, Walcott converted his spot kick for Arsenal with a right footed shot to the top right corner, Nacho Monreal put Arsenal ahead by converting his penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner, Courtois missed a spot kick for Chelsea by ballooning the ball over the crossbar with a left footed strike, Morata then missed his penalty for Chelsea by brushing the left post and wide of the target with a right footed shot, Oxlade-Chamberlain then converted a left footed penalty to the top right corner for Arsenal and Giroud converted his spot kick for Arsenal with a left footed shot to the top right corner as Arsenal won the FA Community Shield 4-1 on penalties.