Arsenal hold nerve to win FA Community Shield in penalty shoot-out
Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-1 in a penalty shoot-out to win the FA Community Shield at Wembley this afternoon.
It’s the 15th time that Arsenal have won the Community Shield, 14 outright and one shared.
This was Arsenal’s third shootout in the Community Shield, having lost their previous two, against Manchester United in 1993 and 2003.
Chelsea have lost their last four Community Shield matches, last winning the trophy on penalties in 2009.
The teams ended the 90 minutes level at 1-1, with the match then going straight to penalties using the ABBA format to decide the winner.
Gary Cahill converted to put Chelsea ahead in the shoot-out.
Theo Walcott and Nacho Monreal then converted their spot-kicks to put Arsenal ahead.
Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois then sent his penalty high over the crossbar.
The Blues record signing Alvaro Morata then dragged his spot kick wide of the post.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud then held their nerve to both score to seal the win for Arsenal.
Before the penalty shoot-out drama, the opening 90 minutes had been an entertaining and feisty affair.
Alexandre Lacazette went close to opening the scoring for the Gunners in the first half hitting the post after a flowing counter-attack, which he started in his own half.
It was Chelsea though who took the lead at the start of the second through Victor Moses.
Granit Xhaka’s clearance from a corner was headed back in by Cahill for Moses to fire past Petr Cech.
It was Moses first goal in 27 games for Chelsea in all competitions, since netting against Tottenham Hotspur in November 2016
It looked as if Moses, who was sent off in the FA Cup Final, was this time going to be the match winner.
But the match swung on another Chelsea sending off.
Referee Bobby Madley sent off Pedro with 10 minutes remaining for a late and high tackle on Mohamed Elneny.
The last two red cards issued in Community Shield matches have been to Chelsea players (Branislav Ivanovic in 2012, Pedro in 2017)
Arsenal took full advantage from the resultant free-kick.
Sead Kolasinac, a first half substitute for Per Mertesacker, headed the Gunners level to take the match to penalties.
There were just 82 seconds between Pedro’s red card and Sead Kolasinac’s equaliser.
Kolasinac became the first player to open his goalscoring account for Arsenal in the Community Shield since Gilberto Silva in 2002.
This is what Arsene Wenger had to say after the match.
“Well, I don’t know if it was a sending off or not but at that moment we were dominating. We had some difficult moments at the start of the second half but after that we dominated. We always looked dangerous.
“It is a dream to make the fans happy, a difficult dream, but we try hard. I would like that they stand behind the team as we might go through some very good periods and some not so good periods.
“We want to be united and together throughout the season.”
Arsenal: Cech 7, Bellerin 7, Holding 7, Mertesacker 6 (Kolasinac), Monreal 7, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Elneny 7, Xhaka 8, Iwobi 7 (Walcott), Welbeck 7 (Nelson), Lacazette 7 (Giroud)