Arsenal beat Chelsea in Community Shield shootout: Five talking points
By Adam Bate at Wembley
Last Updated: 07/08/17 10:04am
Arsenal came from behind to beat 10-man Chelsea 4-1 in a penalty shootout after playing out a 1-1 draw in the Community Shield at Wembley.
Victor Moses had put Chelsea ahead moments into the second half but after Pedro was sent off for a foul on Mohamed Elneny, substitute Sead Kolasinac headed Arsenal level late on.
All square after 90 minutes, the game went to a shootout with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and new signing Alvaro Morata missing the target for Chelsea.
Olivier Giroud duly converted Arsenal's fourth kick to give the Gunners another Wembley win over their London rivals, fresh from defeating them in the FA Cup final in May.
Here, we pick out five talking points from the game…
New penalty format
Judging by the murmurs that reverberated around Wembley when Nacho Monreal stepped up to take his spot-kick, not every supporter in the stadium is yet au fait with the new 'ABBA' shootout format. While the winner does still take it all, players from either side no longer take it in turns. Instead, Monreal followed team-mate Theo Walcott in slotting home.
The change is designed to make shootouts fairer - reducing the advantage for the team taking the first penalty and it certainly worked out that way for Arsenal at Wembley. One intriguing aspect is whether or not consecutive misses by the same side will become more likely, Morata joining Courtois in failing to find the target with back-to-back kicks.
One thing Antonio Conte was clear about afterwards was that allowing his goalkeeper to take the second kick was not indicative of an overly casual attitude to the game. "If you have a player who shows you during the training session that he is one of the best then you pick him to shoot the penalty," he said. "Don't forget that Morata is a forward and he did the same."
Misery for Morata
Indeed, Morata endured an outing to forget. Chelsea's new No 9, a £70m signing from Real Madrid, not only squandered a headed chance when unmarked in stoppage time but then proceeded to direct his penalty wide of the post in the shootout. This was not the way that the Spaniard tasked with replacing Diego Costa wanted to introduce himself.
Arsenal win Shield on penalties
Alvaro Morata and Thibaut Courtois missed penalties as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a dramatic 4-1 shootout victory over 10-man Chelsea.
"Morata needs to work but it is normal," said Conte afterwards. "He stays with us for only one week and it is very important to find a good physical condition and to understand our idea of football. He needs a bit of time but that's normal and it's the same for [fellow new signing Antonio] Rudiger. It will be the same also for [Tiemoue] Bakayoko."
Morata will get over this brief substitute appearance, of course. In fact, there were signs that the tall striker can be a useful target for the Premier League champions, winning several headers. But Michy Batshuayi, the man who started up front for the Blues, will feel he did enough to get the nod against Burnley. Their battle to be first choice is one to watch.
Lacazette fares better
There is a similar rivalry emerging at Arsenal and while Giroud had the final say, Gunners fans will have been more intrigued by what his prospective replacement can offer this team. Alexandre Lacazette joined in a £52m deal from Lyon in the summer and he had the fans on their feet midway through the first half with a passage of play that showed real quality.
The Frenchman turned into space in his own half before threading a pass out wide to Hector Bellerin with the outside of his right boot. Upon receiving the ball back he picked the right option by spreading the play out left and, after getting the return pass, then curled an effort against the far post. It was his best moment and gave just a glimpse of what he can do.
"Lacazette is stronger every week," said Arsene Wenger afterwards. "I believe today is the first time you have seen physically that he is ready. He still needs to adapt to the intensity of the game but overall he had very interesting moves and I believe that after what we have seen today he will become stronger and stronger. He had an interesting game today."
Kolasinac makes impact
Lacazette's performance was not quite as interesting as that of Arsenal's other summer signing Kolasinac. While two expensive new strikers were on show on Sunday it was the Bosnian free transfer who headed in the late equaliser that helped Arsenal to turn the game around. He was already earning admiring roars from the crowd well before that.
Indeed, having come on as a first-half substitute for Per Mertesacker, one surging run down the left wing in the second half saw him bulldoze beyond several Chelsea players. As well as flexibility, Kolasinac will bring physicality to this Arsenal team. "He had a very interesting performance last week," said Wenger. "I had a hesitation about playing him at Wembley with the pressure, but when he came on he was outstanding.
"He is physical very strong, naturally. You have players who are pumped up in the gym and players who are born strong. He is the second part. In the Premier League, power plays a part but it is not only that. I took him too because of attitude. You need a combination of talent and attitude. He looks to me like he has talent but also has a very strong attitude."
Just getting started
Whether Kolasinac and Lacazette will be the last of Wenger's summer signings remains to be seen. For while Wenger spoke of reducing his squad from an unwieldy 33 in his post-match press conference, there will be fans of both teams wanting to see their sides strengthened before the window shuts on their transfer business for 2017.
The Community Shield might be seen as the traditional season opener for England's top clubs but with transfer deadline day still almost four weeks away it is far from the end of the preparations. That much was made obvious even before the game in the programme notes: "It makes it easier for us to understand where we want to improve," claimed Wenger.
Conte was even clearer. "We need to improve our squad because we have more games and need a bigger team to face these competitions," he explained. "The transfer market is still open, and for sure we are looking hard to improve the number, and the quality, of players." Arsenal are the first team celebrating, but the real race is just getting started.