If you aren’t familiar with Arsenal and Chelsea’s history in the Community Shield, I suggest you have a look here. With that said, while history doesn’t always stick to the trends, another match at Wembley had me confident. Lately we’ve been successful there, so why should this time be any different?
I’m not sure what it is about Wembley, but for some reason, the Gunners seem to rise to the occasion. Right when you allow yourself to doubt them, they pull a rabbit out of a hat. Surprise! Even Hector Bellerin offered Alexandre Lacazette some confidence before the match.I’d be lying if I said that when the starting XI was announced, I wasn’t a bit nervous. No Ozil, Alexis, Koscielny, Mustafi and Ramsey. Understandable if they weren’t in the starting XI, but the fact that none of them were even in the team had me slightly concerned. Then I remembered, prior to this match, Arsenal have been victorious in their previous eight matches at Wembley, having defeated Chelsea twice along the way.
Saturday, the wife said tomorrow morning we’d do some cleaning around the house prior to going about our plans for the day. Of course I said I’d help, but… I’d need a mandatory two hour break. Arsenal is playing Chelsea. Much to my appreciation, she said that’s fine. She gets it.
The group chat was quiet, but I knew it wouldn’t stay like that for long.
Arsenal looked the stronger early on, controlling the pace of the match, and forcing Conte’s men to play on the counter-attack. Movement on and off the ball from the Gunners made it difficult for Chelsea to close them down, especially this early in the season. Fitness levels are not ideal at the moment for most.
Lacazette’s movement was promising. Whether he had the ball at his feet, or he was opening up space for Welbeck and Iwobi, he looked comfortable within the squad. Defensively, on a number of ocassions, he dropped deep to win a challenge, releasing pressure on the Arsenal midfield duo of Xhaka and Elneny, who were absolutely brilliant.
He not only offers us a new dynamic going forward, he proved that he has no issues getting his kit dirty. Too bad his right footed strike from inside the box didn’t find its way inside Tibo’s post to cap off a solid performance.
Queue up some banter on the group chat.
He’s super overrated. He is trash and you’ll soon see it.
Had he been wearing Chelsea blue, he probably wouldn’t be overrated. But, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Carry on!
At the break I was disappointed that we hadn’t taken our chances, but confident seeing that we held our own.
We were able to agree that Arsenal started better, but Chelsea came into it in the final 20 or so minutes. But, I said that I feared we’d squander our opportunities, and Chelsea would go there once and score…
Sure enough, Arsenal came out sluggish to start the second half and they were now chasing the game. Typical Arsenal.
The corner kick should never have happened, and then everyone fell asleep, leaving Moses alone. More so Bellerin, who watched him run right off his left shoulder and into space.
Antonioooooo and #WengerOut is what I had to endure after the goal. But, like they say, he who laughs last, laughs best. It happened on May 27th, and it would happen again on August 6th.
I smell a red card coming when Sead the Tank came on for Mertesacker. Who would have thought that someone predicted the future. Pedro’s late challenge on Elneny confirmed the red card prediction, and moments later, Sead the Tank silenced all Chelsea fans. Now, it wasn’t #WengerOut, it was Bobby Madley’s fault. Mike Dean is better than this guy.
They were on the ropes, and apart from the fact that Petr Cech doesn’t have a great record when it comes to penalty kicks, I was at least confident from an offensive perspective.
When Theo Walcott stepped up for the first spot kick, I couldn’t help but think that there certainly was someone else on the pitch better to take the first one. Actually, I take that back Theo. Brilliant spot kick, and Nacho Monreal followed it up with a successful conversion of his own.
Courtois decided that since he wasn’t able to save either of Arsenal’s first two penalty kicks, he’d take matters into his own hands. The second spot kick for Chelsea, trailing 2-1, and your goalkeeper steps up?! Are you fu&*en kidding me?! Even if he scores it, you don’t even see that sh*t in a regular friendly match, but you’re going to do it in the Community Shield match? Well, guess what tw*ts, looks like your confidence turned into despair, again! By the way, does anyone know if that ball has been found?
If my stats are accurate, Cech has faced 11 spot kicks since joining Arsenal, of which he didn’t save any, hence my concern heading into a penalty shootout. Now, Arsenal defeated Chelsea 4-1 in the penalty shootout today, and Cech didn’t even have to make a save. How brilliant is that! I mean you simply cannot make this sh*t up.
And for some final banter, as I had mentioned prior to the match, when your team doesn’t win it, it’s no longer important. Cheesy Trophy was the exact term.
Apart from all of that, there were a lot of positives to take from the match. If Elneny and Xhaka continue to play like they did today, Ramsey is really going to have some contention in the center of the park.
It’s now time to turn our attention to the Premier League, with Friday’s match against Leicester fast approaching. The morale will be high after that performance, which is much needed to avoid an opening match like last year.