Arsenal Beats Treble Winners Manchester City 4-1 On Penalties To Lift Community Shield

Arsenal won the Community Shield for the 17th time with a 4-1 penalty-shootout win over Premier League champions Manchester City following a 1-1 draw at Wembley.

A sublime Cole Palmer strike deep into the second half would ostensibly propel Man City to the crown, but in the 11th minute of injury time, Leandro Trossard’s deflected strike rescued Mikel Arteta’s men in dramatic circumstances.

With no extra time on the agenda, the tie went straight to spot kicks, where Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri both fluffed their lines to hand Arsenal the first trophy of the season.

Naming all of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber in the first XI, Arsenal boss Arteta was subjected to a painful opening 15 minutes, as the Gunners struggled to venture out of their own half and barely strung a few passes together.

However, there was no real urgency to Man City’s play either, as their only chance of note in the early exchanges was a deflected Rodri effort which flashed just wide of Aaron Ramsdale’s goal in the 14th minute.

Arsenal were also falling foul of the new rules designed to clamp down on gamesmanship – much to the chagrin of Gunners fans in attendance – but after weathering the early storm, Arteta’s men began to press higher and force the issue.

A brilliant burst from Ben White in the 25th minute presented Havertz with the chance to break the deadlock, but the German’s toe-poked effort on the turn struck the leg of Stefan Ortega, before Gabriel Martinelli’s follow-up struck John Stones in the chest.

Fifteen minutes later, Havertz was thwarted by Ortega for a second time, shooting straight at his compatriot from 10 yards out after Bukayo Saka’s cutback, although Ruben Dias seemingly got a slight touch on the shot to make life easier for his shot-stopper.

Suddenly, Pep Guardiola’s side were the ones struggling for a spark, which Rodri tried to provide with an extraordinary effort from inside the centre circle in the 43rd minute, and a scrambling Ramsdale was relieved to see the Spaniard’s lob land on the roof of his net.

City belatedly posted their first shot on target in the 52nd minute, but Stones’s header from a corner was straight at Ramsdale, and the Gunners continued to ask questions of the Guardiola backline.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between, though, and City took the lead arguably against the run of play in the 77th minute, thanks to a move sparked by a wonderful Phil Foden turn to evade Thomas Partey.

Foden very nearly turned goalscorer in the 82nd minute, but his close-range effort was deflected wide by the legs of Ramsdale, who also did brilliantly to keep out a near-post Rodri header from the resulting corner.

In a sign of things to come for the upcoming campaign, eight minutes of second-half injury time went up on the board, but a nasty clash of heads between Kyle Walker and Partey would see the clock tick over to 100 minutes.

The additional time was a godsend for Arsenal, as with 101 minutes on the clock, substitute Trossard produced a lovely feint before letting fly from outside the box, and his strike took a significant deflection off of Manuel Akanji to wrongfoot Ortega and bring the Gunners back on level terms.

The penalty omens were on Arsenal’s side ahead of the shootout, as the Gunners had defeated Monaco from 12 yards in the Emirates Cup in midweek and also won the 2020 Community Shield title on spot kicks against Liverpool.

City were fighting an uphill battle from the start, as De Bruyne crashed his effort against the bar, before Ramsdale got down low to keep out Rodri’s strike and leave Arsenal one kick away from glory.

Martin Odegaard, Trossard and Saka had already converted for Arsenal, before Fabio Vieira stepped up in front of a wall of red and white and sent a perfect penalty into the top corner, sparking wild celebrations in the English capital.

City have five days to recuperate from their Wembley beating before they host Burnley in their opening Premier League match, one day before Arsenal take on Nottingham Forest at the Emirates.

Categories: Uncategorized

Tagged as: