Alvaro Morata and Thibaut Courtois missed penalties as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a dramatic 4-1 shootout victory over 10-man Chelsea.
The season curtain-raiser between Premier League champions Chelsea and FA Cup winners Arsenal finished 1-1 after Sead Kolasinac, two minutes after Pedro was shown a straight red card, cancelled out Victor Moses’ opener at Wembley.
An English football first followed as the ‘ABBA’ penalty shootout was deployed and the Gunners prevailed to extend their winning record at Wembley to nine straight games, including two in penalty shootouts.
Trailing 2-1 in the shootout, Courtois took Chelsea’s second kick but failed to equalise, blazing over, before club-record signing Morata fired wide.
That handed Arsenal the initiative, allowing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to score before Olivier Giroud netted the decisive strike to secure the Shield, and a timely boost ahead of their Premier League opener against Leicester on Friday Night Football.
Wembley was united ahead of kick-off as the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, whom the proceeds of the Community Shield will be donated to, were remembered with a touching minute’s silence.
Chelsea’s first attempt of note came on the counter-attack on 35 minutes as Pedro received a fine cross-field pass from Willian and drew a fine save from Petr Cech at his near post.
Chelsea took the lead within moments of the restart as Cahill returned a clearance back into the Arsenal area where Moses was lurking, and he chested and volleyed beyond Cech.
Pedro was sent off after catching Mohamed Elneny on his Achilles 10 minutes from time and Arsenal scored from the resulting free-kick as Kolasinac headed Granit Xhaka’s cross beyond Courtois from close range.
Morata, brought on with 16 minutes remaining, headed Cesc Fabregas’ late free-kick wide from an offside position before Arsenal claimed their second Wembley victory over Chelsea in 10 weeks at the shootout.
Man of the match
Sead Kolasinac – All the focus ahead of kick-off was on the big-money summer acquisitions Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger had brought to their respective clubs this summer. But, instead, it was a man who arrived for nothing that caught the eye.
Brought on in place of the injured Mertesacker, Kolasinac endeared himself to the Gunners faithful with a robust performance, littered with energetic runs from deep and capped by the equaliser. – Sky Sport