Arsenal set stage for feisty Premier League rivalry with Man City after dramatic Community Shield win

Arsenal set stage for feisty Premier League rivalry with Man City after dramatic Community Shield win


Arsenal scored a last minute equaliser to take the Community Shield to penalties and then downed Manchester City in the shoot-out in dramatic scenes at Wembley. This was after an intense Community Shield clash packed with late drama.

Leandro Trossard’s wickedly-deflected shot 11 minutes into stoppage time cancelled out City’s glorious late opener from sub Cole Palmer. Then Kevin de Bruyne and Rodri missed from the spot and Fabio Vieira stroked home to seal a 4-1 victory on penalties for the Gunners

Palmer looked to have won the game for City when the substitute curled in a superb goal on 77 minutes, but as the game went deep into injury time the Gunners struck back. Eleven minutes after the 90 another substitute, Leandro Trossard, got hold of a short corner, cut into the box and had a pop at goal which was deflected past goalkeeper Stefan Ortega, taking the game to penalties.

Arsenal new boy Kai Havertz wasted two gaping first-half chances – but Treble winners City seemed set to win more silverware in a tumultuous 2023 before the need for a shootout. City bossed the first quarter of an hour with smooth, relaxed possession play.

But the Gunners edged the rest of the first period, helped by Declan Rice dropping deeper. The midfielder found more space there to pick a pass, as well as freeing right-back Ben White to overlap more.

Arsenal’s new ‘false No9’ Havertz missed by far the two finest opportunities of the opening 45 minutes. First, White’s pull-back was just behind the German, who reacted well to swivel but saw his a left-footer smartly saved by Stefan Ortega.

But then Havertz should certainly have scored when Bukayo Saka’s centre from the same flank fell perfectly for him, only for the ex-Chelsea man to drill straight at Ortega. Activity after the break was initially just as lively.

And Gunners’ stopper Aaron Ramsdale had to fling his hands up to keep out a header from high-rising City anchorman John Stones. The number of chances and pace of the contest both seemed to be easing. But then on 78 minutes Palmer peaked his superb cameo with what would have been the winner.

The English attacking midfielder, 21, dinked in from the right to measure a perfect left-foot curler into the far top corner. Ramsdale then foiled Phil Foden as City appeared to be easing home in style. But 11 minutes into added time – two more than allotted yet still two short of the finish – Trossard nipped in for a fierce low shot that veered in off City defender Manuel Akanji.

Arsenal then tucked home four confident shootout kicks, whereas De Bruyne hit the bar with his penalty and Rodri’s meek effort was kept out by Ramsdale.

There was a surprise early in the shootout as Kevin De Bruyne hammered his penalty against the crossbar after Martin Odegaard had opened the scoring for Arsenal.

Trossard and Bukayo Saka made no mistake for Arsenal before Rodri saw his effort saved by Aaron Ramsdale, allowing Fabio Vieira to score the winner and complete a 4-1 win on penalties.

It may have been a pre-season contest, but there were wild celebrations from the Arsenal side after downing the team which broke their hearts at the end of the last campaign.

Arsenal competed well with the treble-winners over the contest, with summer signings Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz all in the starting line-up, but lacked a cutting edge upfront. It was a recognisable Manchester City line-up, with just one new arrival in Mateo Kovacic slotting into the midfield alongside Rodri after joining from Chelsea this summer.

The match was played with an interesting level of competitiveness, as neither side really played at the pace and with the zip you would expect from a Premier League contest, but there were some feisty, physical challenges going in from both sides.

Probably more interesting than the action in the first half was the new guidelines the referee was following as he dished out yellow cards. Both Thomas Partey and Julian Alvarez were booked for kicking the ball away, which has long been a rule, but is being applied more strictly this campaign.

Mikel Arteta was also booked on the Arsenal bench for insisting Rodri should be shown a yellow.

New Arsenal signing Kai Havertz did have a couple of good chances in the first period, both of which he spurned as his move from Chelsea does not appear to have made him any more ruthless in front of goal, although he also picked up a yellow for chopping down John Stones.

Manchester City were not very threatening at all, with the Gunners looking more likely and it wasn’t until after the break that City managed a shot on target. Stones was the man to produce it, with a powerful header from a corner that was well saved by Aaron Ramsdale.

The changes began coming thick and fast as the second half wore on, after no substitutions at half-time, and there was more urgency from the Premier League champions thanks to some impetus from the bench.

It was a trio of subs involved in the build up to the opening goal, as Kieran Tierney cut out a through ball but could only nudge it to Kevin De Bruyne who nodded the ball to Cole Palmer. There was a huge amount for the 21-year-old to do on the right-hand corner of the penalty box, but he cut in on his left and curled an effort into the far top corner, past the diving Ramsdale.

City were more in their stride by this point and even after scoring they looked the more likely, with Phil Foden missing a good chance as his effort from close range was well blocked by Ramsdale.

It looked all over for the Gunners before Trossard’s last gasp equaliser and then the one-sided penalty shootout as De Bruyne and Rodri faltered from 12 yards.

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