Five things we learned from Arsenal's dramatic penalty shootout win over Chelsea in the Community Shield

Arsenal won the traditional curtain-raiser 4-1 on penalties after Sead Kolasinac's powerful header cancelled out Victor Moses' opener in normal time

Sunday 06 August 2017 16:22
Sead Kolasinac's equaliser sent the game to penalties
Sead Kolasinac's equaliser sent the game to penalties

Arsenal claimed victory in the Community Shield, beating London rivals Chelsea 4-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Victor Moses had opened the scoring at Wembley after capitalising on a breakdown in communication among Arsenal's backline.

The Premier League champions held on to their lead until the final 10 minutes of the match when Sead Kolasinac met Granit Xhaka's free-kick to head home an equaliser.

Both sides were unable to find a winning goal, sending the game to penalties and an eventual Arsenal victory.

Here's five things we learned:

Both managers have work to do before next weekend

It’s hard to read too much into what is effectively the last friendly of pre-season but you get the sense both managers will have plenty to ponder ahead of the start of the Premier League next weekend.

Arsenal enjoyed much of the better play in the first-half but then some sloppy defending right after half-time saw Chelsea score. That loss of concentration will have frustrated Wenger and Arsenal will need to make sure that doesn’t become a regular habit.

Willian was booked for diving in the first half

As for Antonio Conte, his Chelsea side looked undercooked and will perhaps benefit from the 90 minute run-out as much as anything else.

Lacazette’s class invigorates Welbeck

It was a relatively quiet debut for Arsenal’s record signing. But the Frenchman has been brought in to score goals and he looks primed to do that. His movement and feint to find half a yard that ended with a shot against the post showed a touch of class that Arsenal’s other forwards - bar the wantaway Alexis Sanchez - arguably don’t possess.

Lacazette in action for Arsenal

Lacazette’s introduction also seemed to invigorate Danny Welbeck who set about the pitch like a man with a point to prove. He put in a tireless performance on the left of the front three – regularly chasing back to help out with defensive work. An injury-free run could see the Englishman enjoy a big season for Arsenal.

Wenger still seems unsure of his best formation

Arsenal began the game with the back three that they ended last season – and once again it seemed to be working. But Per Mertesacker’s injury around the half hour mark saw Wenger switch to a back four – with new signing Sead Kolasinac slotting in at left-back.

Per Mertesacker was forced off early after taking a blow to the head

While it didn’t appear to have an immediate impact on Arsenal’s fortunes it does suggest Wenger still isn’t sure on his favoured formation. When Mustafi, Gabriel and Koscielny all return, Wenger will at least have more options and may well go back to the three that seemed to work so well before.

Conte's power play backfires - or did it?

Conte spent a large portion of his pre-match press conference bemoaning the size of his squad, and not so subtly urging the Chelsea board to invest in more players before the start of the new season. And his point about the small size of his squad was proven in emphatic fashion by the Community Shield programme:

As if to further hammer home his point, Conte did not name any of his new signings in his starting eleven, and did not bring on £60m summer signing Alvaro Morata until the 74th-minute.

It was a high-risk strategy for Conte, and unfortunately for Chelsea backfired when his side failed to win the match. Or did it? This defeat ultimately proved that Chelsea will need reinforcing further if they are to challenge in all competitions.

Luiz and Elneny tussle for possession

Pedro's rash challenge proves costly

Pedro was Chelsea’s brightest player in the first-half and was just as impressive in the second – until he controversially saw red for jumping into a tackle with Mohamed Elneny.

It was undoubtedly a poor challenge, with Pedro catching Elneny on his ankle, although whether the tackle deserved a straight red card will be debated long after the match.

The sending off proved costly for Chelsea, as they conceded 82 seconds later. However, because the Community Shield is classed as a non-competitive game by the FA, he will still be available for the first match of the new Premier League season.

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