Arsenal claimed their 15th FA Charity Community Shield Title after beating London Rivals Chelsea 4-1 on penalties at the Wembley Stadium Sunday afternoon. The game ended 1-1 in 90 minutes thanks to goals from Victor Moses and debutant, Sead Kolasinac respectively. Here are five things we’ve learned from yesterday’s game:
1. Alexandre Lacazette looks like a good prospect
Arsenal’s new signing, Alexandre Lacazette did not have one of those fantastic games but he looks like the “real deal”. The Frenchman’s pace and movement in the final third and partnership of Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck in the front three were impressive. He has been added to the Arsenal’s squad for goals – he almost did that in the 21st minute after a quick one two in the Chelsea penalty box but his curler beat Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois but the ball hit the post. He possesses threat offensively and this might be the answer that the Arsenal fans have been screaming for.
2. Chelsea’s vulnerability in counter-attacks
From kick-off, Arsenal looked lively until the final whistle. The Gunners were dangerous on the counterattack, and caused problems for the Chelsea defence which looked vulnerable on the day. The Gunners had good chances to score from the front three of Iwobi, Welbeck and Lacazette. If Arsenal had converted all their chances, we would be speaking a different case for Conte’s side.
3.Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka – a partnership that works
The midfield pairing of Mohammed Elneny and Granit Xhaka was outstanding. They controlled that midfield as Chelsea didn’t have answers. Chelsea’s midfield pairing of N’golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas certainly didn’t have answers. They were quickly closed down every time they had the ball. Elneny was the “game-breaker” as he, in particular, had an outstanding game. He was good going forward which allowed Xhaka to sit in midfield, dictate and spread those passes wide and forward looking for the pace of the front three. Elneny linked up well with the front three. Whether this is a partnership to look out for in the new season remains to be seen.
4. Antonio Conte’s big gamble didn’t pay off
Chelsea’s manager Antonio Conte big gamble of not starting with his new signings certainly didn’t pay off. £70m signing Alvaro Morata came on in the 74th minute but didn’t offer much going forward. He’ll have to quickly adapt to the style of play at Chelsea to replicate Diego Costa’s form last season. Even Conte mentioned that Morata is still struggling to terms of the style of play the team uses. To look also at the depth of this Chelsea side, it raises a concern as they named three teenage youngsters on the bench which tells you that they may still need reinforcements in the team if they want to compete in the Champions League. It might have been the final game of preseason but, the Premier League is a week away from kick-off. You get the sense why Conte uses two defensive midfielders in big games. If Chelsea plays Fabregas, the team always seem to struggle, as Kante tried but couldn’t do it alone as the Arsenal midfield looked in control.
5. Arsenal – an all too familiar tale
In the overall 90 minutes, Arsenal by far deserved the win against their London rivals. From the kick-off, they looked like they wanted it more than Chelsea. Though Chelsea scored first from a well-taken goal by Victor Moses, Chelsea did not offer much going forward. The Arsenal side had a good game plan – they dominated ball possession and looked good offensively. They were ticking in every department and deserved the win. Chelsea, however, did not come to the party as they found themselves with a man short after Pedro’s lunge on Elneny in which Referee, Bob Medley, gave him a straight Red Card. Arsenal’s victory on Sunday has the makings of a very familiar tale. They always start like strong title favourites, but end up clawing at the straws for the last champions league spots. With the squad at present, they still don’t look like challenging for the League.
Author: Takalani Lufhugu