Arsenal beat Man City on penalties to win Community Shield
LONDON - Arsenal lifted the Community Shield to end Manchester City’s silverware streak with a 4-1 penalty shoot-out victory after a 1-1 draw against the treble winners on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta’s side forced the shoot-out thanks to Leandro Trossard’s heavily deflected equaliser 11 minutes into stoppage time after Cole Palmer’s superb curler put City ahead late in the second half at Wembley.
Kevin De Bruyne hit the bar with City’s first spot-kick and Rodri’s effort was saved by Aaron Ramsdale before Fabio Vieira converted the decisive kick in the annual curtain-raiser to the Premier League season.
Arsenal’s celebrations were far more frenzied than would normally be seen in what in the glamour friendly, but their jubilation underlined the months of anguish endured since they blew a golden opportunity to win their first title since 2004.
“It feels great. It doesn’t get much better than winning a trophy at Wembley against the best team in the world,” Arteta said.
“We are here to win trophies for this club. Seeing so many happy and proud people is great.”
City boss Pep Guardiola added: “We are disappointed. We would love to win today. Manchester City is a good team but sometimes you lose.
“In the end we could not do it, their penalty takers were better than us.”
City made history by becoming only the second English club to lift the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in a single season last term.
Their fifth Premier League title in six seasons came at Arsenal’s expense as the Gunners wasted the eight-point lead they held at the start of April to finish five points behind the champions.
Showcasing £160 million (S$237.21 million) worth of new signings in Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber, it was clear Arsenal had a point to prove to City as they snapped into tackles with the kind of urgency that usually accompanies a title decider.
While Arteta and his players cavorted around the pitch and soaked up the raucous celebrations from their fans, they might wish to note that the Community Shield winners have gone on to secure the Premier League title just once since 2011.
Arsenal led the table for 248 days last season and still fell short, prompting Arteta to admit they will need an “unheard of” points total to stop the champions, who are aiming for an unprecedented fourth successive title.
Arteta will have been encouraged by a composed display from England midfielder Rice following his £105 million move from West Ham.
Timber, another new recruit, was also solid at left-back but Havertz was typically profligate as he wasted Arsenal’s two best chances to take the lead.
Havertz will be expected to lead the Arsenal attack while Gabriel Jesus recovers from knee surgery and this was hardly the ideal introduction to his new club for the inconsistent German.
Mateo Kovacic was energetic on his City debut after the midfielder’s move from Chelsea, but fellow Croatian Josko Gvardiol was unavailable following the defender’s arrival from Leipzig on Saturday.
Palmer was the anonymous Erling Haaland’s second half replacement and the promising youngster netted in the 77th minute.
City broke at pace and when Kieran Tierney lost the ball carelessly, De Bruyne’s header found Palmer and he curled a sublime finish into the far corner from the edge of the area.
But in a sign of things to come under the new time-wasting rules, there was a huge amount of stoppage time and Arsenal snatched the equaliser 11 minutes into the additional period.
It was a hugely fortunate goal as Trossard cut in from the right and hit his shot straight at Manuel Akanji, only for the ball to deflect off the City defender past the wrong-footed Stefan Ortega.
Arteta celebrated as though Arsenal had won the league and the Spaniard let his emotions hang out again when Vieira converted the winning penalty to light the fuse on the looming title race. AFP