Arsenal Beat Chelsea to Win the Charity Shield.
Arsenal rounded off a perfect pre-season by beating the Premier League Champions, Chelsea, in the traditional new season appetizer, the Football Association Community Shield, still known by most of us as the Charity Shield.
Prior to Sunday’s game, Arsenal had played four pre-season warm ups and won all of them, picking up two trophies along the way.
In Singapore, Arsenal beat a Singapore select 11 and Everton, to win the Barclays Asia Trophy.
At their own ground, Arsenal beat VfL Wolfsburg and Lyon to re-claim the Emirates Cup, scoring 14 goals in those four games and conceding only one.
Before the Charity Shield game, Mourinho was up to his old tricks of making ridiculous statements about his opponents. The loss never stopped him. Post match he said the best team lost and the most defensive team won, ignoring his own tactics for the last few seasons.
Mourinho never allows the facts to get in the way of an outrageous proclamation. The match stats were pretty even, except the shots on target. In that area Arsenal more than doubled Chelsea’s attempts and of course the crucial one, from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, went in.
The win breaks a long running sequence of losses by teams managed by Arsene Wenger against Jose Mourinho. As the Arsenal boss says, this will come as a huge psychological bonus going into the new season.
This is how the BBC described Sunday’s action.
FA Cup holders Arsenal won the Community Shield for a second season in a row as they beat Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the winner with a powerful drive into the top corner with his weaker left foot.
Ramires headed wide unmarked from Loic Remy’s cross as Chelsea failed to hit the target before the break.
Eden Hazard skied a chance over the bar before Oscar’s free-kick was parried wide by Arsenal debutant Petr Cech.
It was the first time the former Chelsea goalkeeper had been called into action – after 68 minutes of play – and soon after he comfortably held on to Kurt Zouma’s header.
Arsenal went close late on through Santi Cazorla and Kieran Gibbs
Wenger finally beats the ‘Special One’
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger finally had reason to celebrate against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea having failed to win in any of his previous 13 attempts.
In February 2014 the Chelsea boss called his opposite number a “specialist in failure”, and then in October the Gunners boss shoved his rival during a heated touchline quarrel.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s stunning strike was Arsenal’s first goal against Chelsea for 506 minutes, as the Gunners ended the Blues’ eight-match unbeaten run against them.
Chelsea though can argue they are a week behind Arsenal in terms of preparation, with Italian side Fiorentina visiting Stamford Bridge in their final pre-season match in midweek.
Who is ready for the Premier League?
Arsenal ended last season with 20 wins from 27 matches in all competitions, a win ratio of 74% compared to Chelsea’s 58%, and continued where they left off on Sunday.
The Gunners, who have already won two pre-season tournaments, have only added goalkeeper Petr Cech to their ranks this summer but his calm defensive presence will boost hopes of ending their 11-year wait for the title.
Both sides struggled to create a lot going forward at Wembley, although Olivier Giroud’s introduction for Theo Walcott in attack after the break saw Arsenal look more of a threat offensively.
Chelsea, without last season’s top scorer Diego Costa due to injury, were also toothless before the break with Loic Remy not threatening as the lone striker.
Last season’s Premier League champions have not won a match in pre-season but will believe second-half substitute Radamel Falcao, making his debut, and Costa will improve their attacking threat.
Gunners midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, on BBC Radio 5 live: “It’s really nice to come to Wembley and win. We wanted to keep our good streak here going. We are delighted to win another trophy and for me personally, I’m happy I got the winner.
“I don’t actually think I’ve lost at Wembley. Long may it continue. Today was a big game for us and we wanted to lay down a marker for our manager and our fans. I want to contribute more goals this season, it’s a target I’ve set for myself, and of course I’m happy to have got the goal today.”
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on BT Sport: “We were the best team. We had more initiative, we controlled the game by having ball possession. Arsenal defended with 10 players, they put everybody in front of their own line and they had good organisation, congratulations to them.
More at Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea
Mourinho can say what he likes to the press, but privately he knows that Arsenal are a major threat this season. Their form at the end of last season has continued throughout the summer and Wenger will do everything he can to ensure that it persists throughout the coming campaign.
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