Arsenal beat Man City on penalties to lift Community Shield

Arsenal beat Manchester City 4-1 on penalties to claim the Community Shield at Wembley, after Leandro Trossard had equalised in the 101st minute of normal time.

Treble-winners City looked on course to add a fourth trophy of the year to their collection, with Cole Palmer’s fine curling shot giving them the lead on 77 minutes. Instead they were handed a third straight Community Shield defeat.

Trossard’s last-gasp effort deflected in off Manuel Akanji to send the contest to penalties, where Kevin De Bruyne – on his return from injury – blasted against the bar and Rodri saw his effort saved.

Arsenal were immaculate from 12 yards, with Martin Odegaard, Trossard, Bukayo Saka and Fabio Vieira hitting the net to land a morale-boosting blow for the Gunners in the season’s curtain-raiser.

There had been plenty of positives for Arsenal during the 90 minutes and they should have led at the break after new signing Kai Havertz missed two good chances. There were good performances from fellow newcomers Jurrien Timber and £105m man Declan Rice, too, with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale sharp late on to keep them in the game and set up the grandstand finish.

He could do nothing about Palmer’s opener, with the 21-year-old bending a brilliant strike into the far corner after a superb break from Phil Foden. England U21 Euros winner Palmer looks set for a big season ahead.

But Arsenal – who were pegged back by City in last season’s Premier League title race – battled deep into stoppage time to get their reward, and will hope this can be the catalyst to launch another battle with Pep Guardiola’s side for the major honours which will be handed out at the other end of the campaign.

How Arsenal clinched another Community Shield…

Arsenal were the Premier League pacesetters for much of last season but it was City who set out to take control of this contest from the off, racking up 85 per cent possession in the first 15 minutes as Thomas Partey’s poor pass for Rice allowed Erling Haaland to tee up Rodri for a deflected shot wide.

Partey had already been booked by then for kicking the ball away and his head coach Mikel Arteta soon felt the force of the stricter attitude towards dissent this season when he was also shown a yellow for having words with the fourth official after Rodri went unpunished for a shirt pull.

New refereeing guidelines in action…

Dissent: With the threshold for a player to be shown a yellow card for dissent reduced this season, both Thomas Partey and Julian Alvarez were cautioned for flicking the ball away after giving away free-kicks.

Policing the technical area: Mikel Arteta was his usual animated self on the touchline but with the behaviour of managers and their backroom staff under greater scrutiny, the Arsenal boss was cautioned early on for his reaction to Rodri escaping a booking after a cynical foul on Kai Havertz.

More accurate game time: Eight minutes were added on at Wembley. However, a clash of heads in stoppage time between Kyle Walker and Thomas Partey saw another five minutes added on with the clock running to 113 minutes before the final whistle sounded. Leandro Trossard’s equaliser came in the 111th minute.

Despite that City dominance of the early stages, Julian Alvarez’s shot wide from distance summed up their struggles to break through a compact Arsenal side and instead it was the Gunners who had the best chances of the half, with Havertz passing up two great openings.

His swivel from Ben White’s pass into the box on 25 minutes was followed by a tame shot which was saved by the feet of Stefan Ortega, with John Stones blocking Gabriel Martinelli’s follow-up. The German then saw the goalkeeper deny him again on 40 minutes, when he failed to convert Saka’s cutback.

Kai Havertz tussles with John Stones
Image:
Kai Havertz tussles with John Stones

The England international had shot wide of the far post himself not long before, sending Arsenal into the interval with belief they could get the better of this City side – although a Rodri effort from the halfway line almost made it an embarrassing end to the half for Ramsdale.

The ‘keeper was sharp to push away Stones’ header from a corner soon after the restart as half-chances came at both ends. Rice fired high and wide from the edge of the box and Saka’s shot was blocked. Timber then got himself in the way of a dangerous effort from Palmer, who had replaced Haaland.

Cole Palmer celebrates after breaking the deadlock in the Community Shield with a stunning strike
Image:
Cole Palmer celebrates after breaking the deadlock in the Community Shield with a stunning strike

There was to be no denying the young forward soon after though. Timber’s replacement Kieran Tierney slipped as the ball came to Palmer in the box but he was already out of position and Palmer capitalised.

It looked almost certain to be the winner, as the sting in Arsenal’s attack seemed to fade, Ramsdale was forced to save brilliantly from Alvarez and then Rodri, an injury to Partey required lengthy treatment and the clock ticked deep into injury time.

But, at the very last moment, Trossard’s drive was deflected in off Akanji, sparking wild celebrations in the Arsenal end and dugout, and dejection from the City camp.

Leandro Trossard celebrates with his Arsenal team-mates after equalising against Man City with a deflected strike
Image:
Leandro Trossard celebrates with his Arsenal team-mates after equalising against Man City with a deflected strike

Those moods were felt again at the end of the shootout, where De Bruyne’s return from the hamstring injury he suffered in the Champions League final ended in disappointment, Ramsdale starred with his stop from Rodri and Vieira clinched the trophy.

Arsenal have won on their last five Community Shield appearances and are outright second on the honours list with 17 overall. They will now have their sights set on bigger prizes to come this season.

As for City, they will hope to bounce back in the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla next Wednesday after their Premier League defence begins at Burnley live on Sky on Friday. They have gone on to win the Premier League after their past two Community Shield defeats and neighbours Manchester United did the same when they lost this fixture after their own treble win in 1999. Don’t write them off.

Guardiola: We faced an extraordinary side; games will now be 100 minutes

Man City boss Pep Guardiola: “Congratulations to Arsenal, we were close. In the last 15-20 minutes of the first half they were better. Second half we were much, much better. We played a really good second half.

“We have to get used to [stoppage time]. I had the feeling it didn’t happen much to extend eight minutes. But they don’t consult with the players, the managers what is their opinion [when they make the rules]. Now the games will be 100 minutes that’s for sure. Imagine if they extend for the goals, and it’s 4-3, tomorrow morning, 9am I am here playing! Don’t ask me my opinion!

“The team behaved unbelievable. We faced an extraordinary team. We were close. We’re disappointed for the fact we were close but it’s football and you can’t always win. Now we’re thinking Friday, to go to Burnley to play.”

Arteta: It feels great! We showed resilience

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta: “It feels great, it doesn’t get better than winning a trophy at Wembley against the best team in world, especially in the way we did it. We had some great chances in the first half but when you don’t take them you know what can happen. But we made the right choices, we kept some momentum and belief and that allowed us to equal the game and win the game on penalties. We showed today a real resilience and fight to win the game.”

Arsenal player reaction: Ramsdale – ‘It’s a statement’

Arsenal players celebrate with their fans after beating Manchester City on penalties to win the Community Shield
Image:
Arsenal players celebrate with their fans after beating Manchester City on penalties to win the Community Shield

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale speaking to ITV: “For us, it’s a statement. It’s a marker to know we can go and beat Man City in a big game when it matters. I’m not sure what it’ll be like this season. But that mental block is gone. We’re ready to push on now.”

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice speaking to ITV: “I am buzzing, this is what I envisioned when I joined. City gave us what we expected, but I am buzzing – so happy. You have to have the patience against them, you have to have mini-games within the game against them like the manager said to us before. To win today, my first for the club. I feel I’ve grown a lot in the last three weeks. There’s a lot of information to take in of what the manager wants. I’m eager to learn and keep improving. I’m sure we can achieve anything this season – we just need to remain focused.”

Opta stats: City’s Community Shield losing streak

  • Arsenal have won the Community Shield for the 17th time, the second-most of any club after Manchester United (21), moving ahead of Liverpool (16).
  • Manchester City are the second team to lose the Community Shield in three consecutive years after Manchester United, who lost four in a row between 1998 and 2001.
  • Kevin De Bruyne has assisted 29 goals in all competitions since the start of last season for Manchester City – the next most by a Premier League player across this period is 15 by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
  • Aged 21 years and 92 days, Manchester City’s Cole Palmer became the youngest player to score in the Community Shield since Cesc Fàbregas for Arsenal against Chelsea in 2005 (18 years, 95 days).
  • Leandro Trossard scored Arsenal’s equaliser in the 111th minute; the Belgian has been directly involved in 12 goals for the Gunners since joining from Brighton (2 goals, 10 assists), the second most of any player for the club in that time after Bukayo Saka (13).
  • Erling Haaland has failed to score in his last six competitive appearances for Manchester City, having previously never gone more than three games without scoring for the club. He failed to attempt a shot for the second time since joining last year, the other instance coming against Spurs in February.

What’s next?

Man City begin their Premier League title defence at Burnley on Friday, live on Sky Sports from 6.30pm; kick off 8pm. They then face Europa League winners Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday August 16 in Greece.

Arsenal host Nottingham Forest a day later, with their Saturday lunchtime clash beginning at 12.30pm.

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