Arsenal vs Chelsea - New strikers headline blockbuster Community Shield showdown
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Aug 07, 2017,
Aug 07, 2017, 0:41
Despite missing out on a Champions League place courtesy of finishing 5th in the Premier League table last season, Arsenal won their final five league games before beating Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final.
Games against Arsenal in part shaped Chelsea's Premier League title-winning season, when Conte revived the Blues from 10th the previous term.
Just like in the FA Cup final, Chelsea was reduced to 10 men.
Arsene Wenger hailed an "outstanding" Sead Kolasinac after the signing scored in Sunday's Community Shield victory, and said the defender's physicality will make him a flawless fit for the Premier League.
Chelsea inked striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco and defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma during the offseason, but those arrivals have been negated by the departures of Nemanja Matic and John Terry.
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Chelsea struggled to test Gunners goalkeeper Petr Cech, as Arsenal's midfield controlled the momentum of the game.
The match will kick-off at 6:30 PM (Indian Standard Time) on Sunday.
"The strength of professional people is to not be diverted by noises that are not their problem", Wenger said Thursday. Proof that Arsene Wenger boys deserved the victory even manifested in the goal kicks that Chelsea played, 14 to Arsenal's three.
Wenger made two changes with 24 minutes remaining, Theo Walcott and Giroud replacing Iwobi and Lacazette, and Xhaka nearly equalised soon after with a superb 30-yard strike, Courtois producing a fingertip save to deny him.
While the Community Shield is far from the be-all and end-all and will ultimately have little reflection on the overall campaign, it is a game neither side will want to lose and the added spice of a London derby should make it an interesting affair nonetheless.
With Arsenal on the offensive, things got worse for Blues with Pedro getting a red card. The match went to penalties where Arsenal held their nerve, scoring four times from the spot to Chelsea's one.