Late drama at Wembley saw us clinch our 17th Community Shield by beating Manchester City 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.
An excellent first half from Mikel Arteta’s team, featuring three debutants in Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz saw them do everything but score, with the latter twice forcing Stefan Ortega into saves with his feet to keep a lacklustre City in the game.
But after the break, Pep Guardiola’s team improved and they grabbed the only goal when substitute Cole Palmer curled home a shot on 77 minutes to seemingly hand City the silverware, but in the 11th minute of second-half stoppage-time, Leandro Trossard saw a shot strike Manuel Akanji and trickle into the net to set up a penalty shootout.
After Kevin de Bruyne hit the crossbar and Aaron Ramsdale saved from Rodri, Fabion Vieria fired home the winning kick to cap a dramatic comeback and allow Martin Odegaard to hoist the silverware.
Positive start unrewarded
A hugely encouraging first half saw us enjoy the better chances and look the more dangerous in attack, while nullifying City to a couple of half-chances.
The reigning Treble holders had the first efforts of the game when Rodri saw a low shot blocked by Declan Rice and dribble just wide of the base of the post, and the same fate befell Julian Alvarez soon after.
But we grew into the game as it developed and on 25 minutes we carved out our first great opportunity when Ben White cut inside on the right and picked out Havertz in the box. The German spun and got a shot away which was saved by the outstretched boot of Ortega, and then Gabriel Martinelli’s rebound was blocked by the chest of John Stones.
Havertz was enjoying his first outing in an Arsenal shirt as he regularly provided an outlet at the spearhead of our attack, and his physical presence caused the City defence plenty of issues. He came even closer to getting his first Gunners goal when we again found joy down the right through Bukayo Saka whose cutback from the byline allowed Havertz to pull the trigger, but he was again denied by the reaction of Ortega.
Guardiola’s team’s frustrations were summed up when Rodri attempted an audacious effort from the halfway line but failed to catch Aaron Ramsdale out, as the champions went in fortunate not to be behind.
Punished by Palmer
Our dominance in possession initially continued after the break, but the opening 20 minutes after the restart saw chances dry up for both teams, although John Stones forced Ramsdale to make a good stop when he met a corner with his head.
The lack of attacking prowess saw Guardiola opt to withdraw the quiet Erling Haaland for Cole Palmer, and the youngster was found in space in the box midway through the second half but an excellent block by Jurrien Timber snuffed the chance out.
But on 77 minutes we weren’t so lucky the second time around when the same man got a similar opportunity from a similar area. After City had countered through Phil Foden, a fortunate rebound allowed Kevin de Bruyne - so often the thorn in our side - to find the young attacker managed who curled the ball around the outstretched Ramsdale to hand his team the lead.
Trossard in the final seconds
With the lead in their grasp, City began to turn the screw and only two great stops by Ramsdale kept us in contention; firstly staying big when Foden was found in close range and managed to divert his attempt, and from the resulting corner he managed to shovel away Rodri’s near post header.
During a lengthy period of second-half stoppage-time, we pushed hard for an equaliser, and in the 101st minute we forced a corner and Trossard tried his luck from the edge of the area, and saw his shot cannon off Akanji and deceive Ortega to hand us a shot at glory via a penalty shootout.
Vieira wins shootout
The kicks were taken in front of our Gooners, with Martin Odegaard tucking home our first before De Bruyne struck the crossbar.
Trossard, Bernardo Silva and Saka all scored, before Ramsdale saved from Rodri, allowing Vieira the chance to win it, which he did to claim the silverware in dramatic circumstances, and spark jubilant scenes between our players and supporters.
1-0 Odegaard scores
1-0 De Bruyne hits bar
2-0 Trossard scores
2-1 Silva scores
3-1 Saka scores
3-1 Ramsdale saves from Rodri
4-1 Vieira scores
We kick off the Premier League campaign at home against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, in a 12.30pm kick-off. Following that, we have our first league away game when we travel to Crystal Palace on Monday, 21 August.
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