Arsenal v Chelsea

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Post-Match Report

Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea: How it happened

Chelsea -

Aviva Stadium, Dublin
International Champions Cup
International Champions Cup
  Arsenal
      
                  Lacazette (90)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Lacazette (90)
1 1
  Chelsea
      
              Rudiger (5)
          
   crest
Chelsea
Rudiger (5)

WHAT HAPPENED

Petr Cech saved two more penalties as we fought back to pip Chelsea in the International Champions Cup in Dublin.
 
Our goalkeeper denied Alvaro Morata from the spot in normal time and then kept out Rueben Loftus-Cheek’s penalty in the shootout - setting up Alex Iwobi to convert the winner.
 
That all followed a dramatic finale to the 90 minutes that saw Alex Lacazette score from close range with virtually the last kick of the match. It was a deserved equaliser after we forced Chelsea back in the second half.
 
The first half belonged largely to our London rivals and they took an early lead when Antonio Rudiger powered in an unchallenged header from Cesc Fabregas’ corner.

 
It almost got worse. The pacy Callum Hudson-Odoi got in behind Hector Bellerin, raced into the penalty area and was clipped as he checked back inside. But Cech flung himself to his right to deny Morata.
 
We came alive when Mesut Ozil got into the game, bending beautiful passes into the path of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and then Henrikh Mkhitaryan to help set up chances for Emile Smith Rowe and Aubameyang.
 
We stayed in the ascendancy from then onwards. Mkhitaryan had a deflected shot saved by Willy Caballero, Aubameyang had an effort blocked after a delicious flick from Ozil set him up, and substitute Lacazette was inches away from finding the bottom corner.
 
In the end the Frenchman did get his goal - and this time our penalties were all converted. 


HOW IT HAPPENED

See how our penultimate pre-season game panned out with our play-by-play commentary. 

FOUR THINGS WE NOTICED

Guendouzi, Cech, Bellerin and formations
 

RAMSEY REPLACED

Aaron Ramsey was taken out of the starting line-up as a precaution after picking up a minor calf problem during the warm-up and Sead Kolasinac was taken off injured in the second half.
 
None of the players who returned to training at the start of the week were included in the squad. That meant Lucas Torreira, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka all stayed in London.

BACK IN IRELAND

This was our first visit to Ireland since March 1992, when Alan Smith scored in a 1-1 draw with Shelbourne at Tolka Park.
 
But we’d never before played on the site of the old Lansdowne Road - where the Aviva Stadium is now situated.
 
This was our record in Ireland ahead of the Chelsea game:
 
October 1948: Bohemians 0 Arsenal 6 (Rooke 3, Roper 2, McPherson), Dalymount Park
May 1950: Bohemians 2 Arsenal 5 (Lishman 3, Goring 2), Dalymount Park
March 1962: Bohemians 3 Arsenal 8 (Eastham 3, Skirton 3, Kinsella, Strong), Dalymount Park
April 1964: Dublin Select 0 Arsenal 2 (MacLeod, Skirton), Dalymount Park
February 1986: Shamrock Rovers 1 Arsenal 0, Glenmalure Park
August 1986: Shamrock Rovers 0 Arsenal 2 (Davis, Rix), Glenmalure Park
August 1986: Waterford 1 Allinson 1 (Allinson), Kilcohan Park
August 1989: Bohemians 1 Arsenal 2 (Richardson, Campbell), Dalymount Park
March 1992: Shelbourne 1 Arsenal 1 (Smith), Tolka Park


WHAT’S NEXT

Our pre-season programme concludes on Saturday with a friendly against Lazio in Stockholm.
 
Then it’s all eyes on the big Premier League kick-off - Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.
 

Friends Arena

Friends Arena in Stockholm - the venue for Saturday's match against Lazio

Press conference

Why Aaron Ramsey missed the Chelsea game

Aaron Ramsey

Unai Emery is confident that Aaron Ramsey does not have “a big problem” after he was a late omission from the team to face Chelsea.

The Wales midfielder was in the starting line-up but was replaced by Emile Smith Rowe for our 1-1 draw - and penalty shootout win.

“He has one little muscular pain and we decided not to start him in the match because it’s maybe a big risk for him,” said Unai Emery.

“But I’m waiting for the medical analysis and I don’t think it will be a big problem.”

Press conference

Emery on Ramsey contract and N’Zonzi rumours

Aaron Ramsey before our friendly against Chelsea in Dublin

Aaron Ramsey’s contract situation, our performance against Chelsea and the possibility of new recruits before the transfer deadline.

Unai Emery addressed all of those topics in his post-match press conference in Dublin on Wednesday night.

Read on for a transcript:

on Aaron Ramsey’s contract situation…
It’s one question for the club and another for the player. I am very, very concentrated and my focus is thinking everyday about the training, the players and the match on Saturday against Lazio, and then against Manchester City.

on if he’s thought about what he’ll do if Ramsey doesn’t sign…
I think my opinion is clear, I want him to be with us, but then it’s one question for the player and the club. My opinion is professional and is in the interest of the team.

on the team’s performance…
We are very happy with the 90 minutes because I think the performance was getting better throughout the match after the first goal. But I think it’s also good because in this moment we need to stay together and react to these moments in the game, and then I think we controlled he match with possession, had good positioning on the pitch and created lots of chances which led to the goal. For that, I think the performance tonight was good and it will help us in our preparation for the start of the competition. After this, it’s clear that the problems tonight were Aaron Ramsey – but that’s not a big issue – and then Kolasinac because he’s injured his leg. We’re waiting for the medical analysis to find out what this injury is.

on whether he’s interested in N’Zonzi…
At the moment I’m very happy with the players that are here with us. We also have others still to come, like Nacho Monreal, Lucas and Xhaka, who will start to get minutes on Saturday. I am telling you that we’re speaking inside and we are OK. There is only a possibility that we sign someone if it’s a good opportunity.

on how his centre forwards played…
I am very happy with their positioning off the ball and breaking the opposition’s lines. Then for the finishing, we want to continue on improving that, but we have very, very good strikers in Lacazette, Aubameyang and Nketiah. For me, the best situation tonight is that our striker took his chance tonight and grabbed the goal.

Quotes

'We've worked really hard... we felt prepared'

Cech denies Morata from the spot

Petr Cech was pivotal in our win over Chelsea in Dublin on Wednesday night.

The former Czech Republic international denied Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the penalty shoot-out entered sudden death, as well as keeping out a regular time spot-kick from Alvaro Morata.

On top of that, Cech denied Morata once more in open play, as well as thwarting the best efforts of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Cesc Fabregas.

Here's what Petr had to say after the final whistle:

on his emotions after the penalty shoot-out…
Well, I have to say that first of all I’m glad we came into the penalty shoot-out because we were losing the game until the last minute, so credit to all of us that we managed to dig in and manage to find an equaliser. In the shoot-out everyone took their penalties very well and there was only one miss.
 
I was very close to the first one which was a bit of a shame because I had my hand to it and it hit my head and I thought it was going to go wide, but it went in. But in the end our boys managed to keep their nerves and we managed to win. Its always good for the confidence before the season starts
 
on his two penalty saves and the team's performance…
I felt confident. We’ve been working really hard and really well, so when you are prepared you feel confident obviously. The game didn’t start well for us when we went 1-0 down, but eventually we improved and in the end from both sides it was a really entertaining and quality game.

Petr Cech

Interview

Laca - I should have scored before, but it's OK

Alex Lacazette was in the right place at the right time to take our International Champions Cup game against Chelsea to penalties - with virtually the last kick of the game.

The France striker adjusted his foot to convert a cross from close range deep into stoppage time, and then scored from the spot to help us beat our London rivals in the shootout.

"Yeah, it was a great finish to the game," Lacazette told Arsenal.com. "I should have scored before when I had the chance but it’s OK, I scored and helped the team to go to the penalties, and we won, so we’re happy.

"The cross [for the equaliser] came to me very fast and with a rebound, so I didn’t know where it was going to be! I put my foot there and it went inside [the goal].

"We took perfect penalties,” he added. “It was not like Atletico, and thank you Petr for another save."

Lacazette and his team-mates have 10 days to get ready for the Premier League opener against Manchester City, and he is confident we’ll be ready.

"I hope we are getting to 100 per cent, the most important thing is to be 100 per cent for the first game day, so we work for that and we hope in 10 days it will be all good," he said.

"I feel good, I worked a lot since the beginning of July. I have worked and I hope I will be ready."