Community Shield

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Elneny - This is a tremendous push for us

Mohamed Elneny was a very happy man after we beat Chelsea on penalties on Sunday to lift the Community Shield.


The Egypt international played the full 90 minutes, and believes the victory will give us added motivation ahead of the new campaign.

This is what he said:

on lifting the Community Shield…
Winning the game will give us such a great push forward before the start of the new season. It will help us to start it in the best possible way, especially as we are waiting for a new hard season.

on his own performance…
I am giving all that I have on the field for the team thanks to God and to the support I have from the coach and my team-mates. I am 100 per cent concentrated and I'll give my best to the team day after day.

on an intense game…
We had the motivation to win the game against the league winners - Chelsea - and especially [because it was] almost a week before the start of the league, which will help us a lot. This is a tremendous push for our team to look better and play better on and off the pitch.


Olivier and Sead seal Shield success

We started the 2017/18 season exactly as we finished the last - by beating Chelsea at Wembley Stadium to pick up some silverware.

This time it was the Community Shield that we lifted as we eased past the Blues in a shoot-out after Sead Kolasinac had sent the game to penalties after cancelling out Victor Moses' opener.

Re-live an action-packed game featuring goals, red cards, big tackles and more in our special edit above, and then don't forget to check out the following:


‘We were compact and had great fluency'

Our pre-season schedule has seen us jet around the world for games in Sydney, Shanghai, Beijing before our final three matches in London.

Arsene Wenger is pleased with the way his side is shaping up ahead of Friday’s Premier League opener against Leicester - and saw more positive signs against Chelsea in the Community Shield.

“I’m very, very happy because we had a good performance,” he told Arsenal Player. “It was a good team performance: compact, disciplined, great desire and great fluency collectively. 

“We always had the desire to play, so overall I’m pleased and it’s a good encouragement as well to go into the new season in a positive way. But as well we have to find that good mixture between our confidence and urgency straightaway on Friday night.

“To be honest [pre-season was] long trips and difficult, but the intensity of the games was good. We found a good mixture between working hard in training and having hard games without too much damage. Hopefully we will benefit from that at the start of the season.”


Watch the highlights of the Community Shield

Send Kolasinac scored his first goal for the club as we beat Chelsea 4-1 on penalties to win the Community Shield on Sunday.

Victor Moses put the Blues in front at the start of the second half, before our new signing headed in a late equaliser to send the match to a shoot-out.

Olivier Giroud slotted home the winning penalty, and you can press ‘Play’ to watch our 12-minute highlights package above, or our bitesize round-up below.

Want to watch the whole match? Then you can:

    •    Watch the first half
    •    See the second half plus penalties


‘It was a deep cut… but I feel quite well now’

Per Mertesacker says he is “quite well” despite the deep cut he received after a clash with Gary Cahill in the Community Shield.


The Arsenal captain had to be taken off after the incident in the 32nd minute at Wembley, but says he was soon okay after some treatment.

“I’m pretty well for that hit and for the deep cut I suffered, I feel quite well,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. “The result I think gives me a lift right now.

“I can remember everything [about the clash], so I think there’s no concussion or something, it was just a very, very deep cut and the doctors already said on the pitch they didn’t want to take any risk, so took me off as a precaution and I got some nice stitches.

“I’m not quite sure yet [about whether I will be fit to face Leicester]. We need to take care of this - you know how the swelling goes and if it turns into a black eye or something. It’s too early to say because health is the first thing.”

Cahill went into the Arsenal changing room after the game to apologise to Mertesacker, and the German defender hailed the Chelsea’s defender’s gesture.

“It’s great sportsmanship from him,” he said. “He is as well a champion, a decent fella, so I thanked him again for coming and taking care of that, it’s an accident, but it was a nice touch.”


'I'm getting quite comfortable at Wembley now!'

Three visits to Wembley Stadium, three wins recorded: Rob Holding certainly has taken to life at the national stadium.

The Arsenal centre back was in impressive form once again on Sunday as we beat Chelsea on penalties to lift the Community Shield.

It wasn’t easy though, as we were forced into a defensive reshuffle after Per Mertesacker came off injured in the 32nd minute, but Holding was pleased with the way we responded.

“I’m getting quite comfortable playing here at Wembley - the more you play the more you get used to the atmosphere and stuff,” he told Arsenal Player. 

“The FA Cup semi-final [last season] was probably the most nerve-racking and the final you sort of have a feeling like you’ve done it and then you’re here again, you know the build-up, how special it is, so you’ve just got to take it in and remember it.

“It was my first 90 minutes since getting back, that was important for me. There was a few mistakes I wasn’t happy about, but I’ll get them ironed out over the next week, ready for the Leicester game on Friday. 

“It was okay [after Per went off], I thought we dealt with it fine. Obviously Per is a big presence to be missing. Nacho was slotted into the centre and obviously Sead is a great player and he just slotted in there on the left side and popped up with a goal as well, which was great for him.”


Wenger on Per's injury, plus Ozil and Ramsey

When Per Mertesacker went down injured in the 32nd minute of our Community Shield win against Chelsea, it was not a pretty sight.

With blood pouring from a gash in his forehead, our club captain looked in pain - but Arsene Wenger says that it is not serious.

This is what he had to say:

on Per Mertesacker…
He had a cut on his forehead. It’s nothing bad. It was just bleeding and open, but it’s not bad. 

on whether Per’s substitution should be considered as a ‘tactical substitution’ as it was forced…
I don’t believe that, I think that we are allowed five substitutions - that is enough. It’s just an incident of disappointment. We are happy tonight and that’s it. Let’s just focus on the next game and try to start well. We play Leicester, they have experience and have the same team for four years now and that will be another battle.

on Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey…
I left them all out because some are short of preparation like Alexis. Mesut got a kick on his ankle and it’s swollen so he couldn’t play. He couldn’t practise yesterday. We’ll see but he has a little chance of playing on Friday night. Aaron Ramsey has a chance of playing but I think he could be short as well with a small calf problem.


Welbeck - This is a boost ahead of the new season

Danny Welbeck was in impressive form as we beat Chelsea in the Community Shield on Sunday - and he believes the result is a boost ahead of the new season.


We face Leicester City at the Emirates on Sunday, and the England international feels we can go into the game in confident mood.

This is what he had to say after the game:

on the result…

It’s a good way to start and as we’re going into the season starting on Friday, it’s a bit of a positive for us.

on being ready to go for the campaign…

Yes, it’s what we’ve been doing all pre-season, preparing for the start of the season and hopefully we can start with three points on Friday.

on the team being where they should be…

There’s always ways to improve and we will obviously sit back and analyse this game, where we were good and where we were bad and hopefully we can improve our performances and keep on getting better and better.

on Lacazette’s performance…

He’s come into the team and he’s got a couple of goals in pre-season and hopefully he will when the season starts. It’s nice to be playing with him, with the competition for the forward line now, it’s a healthy debate for the manager to have and I think everyone’s looking forward to the new season.


'Kolasinac was outstanding… he was born strong'

Arsene Wenger discusses the Bosnia international after he scored his first goal for the club in our Community Shield win against Chelsea

As debuts go, Sead Kolasinac’s was pretty unforgettable. 

The Bosnia international came on in the first half of our Community Shield win against Chelsea, slotting into our back three and impressing with a faultless performance at the back.

Not only that, but Kolasinac equalised for us in the 82nd minute with a powerful header, before watching us beat the Blues on penalties at Wembley.

Arsene Wenger was full of praise for our new signing afterwards, saying:

on Sead Kolasinac…
He came on well. He’s normally a wing-back or a full-back but he can also play at centre back. He had a very interesting performance last week and I had a hesitation over playing him from the start today. I thought maybe the pressure of Wembley… but when he came on, he was outstanding.

on whether his power will make it easy for him to adapt to English football…
I would say yes. He is physically very strong naturally. There are players who are pumped up in the gym and players who are born strong. He is the second part.

on whether that convinced him to buy Kolasinac…
In the Premier League, power plays a part, but it’s not only that. We took him as well because of his attitude. I believe that the modern game doesn’t tolerate as many weaknesses as it did 20 years ago and you always need a combination of talent and attitude. He looks to me that he has good talent, but as well a very strong and determined attitude, supported by a strong body.

on Lacazette’s debut…
Lacazette is getting stronger every week and I believe today it’s the first time that you’ve seen that physically. He still needs to adapt to the intensity of the game, but overall in the first half he had very interesting movements and I believe that from what we see today, he will become stronger and stronger and he had a very interesting game.


'We didn't panic… we kept control and came back'

Arsene Wenger was smiling broadly on Sunday after he won the seventh Community Shield of his Arsenal career as we beat Chelsea on penalties.

Afterwards, the boss discussed the team’s performance, the fight they showed and his plans for his squad before the close of the transfer window.

This is what he said:

on the game…
I’m very happy because we won the trophy. The quality of the game was very good and the two teams gave absolutely everything. The two teams played with a lot of intensity and quality. Even when we were 1-0 down, we didn’t panic and kept control of our game to come back. Overall, the performance is a continuity of what we did at the end of last season. 

on whether winning the Community Shield will set the tone for the season…
It’s an encouragement and nothing more than that. We want to find a good balance between the confidence we can get out of these games and the urgency that every Premier League game demands. We had some bad starts in the first game of the Premier League over the last four years but we’ve had the intensity in our games that is needed to be ready. Let’s go into the Premier League with the same discipline, the same spirit, and see where we can go. If you look at the Premier League, there’s seven or eight teams who you can say can win the Premier League, so it makes it very interesting.

on the team’s fight…
It is an interesting quality, but you know as well that the problem for the managers is to maintain that kind of spirit through the season, through difficult periods and to maintain that togetherness as well. You will have some individual disappointments through the season and it’s important that we focus on keeping together in every single game. The Premier League is very unpredictable because every game is a fight and as soon as you are a bit off you don’t win.

on the ‘negative atmosphere’ surrounding the team being gone now…
Yes, it’s down to us to keep a positive atmosphere around the team. I think a lot was created by my own situation and maybe I made a mistake, but overall I believe that it’s down to us - the strength always comes from the team.

on having 33 players in the squad now…
To be honest the number is too high and we let some players go because too much competition for places is detrimental, not enough competition for places is detrimental as well. But I agree with you that 33 is too high.

on Chelsea’s chances this season…
They will be there again, they are a top-quality team and I think that we cannot discount Chelsea.

Post-Match Report

Arsenal v Chelsea: How we saw the game

Sead Kolasinac scored his first goal for the club on his Arsenal debut as we beat Chelsea on penalties to lift the Community Shield.

Victor Moses had given the Blues the lead right at the start of the second half with a sharp finish, before Sead Kolasinac equalised with a header on his debut.

But with no further goals, the game went to spot-kicks and Thiabaut Courtois the first to miss and then Alvaro Morata following suit for Antonio Conte’s side.

That left Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud with the chance to win it, and neither wasted their chance as we won 4-1 on penalties to lift the trophy.

We made a really sharp start and, with the sun once again shining down on Wembley as we snapped into tackles and passed it around slickly, it was hard not to think back to May 27, and that unforgettable Emirates FA Cup final.

Alex Iwobi has had a fine pre-season, and he picked up from where he left off in the opening exchanges, finding space in the area before firing in a powerful cross that just evades Alexandre Lacazette.

Iwobi was back at it again moments later, nearly breaking through again after slick way between him and Mohamed Elneny as we remained firmly on the front foot.

Our best chance of the first half came in the 22nd minute when Lacazette, a lively, impressive presence, span away from Marcos Alonso nby the halfway line and ran at pace towards goal.

The France international, Hector Bellerin and Danny Welbeck combined well, before the ball was returned to Lacazette to the left of the area, and his shot was curled beyond Courtois but rattled against the post.

A facial injury to Per Mertesacker, which ultimately saw the captain replaced by Sead Kolasinac, halted the game for a few minutes and somewhat took the momentum out of it – although Petr Cech had to be alert to deny Victor Moses and Pedro before the interval.

The game changed 44 seconds after the restart, as Chelsea took the lead when Moses reacted quickest to a ball headed back into the area, taking the ball down and beating Cech from close range.

We reacted smartly to this setback, with Elneny twice taking aim in quick succession, firstly with a shot that flew high and wide and then with a cross-cum-shot that Courtois had to palm over the bar.

With clock counting down, and Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott introduced off the bench, we tried to find a way back into the game – and came close when Granit Xhaka let fly from 30 yards, but his shot was tipped wide by Courtois.

There was a further twist though, when Pedro was given his marching orders for a late, raking tackle on the Achilles of Elneny – and from the resulting free kick we had the equaliser we deserved.

Xhaka, who had played a fine game, whipped in an inch-perfect ball and there was Kolasinac, in space and with time to pick his spot, and he made no mistake with a firm header into the bottom corner.

With the pendulum of the game having swung back in our favour, and with a man advantage, we pushed on in search of a winner – but to no avail, and on we went to penalties, using the ABBA system for the first time.


Click here for our minute-by-minute coverage of all the action from Wembley.


6 – Iwobi wriggles his way past Azpilicueta and into the area, before pulling the ball back across goal but Lacazette cannot react quickly enough to convert it

10 – Iwobi plays a quick pass Elneny on the edge of the box and slips through into the box, but can’t quite control the return pass properly and Courtois is able to block hit shot

44 – Iwobi spins away from Fabregas and makes a driving run to the edge of the area, where he combines well with Oxlade-Chamberlain before taking aim with a low shot that Courtois saves

Alexi Iwobi

Alexi Iwobi

64 – Iwobi spins away into space down the right and races towards goal, before putting a low ball into the box towards Lacazette but Cahill gets a foot in to snuff out the danger

67 – Iwobi makes way for Theo Walcott, but not before receiving a roar of approval from the Arsenal fans