On Sunday the 6th August, I witnessed Arsenal crowned the winners of the Community Shield for the 15th time against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium. The Community Shield is the game in which the team who won the Premier League which was Chelsea and the team who won the FA Cup Arsenal, play a friendly/competitive match to signal a week until the Premier League season returns for a new campaign.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect from Arsenal leading up to the game in terms of who will be in our starting 11. I just knew I wanted our record signing, new striker Alexandre Lacazette to start up front for the gunners as I just wanted to see more of what he has to offer in his game as this game is a big test for him as he is in front of thousands of fans, against Chelsea at Wembley.
The starting 11 did involve him and was quite similar to the lineup and formation we used for the FA Cup Final back in May. It is just big names such as Ozil and Alexis Sanchez were not in contention for the game which for some fans was a worry but nevertheless, Arsenal has a strong squad depth so the 11 we had on the field are good enough for the opposing Chelsea team.
The atmosphere was building up and they did a very nice touch as they had singers from the Grenfell Tower Choir to sing the charity single before kick off which was very nice and also did a minute silence for those who died in the tragic fire. The players came out and chants and cheering were roaring, fans were happy as football was back!
First half I believe we did very well, we were the better side against Chelsea we were more attacking and Lacazette had a brilliant effort rebound off the post. There was an injury to captain Mertesacker which was a deep cut to the head so he had to come off. I think defensively when he left we missed his grand presence for a couple of minutes until we reshuffled and our new signing Sead Kolasinac came in and was very impressive making good runs and he looks very very tough and strong which we need for the squad. The second half started and about 2mins in Chelsea scored, it came from nowhere, Victor Moses crashes the ball past Petr Cech. Luckily it was still early on in the half and Arsenal had time to respond. The resulting free kick from a Pedro red card saw Xhaka whip it in for Kolasinac to head in our equalising goal! He took the goal very well indeed.
After 90 minutes and a further 5, minutes of extra time meant that it had to go straight to penalties. Arsenal won the shootout as the winning penalty came from Olivier Giroud and Wembley was Gunner Red for the 9th consecutive visit.
Friday is the start of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign and Arsenal plays Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium, the first game to kick off the new season. The atmosphere should be good as everyone is rearing to go for the new season. I am so glad football is back and feeling really excited to see what lies ahead for the next couple of weeks with Arsenal fingers crossed they have a strong start to the league. COYG!