Posted by News Express | 2 August 2015 | 2,835 times
Arsene Wenger earned his first-ever win over Jose Mourinho as Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 this afternoon at Wembley to win the England FA Community Shield.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when he cut in from the right and fired a fine strike across goal and past Thibaut Courtois.
Ramires missed an excellent chance to equalise when he headed over from close range and Eden Hazard also spurned a good opportunity following the introduction of Radamel Falcao at half-time.
However, Arsenal held firm to lift the trophy for the second year in succession and set themselves up well for the new Premier League season.
Defending champions Chelsea could be without Diego Costa for the start of the campaign as he missed out at Wembley with a hamstring injury. Loic Remy came in to replace Costa while Arsenal named goalkeeper Petr Cech in their starting line-up following his summer move across London and Theo Walcott, who has just signed a lucrative new deal, led the Arsenal attack.
England midfielder Jack Wilshere missed out, presumably as a precaution against injury, and Olivier Giroud started on the bench.
With Remy leading the line, the league champions were lively early on but neither side managed to create any clear chances.
When the first opportunity did arrive in the 24th minute, Arsenal took the lead. Mesut Ozil played the ball across to Walcott in space, who in turn fed Oxlade-Chamblerlain on the overlap down the right.
The midfielder strode into the Chelsea penalty area before cutting back inside Cesar Azpilicueta and drilling a left-foot shot into the far corner to score Arsenal’s first goal against the Blues since January 2013.
The Premier League champions were soon looking to reassert their authority though as Ramires curled an effort just wide from outside the penalty area before somehow heading over Remy’s cross from inside the six-yard box.
As half-time approached, Oxlade-Chamberlain got away down the right again but this time his floated ball back across goal was headed away by Branislav Ivanovic just as Nacho Monreal set himself to score.
Mourinho made a change for the second half when Remy was replaced by Falcao and soon afterwards sent Oscar into the action for Ramires.
Arsenal, though, remained an effective defensive unit, something which had been lacking in recent meetings with the Blues.
They did receive a let-off, however, when Hazard broke into the right side of the penalty area on the hour mark and blasted the ball high over Cech’s goal.
Former Chelsea keeper Cech produced a good save to keep out a curling 20-yard free-kick from Oscar in the 68th minute and Arsenal continued to hold firm as the clock wore down.
They almost made it 2-0 in the closing stages when Santi Cazorla’s chipped effort was saved by Courtois and Aaron Ramsey’s follow-up was deflected just wide.
Kieran Gibbs was then denied in stoppage time by another good block from the Chelsea keeper but Arsenal held out for victory ahead of the 2015/16 season next weekend.
•Adapted from a Sky Sports report. Photo shows Arsenal players celebrating their Community Shield victory.
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