A first-half goal from England forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made all the difference at Wembley Stadium on Sunday as Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the 2015 FA Community Shield Cup.
That’s the first goal Arsenal have scored against a Chelsea team managed by Arsene Wenger’s worst foe Jose mourinho since 2007, mathematically 506 minutes of play.
The deciding moment came in the 24th
minute when Chamberlain, who
was later named Man of the Match,
received the ball from the centralised Theo Walcott on the right.
Chamberlain was quick to cut back inside, beating Cesar Azpilicueta, before unleashing a thunderous left-footed effort past Thibaut Courtois and into the top right corner.
It was a fine move from Arsenal which ended in a superb finish from a player who has done his starting chances no harm on the eve of the new campaign.
Chelsea went close later in the first half
when Ramires really should have done better when he headed wide from point-blank range.
The Premier League champions looked the more dominant of the two sides for majority of the second-half and had a number of chances to equalise especially when PFA player of the year Eden Hazard uncharacteristically spooned a close range attempt over Petr Cech’s goal.
The half chances kept coming for Chelsea but a lack of invention in the final third would prove to be their downfall.
Olivier Giroud was bright for the Gunners after replacing Walcott midway through the term and had a couple of gilt-edged opportunities while his new teammate down the other end in Cech came up with a quality save to deny Oscar’s bending free-kick.
Courtois was also busy at times and needed to be at his best to keep out Kieran Gibbs’ late in the piece, stopping the left-back with a fine one-on-one save at the death.
In the end, however, the FA Cup holders showed resilience to come away with a narrow victory which is sure to give them, as well as their who are yet to celebrate a league success since 2004, something to really look forward to as the new season begins next weekend as they welcome West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium.