Goals from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud meant it was a happy Wembley return for Arsenal against an understrength lacklustre Man City side
Let’s not read too much into this: City were far from full-strength and once Sanchez went off, Arsenal didn’t threaten, Giroud’s wondergoal aside. It is also worth bearing in mind that only seven Community/Charity Shield winners have gone on to win the league in the Premier League era.
However, Arsenal’s record against the so-called bigger sides and this result will do wonders for their confidence. In spurts, they looked a real threat.
For City, this might be the result that wakes them up. I can’t expect training will be very fun this week – they face Newcastle away next Sunday and will need their big players – Toure in particular – to step up. I was impressed with Jovetic and Kolarov, not sure about the rest today.
Thanks for your emails and tweets. Bye!
More silverware! The Community Shield is bound for north London.
90 min: Giroud has been named man of the match. Great goal, but he hasn’t had a kick otherwise. I might have been more tempted to go for Gibbs. He’s been excellent and looks to have recovered from that knock earlier.
89 min: My word, Szczesny is in the wars. The keeper rushes off his line to intercept a lofted through ball, beating Sinclair to the ball, and heads it away, but runs into the City winger on the follow-through.
87 min: Sinclair gets his first run at Debuchy on Arsenal’s right, forcing a corner. The cross comes in and Szczesny makes his first mistake of the match, coming for a cross that was never his. Boyata is one of three City players that rise, and heads it just wide. That was inches away from a consolation for the Premier League champions.
86 min: Fernando, under no pressure whatsoever, manages to trip on the ball in the centre circle. Man falls over = hilarious.
Couple more subs:
Joel Campbell is on for Ramsey, while Scott Sinclair is on for Navas.
83 min: Gibbs beats Navas to the ball at the back stick, swiveling and clearing but immediately starts grimacing and goes down. It looks innocuous but these are normally how silly injuries happen.
Another trip to Wembley, looking like another trophy for Arsenal ...
80 min: Arsenal popping it about nicely, Arsenal fans jeering every pass. They are not threatening though and at 3-0, don’t need to.
78 min: The pace is markedly slower now, interesting to know if the players are blowing now. Amy Lawrence wrote this lovely piece on Arsenal’s fitness, if you want to give it a read.
76 min: Another mistake from Chambers, another recovery. The young defender is by no means the finished article but has looked good in spells, inexperienced in others.
74 min: Chambers once more outmuscles Jovetic, but at the expense of a corner. It’s a waste from Navas.
“Two of the best nicknames lined up side by side for a couple of seasons for the Chicago Bears,” writes Graham Atkinson. “Ted “Mt.” Washington and Keith “Tractor” Traylor. They were both, of course, massive”
“Donald Brashear was nicknamed “The Big Rig” and was a nutter when it comes to fighting in the NHL Ice Hockey” says Richard Holland. “Put it this way, he’s now fighting in the MMA!”
70 min: Navas is City’s best outlet at the mo. Get’s half a yard to get his cross in, cleared by Chambers but only as far as Fernando who feints before his deflected shot goes out for a corner. Szczesny claims, he has been excellent aerially.
68 min: Arsenal look content to let City have the ball, they don’t want to allow space in behind. Another sub, Cazorla off, Rosicky on.
66 min: High ball into Arsenal’s box which Szczesny claims, but not before Zuculini goes careering into him. It’s a really heavy landing for the keeper, and he looks visibly shaken. Gingerly gets to him feet. In the break for play, Flamini is on for Wilshere.
65 min: Spectacular overhead kick from Jovetic that balloons over. He’s looked lively in this second half, and has been good in preseason. He only started five matches last season, remember.
63 min: Jovetic picks the pocket of Chambers, but the defender recovers excellently there. He showed both speed and strength to win the ball back, it’s hard to believe a 19-year-old can have a physique like that.
62 min: Was Caballero at fault there? It didn’t really go in the corner but I would rather just praise Giroud. It was an outrageous effort.
Giroud picks the ball up from Debuchy and with four defenders around him, and with Zuculini almost riding on his back, he turns, finds a modicum of space and swings that left foot. It’s a curling beaut: Caballero is only four yards off his line, but it somehow dips over his outstretched hand and under the crossbar!
Out of nothing! WHAT. A. GOAL.
57 min: Since Silva’s arrival, City have come to life. They look really threatening. Two more subs: Zuculini on for Toure, while Milner will swap for Dzeko. City are packing this midfield with Silva just behind Jovetic, it looks like.
55 min: Great save from Szczesny! Kolarov thunders down the left wing – did that ball go out for a throw? Debuchy protests – but play is waved on and the cutback finds Jovetic, who takes a touch and fires a powerful shot to Szczesny’s near post. That’s a really strong hand, he got down well.
Have a little look at our match gallery, if you are so inclined.
52 min: A long ball from Toure finds Navas is acres of space. The diminutive Spaniard manages to ride the initial challenge from Gibbs before racing down the wing and lofts a cross to Jovetic at the back stick, who makes a great leap and heads the ball bouncing against the left-hand post! That’s the closest City have come!
50 min: Cynical foul from Fernando, as Wilshere breaks from midfield dragging him back. He’s booked but is making his case to the ref. Not sure what he’s on about there. Blatant.
49 min: Silva is already looking lively. He is such a joy to watch.
48 min: Kolarov gets free on the left but delivers an uncharacteristic poor cross. Monreal lumps it clear.
47 min: Toure goes down under a heavy challenge from Giroud. If the Ivorian hadn’t been so sluggish in getting to the ball, he wouldn’t have got studded. Hasn’t looked that interested so far.
46 min: Jovetic takes a knock to the head. Quick break while he leaves the field, but looks fine.
Peeep! Here we go again!
Subs! Loads of them!
Arsenal: Olivier Giroud for Sanogo, Sanchez off for Oxlade-Chamberlain, Monreal on for Koscielny.
City: Nasri off- Silva on,
Surely a winner. Well done Fraser Thomas. Gheorghe Hagi: The Maradona of the Carpathians.
Peter Roy suggests Alexander ‘The Experiment’ Karelin. Here he is in action. Crikey.
“Papa Bouba Diop being known as ‘The Wardrobe’ was pretty bloody great”, chimes Daniel Hilton, while Roger Machin recalls William ‘The Fridge’ Perry, an American Football player from the mid-80s.
Excellent start and end to the half for Arsenal. They look a lot sharper than City, although we must remember that this City XI is far from their strongest team. Two-well taken goals, but City looked dangerous in that middle period, and have looked good down this left, not sure what that says about Debuchy. Sanchez on the other hand has looked electric. What a player.
Expecting to see changes at half-time, hopefully not too many that disrupts the game.
It’s been breathless!
45 min: Another counter-attack, nearly another goal! One suspects this might be Arsenal’s game plan from here on in. Sanchez, running from deep is put clean through by Sanogo, who was given far too much room to play the pass. Caballeo rushes from his line and just beats the Chilean to the ball. The City defensive line was so high there!
Just as City were growing into the game, Arsenal strike again! A long ball finds Sanogo one on one with Boyata. It’s well held up as he waits for support and Ramsey arrives, collecting a little toe-poke from his teammate, before settling himself with one touch and firing low to Caballero’s right from about 12 yards out. Ramsey’s season is up and running. Suckerpunch!
On the counter-attack!
39 min: City are really in this now. Everything coming down that left. Dzeko has an excellent run, burning past Chambers. Squeezed out in the end.
37 min: Kolarov gets to the byline and puts a low cross across the six yard-box. Jovetic (I think was completely unmarked) but Chambers just gets the slightest of touches to deny him!
34 min: After a relentless first half-hour, the game has hit a bit of a lull. Navas is forced to come off his wing to get involved. A little dink and a fluffed pass from Chambers almost let’s him get one-on-one with the Arsenal keeper
31 min: That Nasri shot aside, City have been very quiet, with Toure and Fernando overrun in midfield. Fernando’s nickname at Porto was ‘The Octopus’. All the best nicknames start with ‘The …’ for my money. I’m thinking Socrates ‘The Doctor’, or cricketer Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid (ta Alex Butler)
Have any of yous got any other favourites?
29 min: Chambers is up for this, and wins it in the air with the ball looping dangerously into the six yard box but Caballero just getting above a leaping Ramsey.
28 min: The speed of Arsenal’s counter-attacking is frightening, led, as ever, by Sanchez. The Chilean tries to thread a ball to Ramsey on the right but it is intercepted by Clichy, then miscontrolled, with Cazorla hitting a first time shot. Deflected wide.
26 min: City with their first sustained attack. Nasri and Clichy combining, before delivering a poor cross straight to Szczęsny.
24 min: City get a corner, but it is easily headed away, Sanchez dribbling past two, before getting poleaxed by Kolarov. Jeers to up around Wembley.
21 min: More sustained pressure from Arsenal on the edge of City’s box. Sanogo holds the ball up well with his back to goal and feeds Wilshere, who is tackled well, but the ball breaks to Cazorla who dummies the ball to create some space on his left, before firing across Caballero into the bottom right hand corner!
That was coming!
18 min: How high are Arsenal’s full-backs? Very, pinning City back, who can’t seem to get out of their half at the minute. Debuchy gets forward but is caught needlessly offside.
17 min: Gibbs plays a lovely one-two to break into the box and should shoot first time but takes a touch and Clichy slides across to block the shot. A natural finisher wouldn’t have dawdled there. That said, it’s all Arsenal at the minute.
15 min: Bone-crunching tackle on Clichy from his former understudy Gibbs. Both players went up for the ball with high feet but it was the Frenchman who came off worst, taking a knee to the chest.
13 min: Oooo close! City break down the right, a simple one-two and Silva is inside the Arsenal box. He crosses and the ball breaks to Nasri, who smacks it goalwards. The ball hits Debuchy on the arm, but the Frenchman had his arms down by his side, that was definitely ball-to-hand. No penalty. Kolarov picks up the pieces, turns Chambers inside out but can’t find a City player with a dangerous low cross.
10 min: Sanchez once more gets to the City byline and pulls a ball back, but nobody is there. So many of Arsenal’s goals come from this time of build-up, but so often Giroud/Sanogo don’t make the right run. Having a Miroslav Klose-type player in there, and there would be goals galore methinks.
9 min: Debuchy has had a great start here. He just shunted Kolarov off the ball and looking composed. Arsenal have had 71% possession in these opening exchanges.
7 min: With three players around him, Sanchez slips a little ball through to Debuchy who beats Kolarov to the ball and delivers an excellent cross. Clichy played Debuchy onside there but does well to head clear with Sanogo lurking inside the six-yard box. A certain goal if the striker wins it there.
6 min: Sanchez with another drive. He’s such a dynamic dribbler, but many people forget he’s only 5ft5in. Looks like a child next to Toure.
5 min: Dzeko wins a corner for City. Nasri goes across to take it, in the Arsenal corner. A chorus of predictable boos rain down on him. It’s a poor set piece, doesn’t beat the first man.
4 min: Ramsey takes on Clichy down City’s right. He stumbles past him to the byline, but the ball gets called under his feet and Ramsey is unable to deliver a cross and is crowded out.
2 min: Sanchez gets a first run at the City defence, but is caught unawares on the blindside, and the ball runs through to Caballero. Arsenal enjoying the first spell of possession here.
1 min: Wilshere with a clever flick over Fernando in the centre-circle, the Englishman is clattered for his troubles. I have to say, I’m never surprised at Wilshere getting injured, he invites a challenge.
Peeeeep peeeeep! And we’re off!
The answer is of course, Flamini. Iain Smallwood, your points are in the post.
Looking forward to seeing Chambers today. I have to say, he flew under my radar last season. With Vermaelen now gone, he’s got a big opportunity to stake a claim for the starting XI before Mertesacker comes back.
The teams are on the pitch, we’re nearly there!
Quick quiz question: last time Arsenal were involved in a Community Shield was 2005. Who is the only player to be involved in their squad today that played that day.
Fastest answer wins. You will receive 100 Football Points.
Just a couple of notes about today’s match:
Vanishing spray will be used for the first time in English football. If you’ve had your head in a well for the last few months, the spray is used by referees to mark out a line for the wall to stand at free-kicks, 10 yards away from the ball, and disappears after a couple of minutes. Hurrah!
If the scores are level after 90 mins, we’ll go straight into a penalty shootout, no extra time! Hurrah! Hurrah!
Pellegrini just had a little slip of the tongue in the pre-match interview with BT Sport’s Jake Humphrey.
“The players we have brought in - Fernando, Caballero, Sagna and Mangala - will help the team.”
Mangala hasn’t officially signed yet. Silly Manuel.
Speaking of Wenger delving into the transfer market …
David Jerome has emailed …
“Hard to look beyond an emphatic 4-1 city victory. I think Arsenal’s optimistic summer is about to be cruelly ended by City’s nous and ruthless edge, prompting a panicked last few weeks for Arsenal to buy a top striker and DM. Sorry Arsenal fans!”
I’m inclined to agree. It might not actually be the worst thing for Arsenal to lose this, if it forces Wenger’s hand in the transfer market.
Judging by the tweets/emails I’m getting, this is clearly the most important issue of the day.
Harry Tuttle with a very-strongly worded response:
“No idea how Wenger has been declared the winner of the hair battle. First, his hair hasn’t actually moved since 2005, creating the suspicion among all Deep Wengerologists that it is, in fact, a wig. And second Pellegrini’s flame top grey top is like something out of Street Fighter 2, or Dragonball Z, or, indeed, any Anime ever. I fully expect Pellegrini to tear his suit off and throw fireballs on to the pitch in lieu of substitutions.”
Tenous Wembley way connection to nice timelapse video alert.
Wembley is well spenny. And it doesn’t get much better when you get inside the ground.
While I’m in an asking mood, let’s hear your score predictions too. Holla, etc.
Let’s dissect those teams a little then. Both teams are not at full strength with both injuries and extended rest times for some of the World Cup stars.
Arsenal full debuts for Debuchy, Chambers and Alexis while City’s new boys Caballero and Fernando get the nod.
Nasri and Clichy line up against their former club – the latter looks as though he’ll play at right-back in the absence of Sagna, who isn’t fully match-fit yet and Zabaleta. Boyata hasn’t played since January but partners Nastasic in central defence, with Kompany out – Toure takes the armband. Zuculini makes the City bench – the 21-year-old Argentinian only signed from Racing Club on Friday.
Sanogo has been on fire in pre-season – he scored four against Benfica – and he will play as a lone striker in front of a three of Ramsey, Cazorla and Sanchez. Very excited to see Joel Campbell if he comes off the bench.
Anybody else have any other thoughts on the selection? Do email/tweet your thoughts.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta (c), Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Sanogo Subs: Martinez, Monreal, Flamini, Campbell, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud
Man City: Caballero, Clichy, Boyata, Nastasic, Kolarov, Navas, Fernando, Toure (c), Nasri, Jovetic, Dzeko Subs: TBC
The man in the middle trying to keep a lid on things: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Everybody prefers PARTYWENGER. You know the one: screaming with delight on top of his FA Cup WENGERBUS, being hoisted in the air whilst covered in champagne, chilling on the beach – kissing women and playing football with the lads, cracking a knowing smile when being asked about transfer targets, that kind of thing. What a guy.
Except that was all last season. The Community Shield marks, in earnest, the beginning of this one. Having spent over £60m this summer, the pressure is back on. PARTYWENGER is long gone. In fact, he’s having a bit of a sulk in relation to financial fair play, his cross hairs particularly aimed at Manchester City, who after being fined £49m by Uefa, have had a net spend this summer of just £8m.
City manager Manual Pellegrini has hit back this week at Wenger’s claims, and defended nabbing former Gooner Bacary Sagna and Frank Lampard on free transfers. This little tiff between Wenger and Pellegrini is just one sub-plot to this afternoon’s match – a little bit of early-season spice as football fans across the land ready themselves to laud and demonise their heroes and villains.
Whether or not you think the Community Shield is an important thing to win, pride very much dictates that you must not lose. “Of course it is not a friendly match” Pellegrini said this week. Too right.
Kick-off: 3pm BST