For the second season running, Arsenal have won the Community Shield. For the manyeth season running, winning the Community Shield means absolutely nothing as far as the season ahead is concerned. The winners get a fancy plate, the losers go home and prepare for the season. Or in our case, one more friendly, and then the season opener against Swansea City.
A few quick thoughts from the not-quite-friendly, not-quite-real (how many subs do we get again?) 90 minutes today.
- Thanks to his versatility, Ramires in the starting lineup can mean a few different things. Today, it mostly meant that he and Matic played in midfield and Fabregas pushed up to the #10 role. But Ramires also popped up on the right wing and regularly made forward runs as well. He had our two best chances of the first half and really should've scored on that header, right Jose?
- Matic himself wasn't at his best either, most importantly lacking a bit of discipline that at times left a huge gaping hole in our midfield. Including on Arsenal's goal. Speaking of that goal: don't usually expect Azpilicueta to get beat so easily 1-v-1, but that was still quite some shot from The Ox.
- Also not at his best: Cesc Fabregas. And Eden Hazard. Though unlike in 2012, Hazard didn't fall over his own backheel attempt. But did miss a glorious, glorious chance in the second half.
- Remy, Falcao were both decent if a bit too keen on being offside. Falcao helped start a bit of a melee towards the end after holding on to the ball against all odds. That was nice.
- Courtois, still not Messi on the ball. Couple excellent saves though. Zouma at left back is interesting and a cry for help. We're still not very good at playing three in the back.
- Chelsea had most of the play the second half, Arsenal sitting back and looking to counter. WHAT IS THIS WORLD TWISTED?
- On an administrative note, please watch the relentless negativity and overreactions in this thread and the match threads. Warnings, bans will be issued where appropriate. We're attempting to make this a welcoming environment; your hot takes will be more than welcome elsewhere on the Internet, I'm sure. And along those lines, please refrain from "meta" commentary on others' opinions (debate the match, not the commenter) and talk of haters/etc. Thank you.
It's Arsenal's first win over Chelsea since the 5-3 at Stamford Bridge back in the AVB daze. And Wenger's first ever win over Mourinho. Fittingly, it comes in a friendly. Something to put in their trophy cabinet then. Congrats to them.
Now it's time for the real deal.