So after the summer break, the football has finally returned! The traditional season curtain raiser for the English season, the Community Shield, was contested between League champions Chelsea, and Cup holders Arsenal.
Though this may just be a glamorised friendly match, in which neither team would be too fussed in losing. For the two giants of London, it was a personal duel. For Arsene Wenger, it was now approaching his 14th attempt to finally land a defeat on Mourinho. A stat that the eccentric Portuguese was proud to have. Most of the build up surrounded the comments made by both managers, rather than the game itself!
Chelsea have been sluggish in their pre-season fixtures, and it carried over into this match. It was Arsenal who came out stronger, and took a deserved lead after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed home a powerful strike within the penalty area after being allowed to cut inside. This shock finally sent Chelsea up a gear, and they eventually got themselves back into the match slowly. The teams should have been level at the interval, but Ramires managed to head over the bar when it seemed easier to score. A lucky break for the Gunners.
The second half saw the introduction of Radamal Falcao, who after a season of misery at Old Trafford, would be looking for a new dawn in SW6. The Colombian did not make much on an impact, and Chelsea could not break through. Hazard missing the best chance of the half, blazing over the crossbar when clean through on goal. Oscar also had a smart free kick saved by Chelsea old boy Pert Cech. Arsenal could have sealed it with a late goal, but Santi Cazorla took a bit too much time to take the shot after receiving the ball at the end of an Arsenal counter attack.
So it was Arsenal, who retained the trophy they had won last year. They also put to bed their horrible record vs Mourinho. Though they will know that this won’t mean too much in the grand scheme of things. They thoroughly outplayed Man City last year, but stumbled in the opening few matches of the season, which ultimately cost them a chance of running for the league. Chelsea won’t be bothered too much, but they will want to get the team up and running come next weekend, the ongoing fitness of Costa still asks questions about their striking options.
The media lapped up all the post match actions of the managers, which too be honest, was nothing to make much noise over. The real business starts next week!