The English football season kicked off with the traditional FA Community Shield Final on Sunday. This is traditionally played between the Premier League and FA cup holders. Arsenal won by a narrow margin but both teams had chances.
Jose Mourinho’s team lined up with Courtois in nets and a back four of Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry and Azpilicueta. In midfield they had Ramires, Matic, Willian, Fàbregas and Hazard, with Remy up front.
Falcao came on for Remy at half time, Oscar came on for Ramires in the 54th minute, Zouma came on for Azpilicueta in the 69th minute and Moses came on for Terry in the 82nd minute.
Arsene Wenger’s team lined up with former Blues goalkeeper, Cech, in nets and a back four of Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Monreal. Their midfield consisted of Ramsey, Coquelin, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Özil and up front they had Walcott,
Arteta came on for Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 77th minute, Giroud came on for Walcott in the 66th minute and Gibbs came on for Özil in the 82nd minute.
Coquelin and Azpilicueta were both given yellow cards.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the winning goal for Arsenal. Theo Walcott passed the ball out to Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right flank before he turned on to his weaker left foot and blasted it in to the roof of the net on the other side of Courtois.
Hazard, Cazorla and Ramires all missed brilliant chances and it was obvious both teams were quite rusty after the summer break but still, both teams were impressive. Some people have suggested that the fact Cech was in goals for Arsenal had put Chelsea off, which could be right. In my opinion, I think it will be either Chelsea or Arsenal who will win the title, and I was looking at the Community Shield as a way of seeing how the vital six points available in the London derbys will be distributed. If Arsenal are able to beat Chelsea at the Emirates and at Stamford Bridge, that could clinch them the title, and they have shown now that they are capable of doing so. Also, the morale boost given to the Arsenal players after beating the 2014-15 champions is maybe going to help them get a quicker start than they did last season and a quick start is essential to mounting a title challenge.
So Arsenal have started this season like they finished the last one – by lifting silverware. I am convinced they will be doing the same thing thing at the end of this season, only this time it will be the Premier League trophy.