As Arsenal triumph 5-4 on penalties
The FA Cup winners, Arsenal edged past the Premier League champions, Liverpool 5-4 on penalties to win the 2020 Community Shield after an entertaining encounter at Wembley
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winning penalty in the shoot-out as the Gunners won their second trophy in August beating the Reds after a pulsating 1-1 draw at full time.
Just 28 days after Aubameyang struck twice to sink Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley in the FA Cup final, the Mikel Arteta-tutored Gunners again triumphed in the new season’s curtain-raiser in North London.
Mikel Arteta’s side were forced to do it the hard way, with Takumi Minamino’s first Liverpool goal having cancelled out Aubameyang’s 12th-minute opener.
However, Rhian Brewster, who has enjoyed a fine pre-season for Liverpool, missed his spot-kick, setting the stage for Aubameyang to wrap up another Wembley triumph for the Gunners.
Virgil van Dijk, sporting a cut to his forehead sustained in the pre-season clash with Salzburg last time out, had the ball in the net after seven minutes, but the flag was up for offside.
James Milner should have done better with a close-range header soon after, and Liverpool were quickly made to pay. Having beaten Liverpool’s press, Arsenal progressed down the right before Bukayo Saka picked out Aubameyang with a superb crossfield pass.
It left Neco Williams isolated up against Aubameyang, who stepped inside and curled a sublime 20-yard finish beyond Alisson to end the first half proceedings 1-0 in favour of Arsenal.
Following the restart, Roberto Firmino sent a wicked strike just wide with Arsenal keeler Emiliano Martinez rushing off his line to deny Sadio Mane minutes later.
Naby Keita and Minamino were introduced as Liverpool looked to take the initiative, and the changes soon paid off.
After attempting to play a tight one-two with Mohamed Salah, Minamino was on hand to slot in after the rebound fell his way – VAR allowing the goal to stand after a check for handball.
Martinez made another superb stop from Mane moments later, while Joe Willock went close with a header at the other end as penalties were required.
Yet it was Arsenal who triumphed. Brewster, brought on to take a spot-kick, hitting the crossbar with his effort, with Aubameyang coolly sending Alisson the wrong way to condemn Liverpool to defeat.
The Managers’ Post Match Comments
Jurgen Klopp’s verdict. “We had to play against a low block and a counter-attacking threat. But we should have created more because we had the ball quite a lot. But we had to be careful like crazy because of Aubameyang and they are strong in counter-attacking. So we had two really good moments when Sadio had the chances, and scored a good equaliser, but should have scored more and we didn’t do that. We have to take it, and the penalty shoot-out is always a lottery so we were unlucky. Congratulations to Arsenal. We respect the competition! A lot of things were good, I didn’t expect any sort of perfection. In the final third we need to be fresh and the rhythm failed a little bit. Today it was not enough.”
Mikel Arteta speaks! “I am so happy. I knew the challenge we faced against incredible opponents. David Luiz for example trained one day, so thank you very much to the players for the performance. I was pleased with our courage, how we pressed and made decisions. We sustained it in the second half. The last ten minutes, we dominated and created two good chances to win. Hopefully they can get used to it, it creates belief and a good atmosphere. Big games, big moments, big players … Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was magnificent!” And his new contract? “We are close!” – With Goal.com reports