Arsenal beat Manchester City 4-1 in a penalty shootout to win the Community Shield on Sunday and strike the first blow in this season’s rivalry between the two clubs.
Fabio Vieira scored the winning spot-kick after Arsenal scored a late equaliser in stoppage-time to earn a 1-1 draw with the Premier League champions and take the game at London’s Wembley Stadium into a shootout.
Community Shield matches often have a ‘friendly’ feel but with cynical fouls and crunching tackles in the London sunshine, there was no shortage of intensity - spilling over perhaps from last season’s title race in which City emerged victorious.
“For us, it’s a statement. It’s a marker to know we can go and beat Man City in a big game when it matters,” Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale told ITV.
“I’m not sure what it’ll be like this season. But that mental block is gone. We’re ready to push on now.”
While City had the bulk of the possession in the first half, Arsenal had the better chances, with big close-season signing Kai Havertz twice spurning opportunities to bag a debut goal as he had two efforts saved by Stefan Ortega.
Pep Guardiola’s side showed more intent in the second half, with John Stones having a header saved, but it was substitute Cole Palmer who broke the deadlock with a curling effort from the edge of the box which left Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale beaten.
Ramsdale was then called into action twice in quick succession, making saves from Phil Foden and Rodri to keep the deficit to one goal, with Arsenal digging deep to level the game via a deflected Leandro Trossard goal in the 11th minute of added time.
In the shootout, City’s Kevin de Bruyne blasted his effort against the crossbar and Ramsdale saved a tame Rodri attempt, before Vieira clinched Arsenal’s 17th win in the season’s curtain-raiser, moving them into second place behind Manchester United in the all-time tally.
The win extended City’s run of defeats in Community Shield matches, following losses to Liverpool last season and Leicester City in 2021.
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