August 2018


1 August 2018

Arsenal Defeat Chelsea On Pens  (Sky Sports)

Arsenal celebrate penalty winArsenal put down a small marker for the season ahead after edging out Chelsea 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the International Champions Cup in Dublin.

Antonio Rudiger headed Chelsea in front (6) before Alvaro Morata missed a penalty (12) during a first half which Chelsea dominated courtesy of an inspired performance by 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Arsenal improved after the break but left it late to level when Alexandre Lacazette (90+3) forced a penalty shoot-out, where Ruben Loftus-Cheek's miss proved decisive as Arsenal netted all six of their penalties.

Maurizio Sarri has called on his Chelsea players to have fun playing his style of football and there were smiles aplenty inside five minutes when they took the lead.

Team news

Arsenal named a strong team as Petr Cech started in goal while Mattéo Guendouzi kept his place in front of the back four. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi started for the third game running – as did Ross Barkley.

Cesc Fabregas drilled in a corner from the right and Rudiger, who was being marked by the diminutive Emile Smith Rowe, leapt highest from 12 yards and bulleted a header into the bottom corner.

It was one-way traffic in the early stages with Hudson-Odoi causing Hector Bellerin an untold amount of woe on the left flank. He turned him inside-out on 12 minutes and Bellerin could only bring him down inside the area. Morata stepped up, but Petr Cech guessed right and palmed his effort away.

Player Ratings

Arsenal: Cech (8), Bellerin (5), Mustafi (6), Sokratis (6), Kolasinac (6), Elneny (6), Smith Rowe (6), Guendouzi (7), Mkhitaryan (6), Aubameyang (6), Ozil (8)

Subs: Lacazette (7), Iwobi (6), Nelson (7), Maitland-Niles (6), Chambers (7),

Chelsea: Cabellero (6), Azpilicueta (7), Luiz (6), Rudiger (7), Alonso (6), Fabregas (7), Jorginho (7), Barkley (5), Pedro (6), Morata (5), Hudson-Odoi (9)

Subs: Drinkwater (6), Emerson (6), Bulka (8), Abraham (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Bakayoko (6), Moses (6), Christensen (7), Zappacosta (7), Ampadu (7), Piazon (6)

Hudson-Odoi slipped in Morata on 22 minutes but Cech was there to rescue Arsenal while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completely missed his kick at the back post after being found brilliantly by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Both teams resisted the urge to make wholesale changes after the break but the pace did drop, which suited Arsenal's passing style. Mesut Ozil got a grip of the game and chances started to fall their way, although Rudiger did manage to head a presentable chance wide on 58 minutes.

Lacazette produced a sublime nutmeg on the edge of the box on 76 minutes but placed his effort wide of the post before substitute Chelsea goalkeeper Marcin Bulka an outstanding late stop to deny Alex Iwobi.

That looked to have sewn up the game for Chelsea but one late burst down the right flank by Reiss Nelson set up Lacazette to prod home at the back post which forced penalties.

There were 11 perfect penalties until Loftus-Cheek - on his first appearance since the World Cup - hit a weak effort that Cech palmed clear.

Man of the match: Callum Hudson-Odoi

At just 17 years old, the level of performance shown by the winger was remarkable.

Hector Bellerin - one the best full-backs in the Premier League - was tormented, especially in the first half, by Hudson-Odoi's close control and electric speed.

What impressed most though was the quality of his final ball. Twice he set up Morata for glorious chances which the striker spurned and that's not including the penalty he won after tying Bellerin in knots.

Sarri surely can't leave him out for the Community Shield. A star is born.

What's next?

Arsenal jet off to Stockholm for their final friendly of their pre-season, where they'll face Lazio on Saturday, a week before they host Manchester City on the first Super Sunday of the season. Meanwhile, Chelsea face City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.

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