Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties to win the Community Shield
Following his FA Cup heroics, Aubameyang scores another Wembley winner to lead the Gunners to more silverware
29 August, 2020 — By Steve Barnett
FA Community Shield
ARSENAL 1 (Aubameyang, 12)
LIVERPOOL 1 (Minamino, 73)
Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties
MIKEL Arteta praised “the courage” that his Arsenal side displayed in overcoming Premier League champions Liverpool on penalties to win the Community Shield this evening.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave the Gunners the lead with a spectacular curling strike 12 minutes into the match, which was held at an empty Wembley Stadium.
Liverpool are some two weeks ahead of FA Cup holders Arsenal in their pre-season training – and it showed as they dominated the second-half. That dominance paid off in the 73rd minute when substitute Takumi Minamino slotted home to send the game to penalties.
Jurgen Klopp brought on Rhian Brewster in stoppage time especially for the shootout, and it was his miss which proved costly for Liverpool as he smashed his shot against the bar.
That allowed Aubameyang to step up and seal a 5-4 victory for the Gunners, who have now won the Community Shield 16 times.
“You never get used to winning,” beamed Arsenal boss Arteta. “I knew the challenge we faced today against this incredible opponent.
“Thank you very much to the players for the effort and performance. The courage of the team, how aggressive we were without the ball, and against the Liverpool press. I am very proud of the team.
“I knew in the second half we would suffer. But in the last 10 minutes we still took the ball and played in the final third. I am pleased how we competed. And in the penalties we had courage again.”
The opening goal of this showpiece was a thing of beauty.
Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez started a seven-pass move that ended with Bukayo Saka playing an exquisite pass to Aubameyang, who cut onto his right foot and unleashed an unstoppable shot that curled into the bottom corner.
Arsenal’s lead at the break would have been greater had Eddie Nketiah not been so generous in front of goal – the young striker wasting two good chances to get on the score-sheet.
Martinez, meanwhile, was more than doing his job at the other end of the pitch as he preserved Arsenal’s lead by blocking Sadio Mane’s effort early in the second-half.
But Liverpool were worthy of an equaliser, and it arrived when a Mohamed Salah run ended with the ball falling kindly for Minamino to score his first ever goal for the club.
A frantic finish saw Martinez again deny Mane from close range, while Joe Willock had a brilliant chance to make it 2-1 to Arsenal with five minutes to go only to miscued his header.
And so the match went to penalties, with Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles both scoring for Arsenal before Brewster missed for Liverpool, firing the ball back off the bar. Cedric Soares and David Luiz also converted for the Gunners, before Aubameyang secured the silverware.
A delighted Arteta added: “The move from the team for our goal was really good and Aubameyang puts the ball all the time where it belongs, which is in the back of the net. The way he then took the last penalty was also really good, and it’s another trophy for us.”
Arsenal: Martinez, Holding, Luiz, Tierney (Kolasinac, 83), Bellerin (Cedric Soares, 58), Elneny, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Saka (Willock, 82), Nketiah (Nelson, 82), Aubameyang
Substitutes not used: Leno, Saliba, Smith Rowe, John-Jules, Olayinka
Liverpool: Alisson, Williams (Minamino, 59), Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Milner (Keita, 59), Fabinho, Wijnaldum (Brewster, 90+2), Salah, Firmino (Jones, 83), Mane
Substitutes not used: Adrian, Grujic, Tsimikas, Elliott, Koumetio