Cup holders Arsenal beat Champions Chelsea
Written By: Robert Halter
The curtain raiser to the 2015/16 season took place at Wembley stadium beginning of August as FA Cup holders Arsenal looked to retain the FA Community Shield against the Premier League champions Chelsea as the Gunners had former Blues keeper, Petr Cech, in goal. Arsenal threatened from the start and were on the front foot as Blues keeper, Thibaut Courtois, was forced to punch clear from an in swinging right wing cross by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. On eight minutes, the Blues, Cesc Fabregas, was left worse for wear, after clashing into the back of Gunners captain, Per Mertesacker, in the penalty area, as Fabregas got no favours against his former Gunners, as no foul was given. Midway through the first half, Courtois had to collect from a Theo Walcott header, off a Mesut Ozil free kick, following an infringement by Branislav Ivanovic, who clipped the heels of Santi Cazorla. But on twenty four minutes, Arsenal broke the deadlock, as a ball across the park by Ozil was put through from Walcott, and when Oxlade-Chamberlain cut inside Cesar Azpilicueta, with precision and pace, the Ox struck the ball high into the left side of the net. On thirty two minutes, Ramires collected a pass from Azpilicueta, but was unable to capitalise on the initial defensive error by Hector Bellerin, as the Brazilian bent the ball wide of the right hand post. Then three minutes later, Ramires squandered a header in front of the goal, as the ball was put on a plate for him by Loic Remy, who had latched onto Willian’s perfectly weighted pass. But in the thirty eighth minute, the ball was left on a six pence by Santi Cazorla for his Welsh wizard, Aaron Ramsey, who could not conjure up any magic, as he drove his shot into the outside netting of the near post. In the forty first minute, heroic defending by Ivanovic, kept out Oxlade-Chamberlain’s right wing cross, but the Serbian clashed into Nacho Monreal and fell uncomfortably into the goal mouth while averting the danger. Before the second half, the Blues replaced Remy, with their new loan signing, Radamel Falcao, followed by further Chelsea re-enforcements as Oscar took over from Ramires. On fifty nine minutes, Falcao was thwarted by stout defending from Laurent Koscielny, after a ball over the top from Fabregas, who was again provider a minute later to put Eden Hazard in the clear, but the Belgian blasted the ball over in front of the target with just Cech to beat. After Arsenal made their first tactical change on sixty five minutes with Olivier Giroud replacing Walcott, it could have had an immediate impact but Giroud failed to convert at full stretch by the back stick from a delivery through Oxlade-Chamberlain. In the sixty seventh minute, Cech sprung into action, as he leaped to turn behind Oscar’s curling free kick, which was a result of a reckless challenge by Francis Coquelin on Hazard. Another Chelsea change was made as Kurt Zouma took over from Azpilicueta. Although it was the Arsenal marksman, Giroud, that was unable to put the game to bed as he ballooned his effort over inside the box, after Ramsey had found him in space, after sixty nine minutes of play. Another leap of faith by Cech, saw the Gunners shot stopper pick up the ball from under the crossbar, from Zouma’s rising header, after Blues captain, John Terry had nodded on from a Fabregas cross on the right side of the field. Goal scorer, Oxlade-Chamberlain, made way for Mikel Arteta before Arsene Wenger also brought on Kieran Gibbs for Ozil while Jose Mourinho chose Victor Moses for Terry. In the eighty fifth minute, Cazorla was stopped by the legs of Courtois, after a ball through from Ramsey, who in turn had his rebound effort deflect off Nemanja Matic. After a foul by Gibbs on Matic, the Blues saw Ivanovic, blaze over a header, from a Fabregas free kick, before the flag was raised. In stoppage time, Cazorla put Gibbs through on goal but the quick feet of Courtois, blocked his low drive but the Gunners had done enough to secure a 1-0 win over the Blues and defend their silverware.