Victor Moses put Chelsea ahead just a minute into the second half, but substitute and summer signing Sead Kolasinac leveled the score with eight minutes remaining.
In the penalty shootout, with the new ABBA system, Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois ballooned the second spot kick over the bar followed by £70 million man Alvaro Morata missing his kick. Here, National Daily five takeaways from the game:
Conte Needs more numbers
And this was evident before a ball was even kicked in the Stadium. As fans filtered onto the sun-lit Wembley Way and picked up the match day program, the stark difference between the two’s teams personnel became evident. On the back of the glossy program, the two squads were listed, as usual; Arsenal’s list of names ran to 41, while Chelsea’s reached just 24—and that included the out-going Diego Costa. With Conte’s team back in the Champions League, competing on four fronts this season, the Italian coach will need to see his squad bolstered before the transfer window closes on August 31. Even more troubling for Conte was to see Pedro sent off in the 80th minute, a straight red card for a challenge on Mohamed Elneny, which will see the Spaniard miss the first three games of the season.
Chelsea’s main striker, Morata or Batshuayi?
After spending £70 million on Alvaro Morata this summer, you’d assume the Spaniard would be set to lead the line for Chelsea. At Wembley, Michy Batshuayi, the understudy to Diego Costa at Chelsea last season, started as Chelsea’s main man but he may have to settle for the same role as last year. The Belgian was replaced by Morata with little under 20 minutes remaining. His first touch came after a cross from Willian that the Spaniard reached but couldn’t control, skying the effort high over Petr Cech’s crossbar. The 24-year-old, however, had an opportunity to have the perfect debut for Chelsea. Two minutes into injury time, with the score tied at 1-1, a Cesc Fabregas free-kicker floated in toward Morata who rose, unchallenged, but directed his header wide of Cech’s goal.
Lacazette, The Man Wenger Has Been Looking For?
The result will have pleased Wenger, but seeing his marquee signing Alexandre Lacazette, bought from Lyon for £46.5 million (about $61 million), at the center of all that was good for Arsenal will have eased his worries further. Within just seven minutes, as Alex Iwobi danced into the penalty area, Lacazette’s clever movement was clear to see; he stalked the six-yard box and pounced just as Iwobi pulled the ball back—too far back it turned out, but Lacazette’s intelligence was clear.
Didn’t Get The Memo—The English Thrive in Wembley Shootout
Of the seven players who placed the ball on the penalty spot to decide the 2017 Community Shield winner, three were English—notorious for being poor in the shootout. But that wasn’t the case at Wembley. Free of the Three Lions jersey, Gary Cahill, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain slotted their kicks into the back of the net.
We Can Agree On Something
Arsenal and Chelsea fans found themselves, bizarrely, warming up the seats for their London rivals. Tottenham Hotspur will call Wembley Stadium home this coming season as White Hart Lane is demolished and then rebuilt in north London. The two sets of supporters were well aware of this and it took just a few minutes of the match for the 80,000 fans to rise to their feet in unison. “Stand up if you hate Tottenham,” they chanted.