Premier League

Player Ratings: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (4-1 on penalties)

 • by Matt Gault
news now

Olivier Giroud struck the decisive penalty as Arsenal beat ten-man Chelsea  under the new ABBA shoot-out format in an entertaining Community Shield at Wembley Stadium.

Victor Moses had fired Chelsea ahead just after half-time before Gunners new boy Sead Kolašinac headed the equaliser home.

Pedro was sent off for a rash foul on Mohamed Elneny but will not be suspended for Chelsea’s opening Premier League game next weekend.

With no extra-time, Arsenal prevailed in the shoot-out with four strikes converted after Thibaut Courtois and Álvaro Morata missed spot-kicks for the Blues.

Here are our player ratings for the game.


Arsenal XI v Chelsea in the Community Shield

Petr Čech – 6

The experienced stopper showed no signs of sluggishness when he was quick off his line when Héctor Bellerin’s attempted back-pass was deflected, getting to the ball ahead of Batshuayi to clear.

Čech could do nothing to stop Moses’ opener and did not need to do much in the shoot-out with Chelsea twice missing the target.

Rob Holding – 5

His lack of pace was exposed on a couple of occasions and it’s difficult – on this evidence – to see how he will move above Gabriel Paulista and Shkodran Mustafi in the pecking order.

Seemed to struggle with the physicality of Morata when the Chelsea striker came on, too, giving away a silly foul in a dangerous area in stoppage time which almost led to a Blues winner.

Per Mertesacker – 6

The experienced German’s afternoon was abruptly and prematurely ended by Gary Cahill’s elbow, leaving the pitch with a nasty gash after half an hour.

Nacho Monreal – 6

The left-back enjoyed his best season at Arsenal last year and he acquitted himself well once again at Wembley, with a brave and professional display of defending, moving into the heart of a defensive three after Mertesacker’s injury.

Héctor Bellerín – 7

Found plenty of joy moving forward on the right wing, which pinned Chelsea’s defence back and opened up space for Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck.

The speedy Spaniard was a constant outlet for Arsenal and that’s exactly what they want from him. But he was also smart and incisive with his passing, which hasn’t always been the case.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5

Once again utilised by Wenger as an experimental left wing-back, Oxlade-Chamberlain did not enjoy the best first-half with a couple of poor touches and aimless crosses drawing grumbles of disapproval from the Arsenal fans.

The jury is definitely still out on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s long-term future as a left wing-back.

Mohamed Elneny – 7

The ever-improving Egyptian covered an immense amount of ground during the first half, busting a gut to track back at every opportunity in what was a highly-commendable performance.

If he continues to exert himself in such a manner, he’ll be a key component of Arsenal’s midfield this season. Elneny almost bagged a spectacular equaliser, too, when his cross-shot was cleverly tipped over by Courtois.

Granit Xhaka – 8

Displayed his excellent passing range when he found Welbeck in the eighth minute, but the striker failed to convert.

The Swiss midfielder showed his proclivity for having a pop from distance, though, when he prompted a world-class save from Courtois with his 30-yard heat-seeking effort.

He also delivered a beautiful, pinpoint cross for the equaliser.

Like his midfield partner, it was a thoroughly productive afternoon for Xhaka.

Danny Welbeck – 6

The forward looked razor-sharp from the outset, pouncing on possession which at one stage led to a booking for César Azpilicueta.

He had one moment to forget, though, when he ballooned a shot into row z from the edge of the area. He cracked a wry smile, but he’ll know his finishing will have to sharpen up if he’s to keep his place in the starting line-up.

As always, Welbeck was effective at committing defenders and quickening the tempo, but his end-product was found wanting, summed up by that ballooned shot.

Alex Iwobi – 6

Th youngster was involved prominently in the early stages, cutting the ball back for Lacazette and also finding space in behind Chelsea’s central defensive trio on multiple occasions.

He certainly looked a yard quicker than one or two of the Chelsea defenders, showing he hasn’t skimped on sticking to his pre-season fitness regime. He also completed more dribbles than any other player on the pitch, adding a sense of urgency to Arsenal’s attack.

Alexandre Lacazette – 7

The Frenchman – the only summer signing on display at Wembley from the start – sprung into life in the 23rd minute when his curled right-footed effort struck the post.

Furthermore, he showed a good understanding with Welbeck and Iwobi, which is an encouraging sign for Arsenal fans at this early stage.

Lacazette lasted 65 minutes, and it was an eye-catching competitive debut. His touch was sharp and he made plenty of runs – and perhaps would have benefitted if he had the first-rate playmaking abilities of a Alexis Sánchez or Mesut Özil feeding him.


Chelsea XI v Arsenal in the Community Shield

Thibaut Courtois – 7

The Belgian was kept on his toes throughout the game, especially when he was forced to tip Elneny’s cross-shot over the bar.

Courtois then pulled a save right out of the top drawer to deny Xhaka’s fantastic long-range effort in the second-half, stretching to the extreme to tip the ball beyond the post for a corner.

It was goalkeeping at its very best, and a thrilling glimpse of Courtois’ stunning reach. However, the decision to take a penalty was bizarre and the stopper thrashed over the bar as if taking a goal kick.

César Azpilicueta – 6

The versatile defender completed two tackles and won two aerial duels in another solid performance from him.

He is Chelsea’s Mr Dependable and shows no signs of straying from being such a consistent source of reliability, even when switched to left wing-back to allow for the introduction of Antonio Rüdiger.

David Luiz – 7

The Brazilian – always good entertainment value – provided possibly the highlight of the first-half when he flicked the ball over Welbeck’s head and back-headed it to Courtois in ridiculously nonchalant fashion. It was one of those moments that had everyone purring with admiration.

The centre-half enjoyed a good old-fashioned physical battle with Giroud, too, after the Frenchman came on in the second-half. Luiz certainly showed his defensive mettle throughout a testing game.

Gary Cahill – 7

Chelsea’s captain was in a dominant mood here, winning 67% of his aerial duels. One of those duels came on the edge of Arsenal’s penalty area when the England international jumped highest to head over the Gunners defence and find Moses, who scored the opening goal.

Victor Moses – 7

The Nigerian, who enjoyed a surprisingly transformative season last year, is already off the mark in the goals department, getting on the end of Cahill’s header from a corner to smash the opener past Čech.

Moses showed his defensive nous, too, when he was expertly positioned to clear a testing Theo Walcott cross with his colleagues scrambling desperately. An impressive afternoon for one of Chelsea’s least-heralded players.

Cesc Fàbregas – 5

The playmaker was given the unenviable task of keeping tabs on Iwobi, which was described on Twitter as ‘Like watching someone try to run the wrong way up an escalator.’

He also struggled to make an impression in the final third. Fàbregas always delivers at least one killer pass, though, and it came in stoppage time when his free-kick dropped onto the head of Morata. But the £55million summer signing couldn’t find the target.

N’Golo Kanté – 6

The imperious Frenchman had a lot of work to do in the centre without the supplementing services of Nemanja Matić, but he once again fulfilled his duties admirably, winning and retaining possession to keep Chelsea moving.

With Tiémoué Bakayoko still to come in, it looks as though Chelsea’s midfield is going to be packed with power and dynamism this season.

Marcos Alonso – 5

Considering his excellent debut campaign under Antonio Conte, it would have been troubling to hear that Chelsea have been actively searching for a left-back this summer.

Whatever his current state of mind, Alonso looked shaky dealing with the pace of Arsenal’s wide men in the first-half. Not his strongest display.

Willian – 5

The Brazilian had a quiet first-half up until he became the centre of a simulation storm. Having nicked possession from Bellerín, Willian went down in the box but was shown a yellow card by referee Bobby Madley. Replays showed there was slight contact, leading some to conclude that a booking was harsh.

Overall it was a fairly frustrating afternoon for Willian, who knows his place in the starting line-up isn’t secure when Eden Hazard recovers from a broken ankle/

Michy Batshuayi – 5

The Belgian, who has enjoyed an impressive pre-season for the Blues, was tentative in the first-half, reticent to make piercing runs in behind the Arsenal defence and create space, perhaps illustrating a lack of nous and experience at this level.

He was replaced by Morata with 15 minutes left, but one suspects it will be the other way around for most of the season. This was a big chance for the forgotten forward but one he appears to have blown.

Pedro – 4

Poor Pedro will be sick of the sight of Arsenal. A couple of weeks ago the Spaniard fractured bones in his face playing the Gunners in a friendly. This time, however, he was sent off for a rash tackle on Elneny, with Arsenal scoring from the resulting free-kick.

He won’t be suspended for Chelsea’s opening Premier League match, but it was an ignominious end to what had been a fairly forgettable afternoon for the former Barcelona man.