Mikel Arteta’s side won their second trophy in August as Arsenal beat Premier League champions Liverpool 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the Community Shield.
Just 28 days after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace to sink Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley, the Gunners triumphed in the new season’s opener at Wembley.
Arsenal were forced to do it the hard way, with Takumi Minamino’s first goal for Liverpool having cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s superb 12th-minute opener.
However, Rhian Brewster – who has been in fine form throughout the pre-season for Liverpool – missed his spot-kick, gifting the opportunity for Aubameyang to seal another Wembley triumph for the Gunners in just less than a month.
Virgil van Dijk – sporting a gash to his forehead sustained in the pre-season game with RB Salzburg last time out – put the ball in the net after seven minutes, but the flag was raised up for offside.
James Milner should have put Liverpool in front with a close-range header soon after, and Liverpool were quickly made to pay.
Having beaten Liverpool’s high press, Arsenal progressed down the right before Bukayo Saka located Aubameyang with a wonderful crossfield pass.It left Neco Williams alone up against Aubameyang, who stepped inside and struck a curling 20-yard finish past the desperate Alisson.
Roberto Firmino sent a stinging strike just wide immediately after the break, with Emiliano Martinez then rushing off his line to superbly deny Sadio Mane.
Substitutes Naby Keita and Minamino were introduced as Liverpool looked to get in to gear, and the changes soon paid off.
After attempting to play a tight one-two pass with Mohamed Salah, Minamino was on hand to fire a low strike in after the rebound fell his way – VAR allowing the goal to stand after a check for handball showed no clear contact.
Martinez made another superb save from Mane moments later, while Joe Willock went very close with a header at the other end as penalties were required to separate the two sides.
Arsenal once again triumphed at Wembley – Brewster, brought on at the dying stages of the game to take a spot-kick, hitting the crossbar with his effort after deciding to go for power, with Aubameyang calmly sending Alisson the wrong way to condemn Liverpool to a second Wembley final defeat in two seasons.
Arsenal have now overtaken Liverpool’s tally of 15 Community Shield trophies with the Gunners’ 16 just behind Manchester United’s tally of 21.
Mikel Arteta now has two trophies under his belt as a manager, and Arsenal appear to be getting stronger under his leadership.Jurgen Klopp’s side were miles from their fluid best, but the Liverpool manager will be sure to have his team fully fired up and running by the time the Premier League season resumes.
With his superb opener, Aubameyang – who is yet to extend his contract with the Gunners – took his tally of goals at the Wembley stadium to five, becoming Arsenal’s joint-top scorer – alongside Alexis Sanchez at Wembley. All of these goals having come in the space of 42 days. To cap off another brilliant display, the striker kept his cool to slot in the winning penalty.
1 – Takumi Minamino is the first player to score his maiden goal for Liverpool at the Wembley Stadium, with this his 15th outing for the Reds in all competitions.
9 – Arsenal have triumphed in nine of their last 11 penalty shootouts in all competitions, having previously won just four in 10.
16 – Arsenal have won the Community Shield trophy for the 16th time (including shared), only behind Manchester United (21).
Both teams will lose players for the upcoming international break, before they start their respective Premier League campaigns on September 12. Arsenal facing newly promoted Fulham, while Liverpool host Championship Champions Leeds United.