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Chelsea beaten by Arsenal on penalties

07/08/2017

Chelsea lost their first competitive game of the new season, losing to Arsenal on penalties in the Community Shield.

Held before the start of each season, the cup game was a repeat of last season's FA Cup final – pitting the Blues against their London rivals Arsenal again.

Although the first chances went to the Gunners – with new signing Lacazette hitting the post early on – Chelsea were unlucky not to have a penalty mid-way through the first half. Willian pounced on a loose ball in the Arsenal box, but after being brought down in the area, was booked for simulation, rather than being awarded a spot kick.

The first half came to an end with the score locked at 0-0, with neither side having any clear cut chances.

The game came to life soon after the break, Victor Moses breaking the deadlock for Chelsea. Willian's corner was only partially cleared and, as Gary Cahill kept it alive by heading the ball back into the penalty area, Moses reacted quickest, bringing the ball under control with his chest before firing past Cech.

Conte's side looked as though they were on course for victory, but, with 10 minutes remaining, Pedro was shown a straight red card for a foul on the Gunners' midfielder Mohamed Elneny. Sead Kolasinac headed an equaliser past Courtois from the resulting free-kick, taking the game to penalties.

A new A-B-B-A system was trialled for the first time in the shoot-out, with the team taking the first kick in each pair of kicks alternating, so AB-BA-AB-BA and so on, instead of AB-AB-AB-AB etc.

Cahill scored to give us the lead, before Walcott and Nacho Monreal both converted to put Arsenal in front. Courtois then stepped forward for the Blues but blasted his kick over the bar, while Morata's effort struck the post and rolled wide. Arsenal knew they could win it by scoring their next two kicks, and both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud made no mistake.

For the Blues, attention now turns towards next weekend's Premier League opener, at home to Burnley on Saturday.

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