Arsenal beat Manchester City 4-1 on penalties to lift the Community Shield following a keenly-contested curtain-raiser for the 2023-24 Premier League season at Wembley.
Fabio Vieira struck the winner as the Gunners prevailed via spot kicks after Kevin de Bruyne and Rodri had failed to convert for the Treble winners.
Mikel Arteta’s side had appeared to be on the verge of defeat following substitute Cole Palmer’s sublime opener, but a leveller 11 minutes into stoppage time via Leandro Trossard’s heavily deflected effort rescued a 1-1 draw to force a shoot-out.
Pep Guardiola’s men had been completely dominant in the early exchanges with Julian Alvarez just failing to make a significant connection with a header.
Arsenal, who handed their trio of summer signings debuts from the start, grew into the contest and had the best two opportunities of the first 45. New boy Kai Havertz had both chances but was brilliantly denied by City stopper Stefan Ortega on each occasion.
Man City stepped it up again in the second half and Palmer looked to have won it when he curved a delightful left-foot shot into the far corner 13 minutes from the end.
However, deep into stoppage time Trossard took the contest to a shoot-out when his speculative shot deflected in off Manuel Akanji and Arsenal completed the remarkable turnaround from the spot.
Next up, Manchester City begin their Premier League title defence against former captain Vincent Kompany’s newly-promoted Burnley on Friday night.
Arsenal pull off stunning rescue act to lay down their own marker for the upcoming season.
This clash between last season’s top-two was much-anticipated, particularly given Arsenal’s outlay on additions they hope will bridge the gap to the Premier League summit.
The Gunners gave a good account of themselves too with the trio of new recruits slotting in and looking rather accomplished.
Declan Rice was assured in the midfield while Jurrien Timber was excellent both defensively and on the ball on the left side of the back four.
Havertz wasn’t brought in as a leading striker, but the German was dangerous in that position and his adaptability between midfield and attack will be important as the campaign develops.
This was arguably a more important occasion for the Gunners given the psychological impact of last term’s implosion in the title race, and Arteta and co will take real positives, particularly given the never-say-die attitude that ultimately paid dividends.
It could be a big moment for the Gunners but probably won’t affect City too much. They had lost their previous two Community Shield showdowns and still went on to enjoy trophy success in that same season, so Guardiola won’t dwell on this defeat for long.
City still have Josko Gvardiol to come into the side while Mateo Kovacic was calm and composed in the midfield. Of course, the major plus was the impact of Palmer, as well as Foden with both substitutes giving the Spanish coach plenty to think about ahead of next week’s PL opener.
Player of the match
William Saliba (Arsenal). The centre back was imperious throughout and kept Erling Haaland quiet during his time on the pitch. The defender’s injury was a key factor in Arsenal’s drop-off late last season and he once again demonstrated his quality both on the ball and with his reading of the game here.
MAN CITY: Ortega 8, Walker 7, Stones 8, Dias 7, Akanji 7, Rodri 8, Kovacic 8, Bernardo 6, Grealish 6, Alvarez 7, Haaland 5. Subs: Foden 7, Palmer 7, De Bruyne 6. ARSENAL: Ramsdale 7, White 8, Saliba 9, Gabriel 7, Timber 8, Partey 7, Rice 7, Odegaard 7, Saka 7, Havertz 7, Martinelli 7. Subs: Trossard 7, Tierney 6, Nketiah n/a, Smith-Rowe n/a, Vieira n/a.
25’ – ARSENAL CHANCE! White bursts into the box down the right and cuts it across for Havertz. The German does well to adjust and stab an effort at goal, but Ortega makes an excellent stop. The rebound falls for Martinelli who hammers a ferocious strike back towards goal, but Stones is there to make a brave block.
40’ – ARSENAL CHANCE! It should be 1-0. Havertz fires in a first-time shot from eight yards out but it’s too close to Ortega, who makes another superb save. It was a fine move from Arsenal with Odegaard finding Saka’s run down the right and the England winger cutting it back with real precision.
43’ – MAN CITY CHANCE! Rodri sees Ramsdale off his line and tries his luck with an audacious shot from just inside the Arsenal half. The Gunners keeper is clearly worried and ends up in the back of his own net, but fortunately for him the superb effort drifts an inch or two over the bar.
77’ – GOAL! – Man City 1-0 Arsenal. Cole Palmer breaks the deadlock as he cuts inside from the right and curls a sublime shot into the far corner.
82’ – MAN CITY CHANCES! Alvarez darts through the middle and then unselfishly finds Foden who somehow fails to get the ball beyond Ramsdale from close range. City threaten again from the resulting corner but Ramsdale pulls off another super stop to thwart Rodri.
90+11’ – GOAL! – Man City 1-1 Arsenal. Trossard drifts past his man on the right and sees a heavily deflected shot come off Akanji and wrong-foot Ortega.
SHOOT-OUT – PENALTY MISSED! – MAN CITY 0-1 ARSENAL. De Bruyne hits the woodwork!
SHOOT-OUT – PENALTY MISSED! – MAN CITY 1-3 ARSENAL. Rodri sees his low kick saved!
SHOOT-OUT – PENALTY SCORED! – MAN CITY 1-4 ARSENAL. Vieira hammers it high into the top corner.
Arsenal have now won the Community Shield 17 times, overtaking Liverpool. Only Manchester United (21) have won it more times.
Arsenal have beaten Manchester City for just the 2nd time in 11 games under Mikel Arteta. That was their first win against City since 18/07/2020, which was 1115 days ago.
Aged 21 years and 92 days, Cole Palmer is the youngest player to score in the Community Shield since Cesc Fàbregas for Arsenal against Chelsea in 2005 (18 years, 95 days).