• Mon. May 20th, 2024

Declan Rice is key, Mikel Arteta at it again, while Erling Haaland in worrying form – Things we learnt from the Community Shield

Bynewsmagzines

Aug 6, 2023
Declan Rice is key, Mikel Arteta at it again, while Erling Haaland in worrying form - Things we learnt from the Community Shield

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There was something of a surprise result in the season’s curtain-raiser with Arsenal coming out on top against treble winners Manchester City.

The Gunners claimed victory from the jaws of defeat as they netted an equaliser in the 11th minute of stoppage-time before winning on penalties.

Cole Palmer appeared to have given City the win with a wonderful strike on 77 minutes

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Cole Palmer appeared to have given City the win with a wonderful strike on 77 minutesCredit: Getty
But this effort from Leandro Trossard, which took a big deflection off Manuel Akanji, took the match to penalties

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But this effort from Leandro Trossard, which took a big deflection off Manuel Akanji, took the match to penaltiesCredit: Getty
And Fabio Vieira sealed Arsenal's win in the shootout

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And Fabio Vieira sealed Arsenal’s win in the shootoutCredit: Getty

“It feels great. I don’t think it gets much better than winning a trophy at Wembley against the best team in the world, and especially the way we have done it,” added Arteta.

“It’s great if the players are convinced they can beat every team. I think we showed a real determination and fight to win the game.

“The reason why we are here to win trophies for this club and make it successful. I have seen so many happy and proud people.”

Having worked as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at City, Arteta knows that football does get better than winning a Community Shield.

But that’s not to say we can’t learn things from what unfolded on Sunday afternoon and talkSPORT.com has picked out six takeaways from Arsenal’s triumph ahead of the 2023/24 season’s serious business.

Arsenal won 4-1 in the penalty shootout

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Arsenal won 4-1 in the penalty shootoutCredit: Getty

New rules

Leandro Trossard was able to get the equaliser several minutes due to the Football Association’s drive to rid time-wasting from the game.

Referee Stuart Atwell handed yellow cards to Thomas Partey and Julian Alvarez for fairly minor time-wasting inciddents that were once simply seen as part of the game.

The attempts at time-wasting will also be recorded and subsequently included when adding on time at the end. Atwell and his assistants showed that these rules are here to stay.

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The referee and his assistants enforced the new rules for this season very effectively

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The referee and his assistants enforced the new rules for this season very effectivelyCredit: Rex

Arteta antics

Another in the Arsenal camp to receive a yellow card was manager Arteta, who was cautioned after imploring Atwell to book City midfielder Rodri for a challenge on Kai Havertz.

It’s hardly the first time Arteta has been noticed for his touchline antics having most notably needed to be separated from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp during a Premier League encounter at Anfield during the 2021/22 season.

On his yellow card, Arteta added: “I cannot change my behaviour in three days and I can’t say tomorrow that we play with no offsides and what is the linesman doing? I try my best.”

Arteta has six days to change his behaviour in time or risk getting punished when it really matters in the Premier League.

Arteta demanded Rodri get booked early in the match but was instead booked himself for his gesticulating

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Arteta demanded Rodri get booked early in the match but was instead booked himself for his gesticulating

Rice, Rice baby

He didn’t get a goal, an assist, or take a penalty, but England star Declan Rice showed why Arsenal broke the bank to bring him in.

Playing a more advanced role than we’ve usually seen him in his career, Rice covered the ground very well and played a key role in Arsenal’s press which on a couple of occasions almost led to City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega giving the ball away in dangerous positions.

Roy Keane suggested pre-match that Arsenal have paid too much for Rice but the ex-West Ham star’s workmanlike efforts impressed England legend Stuart Pearce.

He said on commentary for talkSPORT: “He’s going to be a major asset to Arsenal, there’s no doubt.

“You wouldn’t say he’s really eye-catching but he does certain things and blocks certain attacks, he nullifies potential threats on your goal around the halfway line.

“He’ll get better and better and I’m pleased to see him further up the pitch.”

Rice has already begun paying Arsenal back for the eye-watering £105million they forked out to sign him

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Rice has already begun paying Arsenal back for the eye-watering £105million they forked out to sign himCredit: Getty

Another Haaland nightmare

The Norwegian hotshot had a stinker in last year’s Community Shield, missing a number of easy chances in City’s defeat to Liverpool – but the 52 goals the PFA Player of the Year scored last term show that was more or less a one-off.

However, Haaland went into the game in something of a lean patch and the way the 64 minutes he spent on the pitch simply passed him by will be a concern for City.

Haaland hasn’t scored in his last six competitive appearances – a tally which takes on added significance given that he’d never previously gone more than three games without scoring for the club.

The 23-year-old also failed to attempt a shot for the second time since joining City, the previous occasion being during a defeat to Tottenham in February.

Haaland's form tailed off in the final matches of last season and showed no sign of improving on Sunday

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Haaland’s form tailed off in the final matches of last season and showed no sign of improving on SundayCredit: Getty

Havertz still struggling

But Arsenal have their own woes up front with summer signing Havertz’s time in north London yet to kick off.

The former Chelsea man lacked composure in front of goal on two occasions in the first half – converting those chances could’ve spared Arsenal the nerve-jangling penalty shootout on their way to victory.

It’s led to fresh doubts about the German’s ability to lead the line for a side bidding for a first league title in 20 years, a concern given Gabriel Jesus will miss the opening couple of weeks of the season.

Havertz should've put Arsenal ahead with this chance just before half time

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Havertz should’ve put Arsenal ahead with this chance just before half timeCredit: Getty

The title race is on

Yes, it’s just the Community Shield, and yes, Trossard’s goal had more than an element of luck to it, but to win in that manner will have sent a strong statement to City, who are chasing a fourth league title on the spin.

It would be easy for Arsenal to spend the summer licking their wounds after coming so close to being English champions, but their transfer business and willingness to fight until the end shows this is a team that’s willing to go again this term.

On Arsenal’s triumph, Pearce said at full-time: “Yeah I think it does [make a statement] personally.

“They’ve spent a lot of money, they’ve bolstered the squad, they had a really good tilt in the Premier League last year, just fell short through injury and one or two other things.

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Arsenal showed on Sunday that they'll try again to go one better in the Premier League title race

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Arsenal showed on Sunday that they’ll try again to go one better in the Premier League title raceCredit: Getty
If Guardiola didn't know he was in a title race with Arsenal before, he certainly does now

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If Guardiola didn’t know he was in a title race with Arsenal before, he certainly does nowCredit: ITV

“They’ve come out today and got their hands on City and maybe got past the hoodoo.

“We’re the first ones to turn round and say, ‘Nine games without beating City’, they’ve certainly done it today.”

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