Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fires Gunners to Community Shield win at Wembley and ends Jose Mourinho’s hoodoo over Arsene Wenger on Petr Cech’s debut

Finally, agonisingly, Arsene Wenger has addressed one of the biggest psychological hurdles standing in the way of winning a fourth Barclays Premier League title.

Just as Jose Mourinho sensed on Friday, the law of averages told him that Arsenal would finally lay a glove on Chelsea at some point. After all the skirmishes between this pair over the past 11 years, this is a bit more than a scratch.

What better place then, what grander setting than Wembley, to inflict Wenger’s first defeat on the defending champion’s irksome manager in 14 attempts. ‘Our rivals have spent considerably more on transfers this summer and we have the same team,’ lamented Mourinho, and with that you know something is already bubbling under the surface at Stamford Bridge.

Wenger has put one over on him: beaten a man who gets under his skin like no other human being on earth, beaten Chelsea with the formidable figure of Petr Cech in the colours of Arsenal and beaten the champions. There have been times during this 11 year hoodoo when it looked as though Mourinho wanted to finish off Wenger, to unseat the Arsenal manager after labelling him a specialist in failure.

In March 2014, when Arsenal were beaten 6-0 at Stamford Bridge, Wenger went a disturbing shade of grey on the touchline as the goals rained in from Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard, Oscar (2) and Mohamed Salah. The colour is back.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s belting 24th minute strike, cutting in from the left to beat Thibaut Courtois from inside the penalty area, was a goal of haunting beauty.

It was a fraction short, perhaps, of the quality that left the boot of Alexis Sanchez in the FA Cup final against Aston Villa last May, but this pearler surely carries greater historical significance.

Arsenal have done it, even if the Community Shield’s many detractors, swollen by a large batch of Chelsea supporters this morning, will tell you that it is meaningless. This is not an Arsenal team to compare with the Dennis Bergkamp-inspired class of the 1998 and 2002 Double winning teams, or the Thierry Henry vintage when Arsenal’s Invincibles went a season unbeaten in 2004. But it is coming together rather nicely, all the same.

Arsenal had to work bloody hard for this victory, sacrificing their attacking instincts after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal and settling down to defend for the rest of the afternoon.

Posted by on Aug 2 2015. Filed under Featured, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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