Thursday 22 February 2018

Thibaut Courtois took Chelsea’s second penalty against Arsenal and it was all downhill from there

Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-1 on penalties to win the Community Shield.

(Joe Giddens/PA)
(Joe Giddens/PA)

By Kameron Virk

Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-1 on penalties to win the 2017 Community Shield, following a 1-1 draw inside 90 minutes.

The game’s second half was full of drama but the strangest moment came as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois stepped up to take Chelsea’s second penalty following normal time.

The shootout followed the new ABBA format, meaning that despite taking the first kick Chelsea were 2-1 down when Courtois stepped up as the second team always take two-in-a-row.

But, as many people have rightly pointed out, the Belgian’s spot-kick looked more like a goal kick than a penalty, with the ball sent sailing over the crossbar.

Chelsea were next to take a penalty under the ABBA system with new boy Alvaro Morata failing to deceive Petr Cech.

All that was left was for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud to dispatch theirs, which they duly did, and Chelsea were left looking red-faced.

For some, the Community Shield is a nothing trophy.

But for others they all count…

It’s the Gunners’ third Community Shield in four years, but for a long time in the match it didn’t seem like that would be the case.

Victor Moses bagged for the Blues shortly after half-time and celebrated like a man who was sent off in the FA Cup final against the same opponents just 10 weeks previously.

(Nigel French/PA)

Although not all Chelsea fans saw this as redemption: an FA Cup and a Community Shield are not exactly the same thing.

And that’s not the only reason fans were disheartened.

But, another Wembley appearance for Chelsea ended up meaning another red card – with Pedro dismissed for a poor challenge on Mohamed Elneny.

Just 88 seconds later, from the free-kick, new signing Sead Kolasinac nodded in for the Gunners to cap a brilliant performance since coming on for the stricken Per Mertesacker.

It wasn’t the first time during the match that the Arsenal fans had cause to comment on the Bosnian.

Arsenal’s season starts properly on Friday as Leicester travel to the Emirates, while Chelsea welcome Burnley to Stamford Bridge the following day.

Antonio Conte will be hoping Courtois has gotten that miss out of his head by then.

Press Association

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