Arsenal Beat Liverpool To Lift The 16th Community Shield Trophy. But What More Did We Learn From The Curtain Raiser?

Arsenal was returning to Wembley barely a month after lifting the FA Cup. It was a curtain-raiser pitting the Gunners against runaway premier league champions Liverpool. And while the match isn’t a competitive contest, the Saturday encounter had still much to offer than the silverware and goals. It was yet another evening for both sets of fans to sample the rich yet peculiar history associated with the competition. Prior to this game, both teams had participated in 24 curtain raisers, each team winning 14 trophies in the process.

End to end affair

Just 12 minutes after Andre Marriner had signaled for the start, Gabon international was at the right place, completing a sweeping move with a brilliant finish. The match went into the break with Arsenal leading, and probably the better side most of the first half. Nonetheless, the Reds came back from the tunnel a more rejuvenated side.

They dominated the proceeding and deservedly got the leveler in the 73rd minute when Japan international Takumi Minamino pounced on a loose ball after a fine exchange between Mane and Salah.

Minamino’s equalizer was his first goal for Liverpool since joining the Reds from Red Bull Salzburg in January.

Arteta’s faith in young talents might just pay off, after all

The evening belonged to the Gabon international, Aubameyang. He opened the scores in under 5 minutes, and boldly tucked in the winning penalty to hand Arsenal victory. Already the club has initiated contract negotiation and is expected to announce a new contract soon.

However, the former Everton midfielder has limited resources at his disposal and might not dig deep into the transfer market. And although he could still sell to buy, Arteta has continuously shown faith in young talent and wouldn’t splash so much cash to bring new faces to Emirates.

So on a night when Aubameyang stole the show, the youngsters in the team equally rose to the task and performed exceptionally well. Bukayo Saka was solid, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was brilliant.

Upfront, Eddie Nketiah was prolific, finding spaces between defenders and showing incredible skills. And then we had Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson, all getting playing time as Arteta seeks to build a future team around the young talents.

Arteta is finally finding the grip and laying down a formidable side

Mikel Arteta was appointed last December when Arsenal was on a downward trajectory. He was tasked to oversee a turnaround at the club, and steer the record FA champions back to the top.

And even before he could settle, the corona pandemic hit, throwing everything into disarray. However, he showed leadership, managing players to take a pay cut in a bid to save on costs. Close to nine months into the job, he seems to have a firm grip on the dressing room and has everything going on according to plan.

Klopp might be forced to get into the market

The Reds have only secured the services of Greece international full-back, Kostas Tsimikas this summer. They were without a number of key players on Saturday, but that still isn’t an excuse for uninspiring performances by their three forwards.

The German technician has got his league winning team still intact. Nonetheless, fatigue and old age could sneak in and derail their quest for a 19th premier league title.

Maybe, it’s time to bring in new additions to bolster the squad.


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