In an eventful afternoon at Wembley Stadium, Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 in the 93rdCommunity Shield with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first half goal the difference. The defending Premier League champions lacked the attacking prowess to test Arsenal’s defensive resolution with the presence of Petr Cech in goal helping them look much more assured. Chelsea’s best moment came when Eden Hazard, PFA’s Player of the Year, was released by Cesc Fabregas but blasted over the bar from close range. No wonder Arsene Wenger joked that Cech’s presence had Chelsea fearing they must score the “perfect goal” to beat their former teammate.
The win was a memorable moment for Wenger, as it was the first time he had ever claimed victory over his old foe Jose Mourinho. In his first reign at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho maintained an unbeaten record in 13 games against Wenger and had added another five clean sheets so far in his second reign. Wenger’s refusal to shake Mourinho’s hands, and the Portuguese’s gesture of giving the runners-up medal to an Arsenal fan, would only fuel their old feud in the new season.
The game itself has little significant meaning given it is only a minor trophy, but the defeat is a wake-up call for Jose Mourinho who has somehow given up recruiting a proven striker in the summer. When the Blues claimed the title last year, Mourinho went on record to demand more strikers as Diego Costa’s injury record left him without too much choice. With Didier Drogba’s departure, Mourinho has never been so short on strikers. Falcao is the obvious choice to lead the line but it looks like Chelsea’s board has switched attention to enhancing the defensive line, with two failed bids for Everton’s young defender John Stones and the imminent move of Augsburg’s left back Baba Rahman, a deal worth up to £17.5m.
But the more worrying sign for Chelsea remains their front line. Diego Costa missed the game due to a reported hamstring injury which left Mourinho with only two strikers to use. Remy’s performance in the first half was not convincing with three offside calls indicating his movement is not ideal. Reluctantly, Mourinho gave Falcao his debut although the Colombian only joined the team last week. Falcao’s performance wasn’t too different from his time at Manchester United. The Blues’ chance of signing another striker soared after the defeat.
Meanwhile, Angel Di Maria’s imminent move to Paris Saint-German means Manchester United have sufficient funds to chase their next target. Louis Van Gaal has complained of a lack of speed and creativity in his squad, so Pedro is the most likely target for them at the moment. We expect a busy time towards the end of the transfer window with more big names likely to join the Premier League!