Arsenal claimed their 16th Charity Shield title as they beat Liverpool on penalties to win the traditional curtain raiser to the English league season. It was a nice way to end August for Gunners gaffer Mikel Arteta after having added the FA Cup to the club’s trophy cabinet earlier in the month.
Here are our talking points from the fixture.
Lovely Aubameyang goal: Arsenal’s goal was a thing of beauty. They played it out from the back and completely tore Liverpool apart- not many teams have been able to do so against Jurgen Klopp’s defensively well-organised Reds in recent times. Bellerin and Saka both played important roles in the move, and the Aubameyang finish was simply marvellous.
Reckon we could see more of this when the league season starts- this was a glorious example of Arteta ball.
Ice cool Ainsley Maitland-Niles: Arsenal slotted all five of their penalties in the shootout, but the pick of them was from Ainsley-Maitland Niles, who epitomised cool with his spot kick. He also turned 23 on the day of the game, and was named Man of the Match. A great to celebrate your birthday!
The Marriner factor: Interestingly enough, the three AFC LFC games with Marriner at the helm before this had all ended in draws. And so did this one, rather fascinatingly. A nice stat for the trivia oriented and betting folks perhaps?
16th Charity Shield win for the Gunners: Arsenal were huge underdogs and entered this game with several key players unavailable. Liverpool were almost at full strength for this one in comparison.
To hold the league champions to a draw and then winning on penalties takes some nerve, and Arsenal showed plenty of it today.
Liverpool’s shootout change fails: Manager Jurgen Klopp brought on Rhian Brewster specifically for the shootout, but the youngster crumbled under pressure and was the only one of the ten penalty takers to fluff his lines. A second successive Charity Shield loss on penalties for the Reds. They will also rue missing several good chances in the game, with James Milner and Sadio Mane primarily guilty.