Arsenal thrash Manchester City in Community Shield


Well done Arsenal, well done indeed.  If you asked me last night on what my thoughts on the impending Community Shield clash with Manchester City were (and believe me, many did…was up far later than intended just debating amongst fellow supporters), I would have told you that I didn’t see us winning it today; happy to report I was dead wrong.

Santi Cazorla celebrates after breaking the deadlock in the 22nd minute

However, my achilles heel, for better or worse, is that I am constantly looking beyond the result, looking at what we could have done better, where we could have been exposed – it’s clearly the manager in me (I do have plenty of coaching experience).  I can tell you that on the surface, this was a great result, but it still could have all gone horribly wrong.

Full credit to us for smashing the league champions in a very efficient display.  At the back, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers (both of whom needed a little bit to settle down first) looked incredibly solid.  Debuchy showed his preference to get forward and help dictate proceedings, while Chambers, who did get skinned once each by Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko, settled nicely and put in a performance that could well be worthy of man of the match.

Aaron Ramsey, arguably the man of the match, shows his delight with his peach of a goal, which was Arsenal’s second on the day

Alexis Sanchez made his full debut for the club, and while his final ball was poor on the day, his work rate was highly commendable and he always showed intent going forward even if his decision making was lackluster.  Olivier Giroud came on and scored an absolute cracker, and the usual suspects of Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey (my man of the match, if I’m honest) and the rest of the lot played very, very well.

Now, here comes the pessimist in me; Arsenal played well, but they played against a lackluster City side that clearly lacked match fitness.  More to the point, City were missing a truck-load of first team regulars that could have well influenced proceedings to garner a much different result.

The likes of Fernando and Bruno Zuculini showed much promise in their debut, and Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic showed much intent in the final third; especially the Montenegrin, who did much to help his chances of more first-team action this season.

Yaya Toure (right) put in one of his most disappointing shifts in a City shirt this afternoon – but don’t bank on that being the status quo as the season edges ever so closer.

Though it has to be said that, not only did City’s midfield look unfit, but their back-four (not their first choice by any means, mind you) was clearly not up to par – City will undoubtedly be where they need to be come next weekend, which is why Arsenal fans really should only take this with a grain of salt, but naturally still looking at the positives.

But, surely, even the most lighthearted and thrilled Gooner thrilled by what happened over the course of the 90minutes on the Wembley pitch must ask themselves; is this same level of performance and result possible when both sides are (presumably) fully fit and come to grips on September 13th at the Emirates?

I could go on and no naturally, but I will let Ben Clarke (one of our new writers here) and your go-to source for all things City at WeAreHooligans, weigh on with his thoughts of the match from a more City-cetric point of view;

"As a City fan, I found the match hard to watch from the start.  From the off, many of our players looked both slow and unenthusiastic, with every stray pass and Arsenal tackle causing Manuel Pellegrini’s men to become dejected.   Although in the back of my mind I kept telling myself that the Community Shield counted for nothing and City were fielding a weakened side, it hardly made the match easier come the first goal where Dedryck Boyata and Matija Nastasic’s poor judgement as a pair was exposed in full when Cazorla found the opener. I will take confidence in the fact that Boyata will be our sixth choice center-back come the start of the Premier League season.  The defending didn’t get much better by the second goal, and I, along with all other anxious City fans, will be waiting contently for Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis to feature at the back again. The first half’s only bright spot was Stevan Jovetic, with Yaya Toure looking almost non-existent.  Gael Clichy looking uncomfortable on the right, and Edin Dzeko being as inconsistent as ever.  With David Silva’s introduction, City gained a little something.  The Spaniard, like Jovetic, actually got near the defense, asking questions of Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal with deft touches and intricate flicks. Despite the welcome addition to the side, I could still see very little hope of a comeback, as Arsenal continued to attack while City made a move every ten minutes or so (and there was not much sign of Pellegrini’s signature attacking style). As for City’s new signings, Caballero hardly made a save, but he can’t be blamed for the goals (though his positioning on the third goal raises some questions), while Fernando looked altogether a solid midfielder, albeit slightly silly with some challenges. Bruno Zuculini, who’s signing is the most recent at the club, was more impressive than star-man Toure, looking every bit as comfortable in the team as any other midfielder on offer.   When the third goal went in, it seemed like the nail in the coffin; despite giving little indication of how City’s league campaign will fair, the match was still tough to watch as City looked well behind the pace – the only saving grace, is that this match has little relative importance."

With Arsenal securing the first piece of silverware up for grabs this domestic campaign, both sides will still look to open their league fixture list with positive results.  Arsenal are at home to stubborn Crystal Palace, while City travel north to a reinforced and threatening Newcastle United.

Stay tuned this week as we will unveil all 20 club previews or the upcoming Premier League campaign.  To follow us as the season progresses, check out our Twitter feed at @WeRHooligansFS, or our Facebook page!