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Arsenal top Liverpool on penalties to win Community Shield

Sports Desk, Aug 29 (efe-epa).- Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a goal in regulation and the winning penalty to lead his team over Premier League champions Liverpool in Saturday’s Community Shield match, played behind closed doors at Wembley Stadium in London.

The teams were level at 1-1 after 90 minutes plus stoppage time and Arsenal prevailed 5-4 in the shootout to pick up their second trophy in August, just weeks after beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final on a brace by Aubameyang.

Though Arsenal managed only an 8th-place finish in the Premier League in the coronavirus-disrupted season, fans have to happy about the change wrought by Mikel Arteta since he took over as coach last December.

After going three years without a trophy, Arsenal have claimed two in the space of a month.

The Spaniard, a former Gunners captain who spend several years as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, has turned Arsenal into a side that is defensively sound, as demonstrated by their ability to hold Liverpool to four shots on target.

Content to let the Reds have 60 percent possession, the London side relied on the counter, with Bukayo Saka assuming the role of playmaker.

He was the architect of Aubameyang’s goal in the 12th minute, the Gabon international’s 71st in 110 matches for Arsenal, and later of an effort by Eddie Nketiah that forced a stop from Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.

At the other of the pitch, Emi Martinez denied Sadio Mane before conceding the equalizer to Takumi Minamino with 15 minutes left.

Liverpool pressed hard for a winner in regulation and Martinez had to come up with another good save against Mane to preserve the deadlock.

There is no extra-time in the Community Shield, so the match went straight to penalties.

Mohamad Salah converted the first kick for the Reds and Reiss Nelson answered for Arsenal. The pattern continued with Fabinho and Ainsley Maitland-Niles and the tally stood at 2-2.

Then came the turn of 20-year-old Rhian Brewster, who spent last season on loan to second-division club Swansea. Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp brought the youngster on in stoppage time with an eye toward the shootout.

Brewster, however, put too much on the shot and it skipped over the cross-bar. Cedric Soares scored seconds later to give Arsenal a 3-2 edge.

Successful kicks by Minamino and Jones for Liverpool and David Luiz for Arsenal made it 4-4 before Aubameyang nailed the winner for the Gunners. EFE

id/dr

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