MARTIN KEOWN: Mikel Arteta has Arsenal so well-drilled

MARTIN KEOWN: Mikel Arteta has Arsenal so well-drilled… there was real identity in their victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield

  • Arsenal beat Premier League champions Liverpool in the Community Shield 
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a fine goal and netted the winning penalty 
  • Aubameyang’s curling strike gave Arsenal the lead before Minamino equalised 
  • The match went to penalties with Aubameyang coolly sealing the winner

Say what you want about the Community Shield — whether you think it is a trophy or a glorified friendly — but the act of securing silverware is never a bad habit to have. 

Mikel Arteta will happily take this win and he deserves a great deal of credit. In the last 50 days, Arsenal have got the better of Liverpool (twice), Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final and Chelsea in the final. 

The players had only a handful of training sessions together in the build-up, but we saw a well coached side cause Jurgen Klopp’s team problems. You could see the philosophy behind the opening goal as Arsenal went from back to front in less than 20 seconds. 

Mikel Arteta deserves credit after steering Arsenal past Liverpool in the Community Shield

It involved a wonderful cross-field pass from 18-year-old Bukayo Saka, who makes such intelligent decisions for his age, to the goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 

Then the left-sided centre back Kieran Tierney made an overlapping run while left wing back Ainsley Maitland-Niles underlapped.

Using the space in front of him, Aubameyang duly found the far corner, just like Thierry Henry would have done.

The Spaniard has given Arsenal an identity as they won a second successive game at Wembley 

There was a real identity to this performance under Arteta.

His back three was sturdy and you wonder whether that is the system he is ready to stand by. Mohamed Elneny came back from his loan at Besiktas looking secure in midfield alongside Granit Xhaka.

Emiliano Martinez looks worthy of being Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Bernd Leno. Of course, we’re all wondering whether Aubameyang will stay and, judging by Saturday, it seems more likely that he will. This was a good day out for Arteta’s Arsenal.

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