Wednesday 21 February 2018 / 08:39 PM


Ah, football, sweet football.

The beautiful game returned on Sunday, and okay, it was only the Community Shield. But when you’ve been waiting nearly 12 weeks for some football, you’ll take anything.

In the end, Arsenal saw off Chelsea, using the brand new ABBA penalty shootout system; and just like always, here we are with the key takeaways from the clash:

Arsenal won’t win anything with this defence

Seems a bit harsh, right? But it’s true. Chelsea’s goal, scored by Victor Moses, was a piece of opportunism from the Blues, but an utter embarrassment for Arsenal.

Sure, Arsene Wenger’s side can play some lovely football at times, but their inability to defend, especially from set pieces, means that they will always struggle against the best sides in the division.

In a one-off game, this sort of mistake didn’t matter too much, but over a season, if mistakes mount up, so do the amount of points that go begging.

You can’t tackle from behind anymore…

In my view, Pedro’s red card was harsh. Okay, it was a rash tackle, and the Spaniard didn’t get any of the ball, but even so, a red card still seemed a little over the top in what is ostensibly a friendly.

Nevertheless, the big learn from this is simple: you cannot lunge in, and you cannot tackle from behind. If you do both of these things, the chances are you’re getting sent off.

Chelsea’s defence not much better than Arsenal’s…

Having criticised Arsenal’s defence, it would be remiss of me not to point out that Arsenal’s goal was scored in much the same way and was equally poor defending.

But what was interesting about the second goal of the game was not just that Chelsea defended it poorly, but rather that it gave other sides a blueprint for how to cause Chelsea problems.

Get the ball in behind their defence, make them turn and run into the space and you’ve successfully made a title-winning defence look very ordinary indeed.

Poor Chelsea misses gift the shield to Arsenal

In the end, it was a penalty shootout that decided things, and for reasons only Chelsea will fully understand, it was the goalkeeper Courtois who took and missed the first decisive penalty.

However, it will be the second missed penalty that could prove more costly. It was Blues new boy Alvaro Morata who missed that one, and missed badly too. With Morata tasked with stepping into Diego Costa’s shoes, Chelsea could have done with his confidence not just remaining intact but being enhanced, and it’ll remain to be seen what effect this first failure has on him.

It’s good to watch football again

The best bit about the Community Shield is that it’s the signal for lots more football. Roll on next week!

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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