The FA Cup holders took on the Premier League Champion in the season curtain-raiser, with the Gunners coming out on top at Wembley Stadium thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The result means Arsene Wenger is no longer winless against Jose Mourinho, as it took him 14 tries to finally beat his rival manager. Now the Gunners must look forward to the start of the Premier League, which kicks off next weekend. It was a strange sight to see Petr Cech lining up in goal for Arsenal against Chelsea, the team he made nearly 500 appearances for over the past 11 seasons.
Both sides were missing some stars, as Diego Costa was unavailable for Chelsea while nursing a hamstring injury. Arsenal was without Alexis Sanchez, who is still being given some rest after leading Chile to a win in the Copa America tournament.
The match had a testy start to it, as a few strong challenges were made between the two London clubs. It didn’t take long for the Arsenal fans to begin taunting Chelsea’s supposed “boring” style of play, the same style of play that won the Blues the Premier League title last season.
It was Arsenal that had the better run of play to start the match, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired the Gunners ahead in the 24th minute. Oxlade-Chamberlain took a ball from Theo Walcott on the right side of the box, cut past Cesar Azpilicueta onto his left foot and rifled a shot into the top corner.
After the goal, Chelsea picked up their play a bit and should have drawn level ten minutes later. Loic Remythrew in a cross from the left wing to Ramires, who was wide open on the top of the six. But the Brazilian put his header just over the bar as the scoreline remained in Arsenal’s favor.
In the second half, Radamel Falcao came in for Remy, as the Colombian striker is looking to find his form again after a disappointing loan at Manchester United last season.
While Falcao is a new face at Chelsea, it was the Blues’ main man Eden Hazard who nearly found an equalizer in the 61st minute. Last season’s PFA Player of the Year took a good ball from Cesc Fabregas in on goal, but Laurent Koscielny closed him down quickly as Hazard fired high.
Petr Cech made his biggest save of the match just minutes later, keeping his old club off the board. With a free kick from just outside the box Oscar curled one towards the top corner, but Cech dove to his right and made a massive stop as he narrowly avoided clattering into the post.
Santi Cazorla had a golden opportunity to close out the match for Arsenal five minutes from full-time, but couldn’t get his chip over Thibaut Courtois, who stayed big to deny the Spanish midfielder.
With the clock winding down, Chelsea never really put the pressure on Arsenal, as the Gunners claim the first silverware of the season.
Arsenal: Cech, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Coquelin, Ozil (Gibbs, 82′), Cazorla, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arteta, 77′), Walcott (Giroud, 66′)
Goal: Oxlade-Chamberlain (24′)
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta (Zouma, 69′), Terry (Moses, 82′), Cahill, Ivanovic, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard,Willian, Ramires (Oscar, 54′), Remy (Falcao, 46′)