It proved to be yet another successful trip for Arsenal as Mikel Arteta’s side beat Premier League champions Liverpool in a penalty shoot-out to win the Community Shield.
The Gunners had already beaten Man City and Chelsea in the semi and final of the FA Cup at the home of English football earlier this month, and the north London side got off to the perfect start when talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired home a superb curling strike from the edge of the area early on.
Liverpool would deservedly draw level on 73 minutes through impressive substitute Takumi Minamino to send the season’s traditional curtain-raiser to penalties.
Sadly for young Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster he would be the villain of the piece, crashing his spot-kick off the bar, while rather fittingly it would be Aubameyang who slotted home the winning penalty for Arsenal.
But you probably know all that already, so let’s get stuck into the reason you’re here, seeing how the players rated…
Another hugely impressive display by the Argentine stopper, whose excellent form in recent months has given Mikel Arteta a real selection headache with Bernd Leno on his way back to fitness.
Lucky to get away with allowing Mane in behind during the second half, although he distributed the ball well against Liverpool’s high press and was part of a defensive unit that restricted the champions to few chances throughout.
David Luiz 7
Recovered from a shaky start to marshall the backline well, always inspires more confidence when playing as part of a back three/five.
Solid as a rock in defence and once again showed real quality when linking up with Aubameyang down the left.
??????? Kieran Tierney (23) has won every single final he has played in at both Celtic and @Arsenal. ?
2/2 with the Gunners. ?
Lucky charm. ? pic.twitter.com/OytpTRBYNo
— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) August 29, 2020
A very early season performance from the Spaniard, some quality moments mixed with some clear rustiness.
Slotted back into the Gunners midfield seamlessly after spending last season on loan at Besiktas, composed in possession and covered a huge amount of ground in the centre of the park.
Has played the best football of his Arsenal career since Arteta took over in December, the Swiss international once again keeping his side ticking over and showed his ability to read the game by snuffing out balls into Liverpool’s fabled front three.
Granit Xhaka in the first half vs Liverpool:
•2 Accurate Long Balls
•4/4 Ground Duels
•1 Foul Drawn
•1 Blocked Shot
•1 Tackle Won
The big game players stepping up again. ? pic.twitter.com/As4MnlIrU7
— . (@XhakaStat) August 29, 2020
Showed his defensive quality and determination in one-on-one situations against Mane and Salah, as well as driving Arsenal forward late on when several of his teammates seemed to be out of gas.
Despite only being 18-years-old, the Gunners academy graduate just always seems to pick the right pass, his raking cross-field pass to Aubameyang for the opener a moment of real quality. Visibly tired during the second period, but all-in-all, another hugely impressive display.
Showed excellent work-rate and kept Van Dijk and Gomez on their toes, although his finishing needs sharpening up if he is to stake a claim to be the Gunners central striker.
Aubameyang 8 (MOTM)
Arsenal are clearly a hugely improved side under Mikel Arteta and the Spaniard deserves massive credit, but you’d have to wonder where they’d be without their Gabonese talisman? Scored his fifth goal at Wembley in just over a month with a clinical effort from the edge of the area in the first-half, and slotted home the all-important spot-kick in the penalty shoot out.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) August 29, 2020
Difficult to be overly critical of the Portuguese full-backs roll in the equaliser, and surprisingly stepped up to fire home a decent penalty.
Looked bright after his introduction and expertly slotted home his penalty.
Missed a good headed chance late on, but made up for it by sticking away a pen in the shootout.
Aubameyang pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman after his goal ? pic.twitter.com/3UJsaOl3jv
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 29, 2020
Made a couple of tidy stops and was little he could do with Aubameyang’s opener.
Started well, but was given a real lesson in how little space you can allow top-class players by Aubameyang for the opener. Struggled with Tierney’s overlapping runs too, although at 19-years-old days like today are all part of a young full-backs development.
Ruffled by Nketiah at times during the opening period, although he did well to snuff out a couple of Gunners counter attacks.
Van Dijk 6
Solid enough, but those long-range passes he likes to ping up to the front three weren’t quite on point today.
Liverpool’s best player. The Scotland captain didn’t give an inch in defence and was a threat going forward, whipping an impressive 11 crosses into the Gunners box.
Neat and tidy as always, so composed in possession, and always makes himself available to receive the ball from teammates.
Didn’t really have a direct opponent due to the Gunners system, but still showed his usual industry and passed the ball well.
The veteran midfielder didn’t do much wrong, but like a few of his teammates, he understandably looked a little below his usual level.
Played his part in the equaliser, though overall, it was an ineffective display by the Egyptian’s own high standards.
One decent long-range effort aside, struggled to affect the game as much as he normally does.
Looked Liverpool’s most likely avenue to goal for most of the game, and will be frustrated he was twice denied by Martinez from close range.
Looked really sharp after his introduction and finished well from close range for the equaliser, before slamming home his penalty. Klopp will be hoping his January signing can soon start to show the type of form he did during his spell at RB Salzburg on a regular basis.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) August 29, 2020
Offered very little after his introduction on the hour mark. This could be a make or break season for the Guinean at Anfield.
A couple of tidy touches after coming on as a late sub and stook his pen away with aplomb.
A day to forget for the youngster, who was brought on at the death to seemingly take a penalty in the shoot out, only to blast his effort against the crossbar.