Victor Moses scored 47 seconds into the second half to put Chelsea in front, but Arsenal new boy Sead Kolasinac hit back with nine minutes remaining to even things up and send the game into a penalty shootout which the Gunners won 4-2 to take home the silverware.
The first chance fell to Arsenal in the 6th minute, as Alex Iwobi dribbled to the byline and fed the middle for Alexandre Lacazette, but his cutback was too pacey and the Frenchman couldn’t direct it on net from point-blank range. The Gunners continued to threaten minutes later as Hector Bellerin chipped the back line with Danny Welbeck in on goal, but his header was right at Thibaut Courtois.
Arsenal continued to take advantage of uncharacteristic spaces in Chelsea’s defense. Lacazette looked to bend a shot into the corner in the 23rd minute but struck the post.
There was a break in play on the half-hour mark as Per Mertesacker took an elbow straight to the nose from Gary Cahill while battling for a 50/50 ball in the air. The big German had to come off with his face bleeding profusely, and as Arsenal was without a true central defender on the bench, they were forced to bring in Sead Kolasinac in Mertesacker’s place.
With the Gunners the better team in the first half, Chelsea struck within seconds of the halftime restart. Off a corner, a poor clearance by Xhaka led Gary Cahill to head back into the box, and Moses got free behind the defense to poke home for a 1-0 lead in the 46th minute.
With Chelsea in front, Arsenal looked to break the Blues down. Arsene Wenger brought on Olivier Giroud in the 66th minute for Lacazette, while Antonio Conte countered with new signing Alvaro Morata. Xhaka had a go on net from distance with 15 minutes to go, and forced a fabulous save by Courtois with the ball destined for the top corner.
With 11 minutes to go, Pedro was given a straight red card for a nasty tackle down the back of Elneny’s ankle, and Arsenal wasted no time pulling back level with the man advantage, scoring on the ensuing free-kick. Xhaka sent in a pinpoint delivery to the far post from deep in the midfield, and Kolasinac was there unmarked to head home.
With no extra time, penalties ensued at the full-time whistle, with the new A-B-B-A format. Conte sent goalkeeper Courtois up second, and he skied the penalty over the bar. That was followed up by a save from Cech on Morata’s spot-kick, and Arsenal secured the trophy on Olivier Giroud’s strike from the spot.