Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea: Oxlade-Chamberlain strike wins Gunners FA Community Shield

Leave a comment

More than 85,000 fans packed Wembley Stadium for the FA Community Shield, where Arsenal left with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

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.

[ MORE: All of PST’s PL season previews ]

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.

[ VIDEO: Watch Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain open the scoring for Arsenal with a brilliant finish ]

After the goal, Chelsea picked up their play a bit and should have drawn level ten minutes later. Loic Remy threw 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.

[ RELATED: Roy Keane thinks Arsenal players are too focused on “selfies and six-packs” ]

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′)

USMNT notes: Robinson moves to Wigan, and more

Leave a comment

It’s been a busy day of U.S. Men’s National Team related news, from Tyler Boyd signing with Besiktas to U.S. Soccer announcing a friendly match with Mexico in September at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Here’s everything else you may have missed today relating to the USMNT and Americans Abroad.

Robinson joins Wigan in permanent transfer

Antonee Robinson is heading back to the Championship, but this time, he won’t be heading back to Everton at the end of the season.

Robinson on Monday completed a permanent transfer to Wigan. where he spent last season and helped the club avoid relegation. Robinson has signed a three-year contract and he joined for a reported $2.5 million transfer fee, per Wigan Today. He battled injuries to make 26 appearances in all competitions.

Robinson, born in England to an American father and British mother, came up in Everton’s Finch Farm academy but never broke through to make a first team appearance. Instead, he spent time in the lower levels on loan to Bolton and then Wigan. With Everton’s signing last year of Lucas Digne, the left back spot is locked up for quite a while, leaving Robinson second-choice and in search of first team minutes again.

For the USMNT, Robinson made his debut in the 3-0 win over Bolivia in late May, 2018, and has gone on to make seven appearances for the senior team, including a start against Jamaica, though it didn’t go well in a 1-0 defeat at home. Robinson was on the 40-man provisional Gold Cup roster for coach Gregg Berhalter and he also took part in a European-based training camp for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team as the team starts preparing for Olympic qualifying, which will likely take place later this year.

Robinson will likely play a key role in helping the U.S. make it to their first Olympics since 2008 in Beijing.

Reyna heading to USA with Borussia Dortmund

Claudio Reyna’s son Giovanni Reyna is off to a strong start after officially being announced as a signing by Borussia Dortmund. Whether for marketing reasons or sporting reasons, Reyna was one of the 26 players to make the flight to Seattle as Dortmund takes some preseason action in the U.S.

BVB will face the Seattle Sounders in Seattle on Thursday before heading to take on Liverpool in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday.

It’s a quick burst in the U.S., but perhaps Reyna can get a few minutes of action in his home nation before heading back to Germany to try and see if he can break into the squad.

Scott set for Newcastle? 

British-born American midfielder Kyle Scott appears that he will still be on the books at a Premier League club next season.

According to multiple reports, including the Newcastle Chronicle, Newcastle FC is interested in signing Scott, thanks to a reported recommendation from former coach Rafa Benitez. Scott, 21, has spent the past 12 years in Chelsea’s academy and reserves, but he’s hardly sniffed a match, at least for the first team. He spent some time on loan with Dutch second-division side Telstar last year, but it wasn’t declared permanent.

Now, having been let go by Chelsea, Scott is looking for a new club. It’s unclear, however, considering his lack of first team experience, if he’d be able to step into the lineup at Newcastle and really make a difference so soon.

In the past, Scott has appeared for the U.S. Under-18s and U-20s. Perhaps some regular playing time in the Premier League can get him into the senior national team.

Watch: Hear from Bournemouth’s Howe in training

Leave a comment

Ever wondered what it is like to go through preseason training with a Premier League?

Thanks to AFC Bournemouth, now we know.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was “mic’d up” during a preseason training session on Monday, giving fans an inside look into his team gaining fitness and going over some key movements that they’ll surely be using during games this season.

Plus….players biking to practice and the dreaded beep test.

Here from Howe and the players above and take a look at a Premier League preseason.

Dietrich quits as club president of crisis-hit Stuttgart

Getty Images
Leave a comment

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Wolfgang Dietrich quit as president of German second-division team Stuttgart on Monday after saying he no longer wants to be made a scapegoat for all that’s wrong at the crisis-ridden club.

The 70-year-old Dietrich, who took over as president in October 2016 and whose term was due to run until 2020, said he never expected such “hostility and malice” as he experienced at the club’s annual general meeting on Sunday.

[READ: Tyler Boyd signs with Besiktas]

The AGM had to be cancelled after about 4,500 members were unable to vote for the club’s management board because of Wi-Fi problems. Dietrich broke off the meeting to loud jeers and protests and was accompanied by bodyguards from the interior of the stadium.

Dietrich said he no longer wants to “be in charge of an organization that is neither willing to stand up to these interests against me nor is able to guarantee the smooth running of a general meeting.”

Dietrich was already under fire for his links to investment company Quattrex Sports, which provided loans to several of Stuttgart’s rivals. In his 3+ years at the club, Stuttgart has had three coaches, two sporting directors and was relegated from the Bundesliga last season.

Should Tottenham sign or pass on Bale?

Getty Images

Tottenham just broke its transfer record with the signing of Tanguay Ndombele. Could it break the bank for a second time this summer?

However unlikely that could be, Spanish publication Marca reports that Tottenham has continued to express interest in bringing Gareth Bale back to White Hart Lane and Northwest London. The report states that Tottenham is willing to spend between $56 and $67.6 million to sign Bale but that it could not afford Bale’s $19 million yearly salary after tax. Even more, it could only afford to pay half of that, or $9.5 million per season.

[READ: Fabian Delph moves to Everton]

There’s no doubt that, on paper at least, Bale would improve Tottenham’s squad and could potentially even immediately step into the starting lineup. But that’s assuming Tottenham could sign him anyway.

It seemed unlikely just a few weeks ago, after Daniel Levy and the club went an entire calendar year without spending money on a new player, that it could spend more than $100 million on two players to improve the squad. But perhaps now, with television revenues growing and more seats to sell at Tottenham’s new stadium, Levy feels he can spend big this summer to take Tottenham to the next level.

Whether due to luck or not, Tottenham took advantage of its opportunity and manager Mauricio Pochettino did a masterful job guiding the club to the UEFA Champions League final. But to challenge Manchester City at the head of the Premier League, it’s going to take a talent like Bale coming in.

That being said, that are the chances that Bale, who turns 30 on Tuesday, can dramatically regain his fitness after years of recurring injuries, are low. So the big question now is, is it worth it for Tottenham to spend more than $60 million on re-signing Bale, and is it worth it for Bale to leave, instead of getting to stay on his salary for the next three seasons.

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barrett has long stated his client wants to retire in Madrid. It’s seeming less likely by the day, and yet, as Bale doesn’t move, perhaps he’ll call it quits ahead of schedule, and turn down a chance to return to Tottenham.