Elneny plays full 90 minutes as Arsenal win Community Shield
Egypt international Mohamed Elneny played the full 90 minutes and drew a red card as Arsenal beat Chelsea to lift the Community Shield.
Elneny started in the midfield with Granit Xhaka as his partner. Last year we saw both Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin start alongside the Swiss international.
Lacazette came very close to opening the scoring in the 23rd minute with a bending effort at the end of a lightning Arsenal break, but his shot cannoned back off the post.
Nigerian Victor Moses took advantage of a lazy Arsenal defense when he scored just 50 seconds after the second-half kicked-off. A poor clearance off a corner lead to the Nigerian being played through by Gary Cahill and Rob Holding was too slow to cover the Chelsea star, who slotted the ball past Petr Cech.
Elneny tried a volley in the 50th minute with his left foot from about 25 yards but it went wide, before he swung in a cross eight minutes later that caught Courtois off guard when it curled towards the goal, forcing the Belgian to make a diving save.
Elneny was cleated in the Achilles by Pedro in a tackle that could’ve easily injured the Pharaoh, which made the referee send Pedro off. Elneny went down in a heap of pain but he came back up resiliently.
Off of the ensuing free kick that Elneny drew, Man of the Match Xhaka whipped it in and Sead Kolasinac scored with a header to draw the game 1-1 in the 83rd minute.
Elneny played the rest of the match while almost hobbling, with the dirty tackle really shaking up the Egyptian. He was slower to pass and slower to defend and move around, he was even grimacing as Kolasinac’s goal went in.
The game ended 1-1 after regulation time and the game would go straight into penalties, with the shootout being taken in the ABBA format.
In the penalty shootout, Gary Cahill scored for Chelsea and Theo Walcott and Nacho Monreal did the same for Arsenal, before Courtois took a penalty and skied it over the bar in an odd move. Morata then went up and hit the post before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Oliver Giroud scored their penalties to win Arsenal the Community Shield.
Elneny’s performance will force Wenger to consider starting the Egyptian international in their first Premier League game against Leicester City on Friday, August 11.
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