|Date||2 August 2015|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
|Man of the Match||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)|
|Referee||Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)|
25 °C (77 °F)
The 2015 FA Community Shield was the 93rd FA Community Shield, an annual English football match played between the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup. The game was played between Arsenal, the 2014–15 FA Cup winners, and Chelsea, champions of the 2014–15 Premier League. Watched by a crowd of 85,437 at Wembley Stadium in London, Arsenal won the match 1–0 through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's goal.
The FA Community Shield was founded in 1908 as a successor to the Sheriff of London Charity Shield, and began as a contest between the respective champions of the Football League and Southern League, although in 1913 it was played between an Amateurs XI and a Professionals XI. In 1921, it was played by the league champions of the top division The Premier League replaced the Football League First Division at the top of the English football pyramid after its inception in 1992. As part of a sponsorship deal between The Football Association and American restaurant chain McDonald's, the match was officially referred to as "The FA Community Shield supported by McDonald's."
Chelsea qualified for the 2015 FA Community Shield as winners of the 2014–15 Premier League. It was the club's fourth league title in ten years and third under the management of José Mourinho. The other Community Shield place went to Arsenal, who defeated Aston Villa by four goals to win the 2015 FA Cup Final and retain the trophy. In doing so, Arsenal had overtaken Manchester United to became the most successful club in the competition's history.
Chelsea made their eleventh appearance in the Community Shield; prior to this they won four (1970, 2000, 2005, 2009) and lost six, most recently in 2012 against Manchester City. By contrast, Arsenal made their 21st Community Shield appearance, and won 13, including one shared in 1991. They went into the match as holders of the Shield, having defeated Manchester City a year ago. Both clubs had only once met before in the Shield, when Chelsea won by two goals to one in 2005.
The match was televised live in the United Kingdom on BT Sport 2; the network obtained rights to the Community Shield in July 2013 and were into their second year of a deal with the BBC and the FA.
Chelsea, in their usual home strip of blue, kicked-off the match and immediately lost possession when Walcott dispossessed Matic. Walcott sent the ball to Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose cross on the right forced a punch from Courtois. Coquelin conceded a free kick in the sixth minute having fouled Willian inside Chelsea's half, though nothing came of the set piece. Fàbregas went down under the challenge of Mertesacker in Arsenal's penalty area soon afterwards, but his appeal for a penalty kick was turned down by referee Taylor and play resumed. Chelsea, having settled the slower of the two teams, began to dominate ball possession and won two early corners, both of which were easily dealt with. In the 17th minute, Monreal's charge forward was stopped by Cahill; the Chelsea defender in the process of making that challenge had suffered a nose bleed. A free kick for Arsenal presented a chance for Walcott to score, but his header goalwards was saved. Arsenal scored the game's only goal in the 24th minute; set-up by Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain managed to cut inside Azpilicueta on the right and shoot the ball into the top-left corner of Courtois's net. It was the first goal Chelsea had conceded against Arsenal in 506 minutes. Most of the action in the first half was conducted in a congested midfield, with Fàbregas attempting to sedate the rhythm and the Arsenal midfielders forcing their opponents to play narrow. This favoured Arsenal, who had space to counter-attack had Chelsea lost the ball. Ramires nearly levelled the scoreline in the 33rd minute, but his curling effort failed to creep into the bottom right-hand corner. Ramires then missed another chance, heading the ball high and over the Arsenal goal after good work by Rémy. Arsenal created another chance to score four minutes before the break, when Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross found Monreal, who under pressure from Ivanovic headed over. Rémy, often a lone figure upfront, was ruled offside late on.
Falcao replaced Rémy after the break and his long-range shot in the 48th minute was blocked. Although Chelsea started the half well, it was Arsenal who fashioned the notable chances before the hour mark. In the 50th minute Cazorla attempted to thread the ball through Chelsea's defence for Walcott to reach but his pass was cleared. Two minutes later Coquelin over-hit his pass which was directed to Özil, who roamed freely. Chelsea made another change, this time Oscar in place of Ramires in the 53rd minute. Seven minutes later Chelsea came close to scoring when Hazard managed to evade his markers, but through on goal failed to get his shot on target, hitting over. Azpilicueta was shown the game's first yellow card for pulling Oxlade-Chamberlain back; Mourinho made the decision to substitute him with Zouma in the 69th minute. Giroud came on for Walcott moments before, and immediately was involved in the action, shooting high and then from long range. Coquelin then was booked for his foul on Oscar, which earnt Chelsea a free kick. Oscar's attempt was saved by Čech, who fisted the ball round the post. Chelsea continued to attack, though Arsenal withstood their pressure. Terry rose highest from a corner in the 74th minute and headed the ball in Zouma's direction, which eventually was caught by Čech. Hazard's shot was blocked in the 79th minute and Oscar then spurned a chance, with Falcao unable to create something from it. In an effort to find an equaliser with ten minutes of normal time remaining, Mourinho brought on Moses in place of Terry and deployed a three-man defence. It nearly presented Arsenal the chance to score their second of the match, but for Cazorla to have his effort blocked and Ramsey on the rebound shooting wide.
|2 August 2015
|Arsenal||1–0||Chelsea||Wembley Stadium, London|
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
|Shots on target||5||2|
|Shots off target||6||12|
Wenger made his way down the tunnel as soon as the final whistle sounded and avoided shaking hands with Mourinho. The Chelsea manager positioned himself at the bottom of the Wembley steps as Arsenal were presented the Shield and conscientiously shook the hands of his opponents as they came down, though once again was ignored by Wenger. Mourinho denied he was in the wrong and said: "I shake the hands of everybody who left the stairs, right in front of my direction." When asked about the incident, Wenger responded by saying "I shook a few hands today after the game, but nothing special there," and suggested a lack of respect towards him in the past was behind his decision to snub Mourinho.
Of the game, Mourinho credited Arsenal's defensive approach and organisation, but felt "the best team lost" because Chelsea created more and showed more initiative. He went on to suggest that Arsenal betrayed their attacking philosophy, choosing to adopt a counterattacking approach. Although Wenger agreed his team were set-up cautiously, he denied they abandoned their playing style: "...we defend our game on togetherness and solidarity and on defending well and attacking well." The Arsenal manager felt victory against Chelsea acted as a physiological boost for his players going into the new season, but was indifferent to his own record of beating Mourinho for the first time.
Terry was disappointed with the result – "No matter if it’s a friendly or a Community Shield, it’s a trophy at the end of the day," but sought positives, focusing on how the players' fitness levels were rising in time for the new season. Mertesacker was delighted with his team's performance, describing it as the peak of their pre-season preparations.
An average of 821,000 viewers watched the match live on BT Sport 2; the channel's coverage peaked at 1.2 million (11.5% of the audience share) from 4.40pm. Highlights on BBC One later that evening attracted 2.1 million viewers (17%).
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