Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a superb goal and netted the winning penalty in a shootout as Arsenal beat Premier League champions Liverpool in the Community Shield at an empty Wembley Stadium.His curling strike gave FA Cup winners Arsenal the lead in the first half before Liverpool substitute Takumi Minamino equalised after the break. Minamino’s flicked pass to Mohamed Salah bounced back kindly for him to slot home from close range. There was a quick VAR check for handball by Salah but the replay showed no clear contact. It is the second year in a row Liverpool have lost on penalties after Manchester City’s victory in 2019.
Aubameyang’s importance to Arsenal was once again shown in another impressive performance. The Gabon international, who scored twice in the FA Cup final at the same stadium this month, cut inside from the left and whipped the ball into the far corner in emphatic style to open the scoring. He continued to terrorise Liverpool’s defence, exposing young right-back Neco Williams. And when Aubameyang stepped up to take the final penalty, with the score 4-4 in the shootout, there was no way he was going to miss. He has netted 71 goals in 110 Arsenal appearances and no Gunners player has scored more than his five goals at the venue.
After lifting their second piece of silverware in a month, it would cap off a very pleasing summer for Arsenal if Aubameyang does eventually put pen to paper. Liverpool were without regular starters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson but they fielded a side many would feel were capable of overthrowing Arsenal. They started off on the front foot, with Sadio Mane getting in behind on numerous occasions on the left and linking up with full-back Andy Robertson. But sloppiness crept into their game as the first half wore on – Virgil van Dijk had words with Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho on separate occasions for giving the ball away too easily in midfield. Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles was impressive and caused problems, while Bukayo Saka was busy in and around the Liverpool box.