Arsene Wenger’s Gunners face the title winners hoping to claim the first piece of silverware of the season.
WE’RE AT WEMBLEY Stadium where the Premier League champions face the winners of last season’s FA Cup.
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WE MAY BE six days away from the return of the Premier League but, for us anyway, the Community Shield always spells the beginning of the English top flight.
It’s the meeting of Manchester City, last season’s league winners, and Arsenal, who ended an eight year barren spell by clinching the FA Cup back in May.
The teams are in. Manuel Pellegrini has gone with Willy Caballero, a summer signing from his old club Malaga, ahead of Joe Hart between the sticks while another recent arrival, Brazilian midfielder Fernando, also gets the nod. Yaya Toure deputises for Vincent Company as skipper for the day while Sergio Aguero is injured and Frank Lampard is unavailable.
Arsenal, meanwhile, start with Yaya Sanogo up front after his promising pre-season and defenders Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy, who joined from Southampton and Newcastle respectively in the summer, are named in the backline. Chilean attacker Alexi Sanchez, signed for £35m from Barcelona, is also in.
Man City: Caballero, Clichy, Boyata, Nastasic, Kolarov, Navas, Fernando, Toure, Nasri, Jovetic, Dzeko.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Sanogo.
The teams are lining up in the tunnel and we’re not far off kick-off now.
How do you see it going?
Here’s how BT Sport sees the side lining up:
Here we go then. Arsenal kick off, both clubs in their traditional colours.
Fernando gives an early free-kick away but Arsenal can’t make the most of it.
Arsenal dominant in possession during the opening five minutes. Man City win a corner and it’s Samir Nasri to take. Boos ring around Wembley as the French midfielder, a former Gunners player, heads over for the set-piece.
Great play from Arsenal with Sanchez involved sees Debuchy get a cross in for Sanogo. He doesn’t make great contact but the signs are promising.
Nasri is picked out in the box and strikes at goal but Debuchy gets his body in front to block his compatriot. It appears to strike him on the upper arm, which is down by his side. No penalty.
City’s new man Lampard with Aguero and Martin Demichelis.
Kolarov leaving Chambers for dead…
GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Man City (Santi Cazorla 22′)
It’s first blood to the Londoners. Sanchez and Sanogo both contribute to the build-up before Spanish attacker Cazorla drives his shot into the bottom corner from 18 yards out.
Sanogo gets a chance to double their lead moments after the restart but he shoots wide.
That’s a first. The referee’s vanishing spray, introduced this season, has just got a huge cheer from the crowd.
GOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Man City (Aaron Ramsey 42′)
Arsenal double their advantage. Sanogo makes a positive run and holds up the ball before feeding Ramsey, who fires past Caballero.
Half-time: Arsenal 2-0 Man City
This pic has surfaced online this afternoon. Surely not…
Substitutions ahoy! Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nacho Monreal replace Sanogo, Sanchez and Koscielny for Arsenal while Man City bring on David Silva for Nasri.
Don’t forget, teams can make six changes in the Community Shield.
Anyway, here goes the second half.
Fernando pulls Wilshere down before Jovetic does the same to concede two free-kicks in quick succession.
Minutes later, Navas gets down the right hand side and whips a cross over for Jovetic, who heads onto the post.
Szczesny is forced into action after his team-mates stop to complain that the ball has gone out over the sideline while Jovetic gets a shot away. Replays show that their protests are justified but it would have mattered little had City pulled a goal back.
City have shown more urgency in the early stages of the second half and Pellegrini is about to bring in James Miler and 21-year-old Argetnine midfielder Bruno Zuculini for Toure and Dzeko.
GOAL! Arsenal 3-0 Man City (Olivier Giroud 61′)
French striker Giroud holds off his man before letting fly from outside the box. It takes a deflection and loops over the head of Caballero.
Watch Giroud’s strike:
Tomas Rosicky is on for Santi Cazorla.
Arsenal fans are now jeering City supporters by doing their own ‘Poznan’.
Five minutes to go and Arsenal are more than happy to sit back and see this out now.
Corner for City and Boyata rises highest alongside Micah Richards, not long on the field, to glance a head just wide of the post.
Full-time: Arsenal 3-0 Man City