Arsene Wenger finally broke his winless streak against Jose Mourinho as an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain strike sealed the North London side the first piece of silverware of the season.
The Arsenal manager, who has not beaten Mourinho in 13 attempts, finally put to bed this unwelcome record, but it was not without a snub or two to his arch-rival, with the Frenchman refusing the Portuguese’s hand on multiple occasions as the final whistle blew.
The lack of sportsmanship and general rivalry stems through many years of bitter derbies and personal spats, including Mourinho’s “specialist in failure” remark last year.
But it was this ‘failure’ who got one over on the Special One.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was allowed to cut inside on the edge of the penalty area with Cesar Azpilicueta’s invitation and there was no mercy, with the Englishman rifling left-footed into the top-corner.
It would be the most notable action of the half, a half in which Chelsea could not create a single shot on target, with Remy largely struggling as a lone striker and straying offside.
Falcao was no better when introduced for the second half, but the creative sparks could not get going either. Oscar dribbled well but his end product was poor, Hazard was largely anonymous all game and Willian’s pace was only in the warm-up stage of this glorified friendly.
Giroud came on and it looked most like Arsenal would score the game’s next goal to kill the tie, in a match Chelsea will regret not testing Petr Cech more.
Hazard and Ramires both had chances, with right foot and head respectively, but neither was on target.
Desperate times called for desperate measures as Terry left the field for Victor Moses, with Zouma also entering for a three-man defence of Zouma, Cahill and Ivanovic, in another experiment for Mourinho.
It looked to be getting worse when Carzorla was in acres of space but failed to beat Courtois one-on-one, but it would make no difference.
In what appeared to be a role reversal, Chelsea ended with 57% possession and more shots, but Arsenal had a superb defensive line and ultimately conquered. And no, I have not got the team names the wrong way round.
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Man of the Match
WILLIAN: It was a game which no one player inspired but Willian looked like the most advanced in his warm-up preparations, at least. An engine going forward and tested Arsenal a below-par number of times, but still more than his colleagues, who went into hiding, passing the ball well but with no end product. 6/10
Mourinho was typically punchy with his praise: “We were the best team. We had more initiative, we controlled the game by having ball possession. Arsenal defended with 10 players, they put everybody in front of their own line and they had good organisation, congratulations to them.”
Wenger was happy with the result and overall pre-season: “We have suffered physically today and the pitch was not great. But overall it’s good because in pre-season we have been solid defensively. Pre-season has gone quite well.”