Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Arsenal trio were not fit enough to play - Wenger

Antonio Conte GETTYStan Collymore believes Antonio Conte's Chelsea will win successive Premier League titles
Rita Gibson | 08 August, 2017, 06:39

Arsenal won 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw, despite being without Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi.

Last season we were not in it but we did beat Man City in the final pre-season game, only to play like puddings and ship four goals in a home loss to Liverpool on the opening day.

Belgium global Courtois had the chance to be the Premier League champions' hero between the posts in the traditional season curtain raiser after Arsenal newboy Sead Kolasinac cancelled out Victor Moses' opener to secure a 1-1 draw. Some fans consider it a glorified friendly.

"Even though we were 1-0 down we didn't panic and kept control of our game and came back", Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

New signing Alexandre Lacazette provided a glimpse of what he's capable of when he rattled the post, following an excellent counter-attack which the Frenchman initiated himself. The likes of Willian, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi failed to score many chances, and this was a big factor in Chelsea failing to win this game.

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The contest did not heat up until the second half - with Victor Moses putting the Blues in front moments after the interval - yet ultimately this showdown had all the grit that this derby is known for.

The Gunners finished fifth last campaign and 18 points off champions Chelsea, which means they will miss out on playing in the Champions League this season.

Chelsea winger Pedro was sent off after catching Mohamed Elneny with a tackle from behind and Arsenal equalised from the resulting free-kick, Sead Kolasinac converting a free header from Xhaka's pass.

But Seaman believes they could be set for a successful season this time around after witnessing their penalty kick triumph against the league champions at Wembley. However he was waved back by several of his Gunners team-mates, who seemed confused by the new format.

Theo Walcott, Nacho Monreal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud converted their spot kicks to hand Arsenal their first trophy of the season. Next up was new £60m signing Alvaro Morata who dragged his shot wide. That gave Arsenal the initiative. Chelsea, however, are running out of time with the summer transfer window closing in less than three weeks.

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