By Izuchukwu Okosi
Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi scored the decisive last penalty which ensured Arsenal defeated Chelsea 6-5 on penalty shootout to win the London sides’ International Champions Cup clash at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday night after the enthralling game ended 1-1 at full time.
Iwobi came off the bench in the 63rd minute in place of Emile Smith Rowe while fellow Nigeria international Victor Moses was introduced same time by Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri in place of Pedro Rodriguez.
The game was fast paced and Chelsea youngster Callum Hodson Odoi passed the ball to former Gunner Cesc Fabregas and the Spaniard’s shot was palmed away for corner. Rudiger headed home the resultant kick for Chelsea’s goal in the fifth minute.
Odoi was brought down by Hector Bellerin, and a penalty was awarded to the Blues but an impressive Petr Cech got down to save. Chelsea continued to pile the pressure and Cech came to Arsenal’s rescue soon afterwards with an instinctive footed save from a low Morata shot who shrugged off Mustafi’s challenge.
Emile Smith Rowe’s shot in the 29th minute from an Aubameyang lay off was wide. Good Arsenal move again few minutes later.
Another fine, patient move by the Gunners in the 30th minute came to nought as Mkhitaryan’s pass to Aubameyang was missed by the latter.
Odoi was denied initially by Cech, the ball deflected and was on its way into the net before Mustafi headed out for corner in the 43rd minute. The much improved Arsenal won a corner with two minutes into the break.
Smith Rowe’s run was read by Caballero who got off his line to head the ball out in the 52nd minute.
Cech justifying his claim to be Arsenal’s first choice custodian for the coming season batted away an Odoi cross, then Rudiger’s header from a corner go out of target in the 56th minute.
Iwobi then came on for Rowe in the 63rd minute same time Abraham replaced Alvaro Morata and Moses came on for Pedro. Moses was handed the captain’s armband.
Iwobi brought some urgency down the left flank.
Amexandre Lacazette had a great chance, nutmegged Christensen but low shot went agonisingly rolled out.
Iwobi’s shot was punched away by Bulka with six minutes to go. Tiemuie Bakayoko’s header took the ball out for corner.
Lacazette equalised from a Reiss cross in added time as the ball came off his shin.
It ended 1-1 at full time and penalties were needed to settle the contest.
Danny Drinkwater, Tammy Abraham, Moses, Emerson and Lucas Piazon scored for Chelsea but Ruben Loftus Cheek missed from 12 yards.
Lacazette, Nelson, Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland Niles, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi were on target for Arsenal who will now play Lazio on Saturday in their last pre season friendly before the start of the 2018/2019 season.