Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a superb goal and netted the winning penalty in a shootout for Arsenal to beat Premier League champions Liverpool and lift the 2020 Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Aubameyang’s curling strike in the 12th minute of regulation time gave FA Cup winner Arsenal the lead before Liverpool substitute Takumi Minamano equalized after the break in the 73rd minute.
Minamano’s flicked pass to Egyptian international Mohammed Salah bounced back kindly for him to slot home the equalizer from close range.
During the shootout, Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster, brought on in stoppage time, hit the crossbar — the only spot kick not converted in the shootout.
Aubameyang’s importance to Arsenal was once again shown in the impressive performance of regulation time and when he stepped up to take the last spot kick, with the score at 4-4, there was no way he was going to miss and he scored to win the Gunners the Charity Shield.
The Gabon international, who scored twice in the FA Cup final at the same Wembley Stadium this month, had terrorize Liverpool’s defence, exposing young right-back Neco Williams.
He has netted 71 goals in 110 Arsenal appearances and no Arsenal player has scored more than five goals at Wembley Stadium.
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday that he was “pretty confident” the Gabonese, who is also the captain, will sign a new contract after a long, painful wait for supporters.
After lifting their second piece of silverware in a month, it would cap off a pleasant summer for Arsenal if Aubameyang does eventually put pen to paper.
Statistics show that Arsenal:
* Have won the Community Shield for a 16th time (including shared title), overtaking opponents Liverpool (15 times) and only behind Manchester United (21). The Gunners have won the trophy in four of the last seven seasons;
* Liverpool are the first side ever to lose the Community Shield on penalties in back-to-back years; this is also the first time the Reds have participated in the competition twice in two seasons without winning in (including shared) since 1983 and 1984 matches;
* Arsenal have won the Community Shield as FA Cup winners seven times (including as league/cup double winners and including shared titles) — more than any other side. Each of their last four Community Shield victories have come as FA Cup winners;
* They are only the second side to win the Community Shield after a penalty shootout more than once, after Manchester United (five times);
* Arsenal have won nine of their last 11 penalty shootouts in all competitions, including two in the Community Shield. Meanwhile, Liverpool have lost three of their last five shootouts, including the Community Shield;
* Aubameyang is now Arsenal’s joint-top scorer in games played at the Wembley Stadium (5, level with Alexis Sanchez). Aubameyang’s five goals at Wembley have come in the space of just 42 days;
* Only Kevin De Bruyne (22) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (15) have provided more assists for Premier League sides in all competitions since the start of last season than Arsenal’s Bukaya Saka (13);
* Minamano is the first player to score his first-ever goal for Liverpool at Wembley, netting it in his 15th appearance and with his 12th shot for the Reds in all competitions.