Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal force Chelsea to pay the penalty after thrilling Dublin draw

Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (Arsenal win 6-5 on penalties)

Ireland's call: Antonio Rudiger after putting Chelsea in front against Arsenal at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin last night
Ireland's call: Antonio Rudiger after putting Chelsea in front against Arsenal at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin last night

By Steve Simpson

Alex Iwobi converted the winning spot-kick as Arsenal beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties in a thrilling International Champions Cup clash in Dublin after the sides drew 1-1 in regulation time.

Second-half substitute Iwobi held his nerve to clinch victory for the Gunners at the Aviva Stadium after goalkeeper Petr Cech had saved from Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Another Arsenal substitute, Alexandre Lacazette, had fired a deserved last-gasp equaliser for new boss Unai Emery's side after Antonio Rudiger's header had given Chelsea a half-time lead.

Both sides converted all five of their penalties in the shootout before England midfielder Loftus-Cheek was thwarted.

But the Gunners' win could yet be bittersweet as Emery is waiting to learn the full extent of the calf injury which forced Aaron Ramsey to be withdrawn from the starting line-up just before kick-off.

Chelsea were good value for their half-time lead but were left to rue a string of missed first-half chances after a dazzling display from teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi.

But Arsenal came into the game after the break and after a plethora of second-half substitutions they finished well on top.

Cesc Fabregas' shot, after a fine run from Hudson-Odoi, was turned behind by Cech, and from the resulting corner the unmarked Rudiger rose highest to power home a header.

Hudson-Odoi was causing Arsenal plenty of problems and eight minutes later Hector Bellerin brought him down in the box following another eye-catching run by the youngster.

Alvaro Morata stepped up to take the penalty, but Cech guessed correctly and produced a save down to his right.

New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri replaced Fabregas with Danny Drinkwater and sent on Andreas Christensen for David Luiz during the interval.

Sarri made further changes in the 63rd minute when Davide Zappacosta, Emerson, Victor Moses and Tammy Abraham replaced the Spanish quartet of Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Pedro and Morata.

Emery sent on Iwobi for Emile Smith-Rowe and soon after Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson and Lacazette replaced Sead Kolasinac, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Lacazette popped up at the far post to turn home Nelson's cross from the right with the last kick of the game.

Belfast Telegraph


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