Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 on pens): Callum Hudson-Odoi stars
Arsenal put down a small marker for the season ahead after edging out Chelsea 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the International Champions Cup in Dublin.
Antonio Rudiger headed Chelsea in front (6) before Alvaro Morata missed a penalty (12) during a first half which Chelsea dominated courtesy of an inspired performance by 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Arsenal improved after the break but left it late to level when Alexandre Lacazette (90+3) forced a penalty shoot-out, where Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s miss proved decisive as Arsenal netted all six of their penalties.
Maurizio Sarri has called on his Chelsea players to have fun playing his style of football and there were smiles aplenty inside five minutes when they took the lead.
Cesc Fabregas drilled in a corner from the right and Rudiger, who was being marked by the diminutive Emile Smith Rowe, leapt highest from 12 yards and bulleted a header into the bottom corner.
It was one-way traffic in the early stages with Hudson-Odoi causing Hector Bellerin an untold amount of woe on the left flank. He turned him inside-out on 12 minutes and Bellerin could only bring him down inside the area. Morata stepped up, but Petr Cech guessed right and palmed his effort away.
Hudson-Odoi slipped in Morata on 22 minutes but Cech was there to rescue Arsenal while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completely missed his kick at the back post after being found brilliantly by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Both teams resisted the urge to make wholesale changes after the break but the pace did drop, which suited Arsenal’s passing style. Mesut Ozil got a grip of the game and chances started to fall their way, although Rudiger did manage to head a presentable chance wide on 58 minutes.
Lacazette produced a sublime nutmeg on the edge of the box on 76 minutes but placed his effort wide of the post before substitute Chelsea goalkeeper Marcin Bulka an outstanding late stop to deny Alex Iwobi.
That looked to have sewn up the game for Chelsea but one late burst down the right flank by Reiss Nelson set up Lacazette to prod home at the back post which forced penalties.
There were 11 perfect penalties until Loftus-Cheek – on his first appearance since the World Cup – hit a weak effort that Cech palmed clear.