Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang scored the winning spot kick as Arsenal defeated Premier League champions Liverpool on penalties to win the season-opening FA Community Shield at Wembley on Saturday.
The Gunners have now triumphed in their last two trips to Wembley with manager Mikel Arteta after he led them to the FA Cup last season and Gabon striker Aubamayang has now scored in his last three games in the stadium.
Liverpool, meanwhile, suffer a second straight loss in the curtain raiser having lost to Manchester City last year.
The Reds dominated possession but looked nothing close to their usual sharp penetrating selves and struggled against the efficient organisation of Arsenal who were also lethal on the break.
On the evidence of Saturday’s display, Jurgen Klopp must know the Reds have a lot of improvement to make if they are to retain their league title.
Arteta will be pleased with the defensive organisation of his team who have so often in the past suffered from a poor rearguard and he would also take great pleasure in the form of Aubamayang whose signature on an extension is now a matter of existential importance.
The Gunners took the lead against the run of play but with a superb effort nonetheless.
A flowing move that began with Emiliano Martinez passing out from the back ended with Nigeria-eligible Bukayo Saka threading a lovely cross field pass to Aubamayang who cut inside Neco Williams and curled with aplomb beyond Alisson.
Liverpool had been the better side until then and had a goal from Virgil Van Dyke ruled out while James Milner headed over when free in the box.
Liverpool restored parity seventeen minutes from time in controversial fashion after Takumi Minamino poked home although it appeared Mohamed Salah had handled in the build up.
Both side spurned efforts to win the game in normal time and in the ensuing spot kick, youngster Rhian Brewster missed Liverpool’s third and Aubamayang scored Arsenal’s last to give the Gunners their sixteenth Community Shield trophy.