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Arsenal v Manchester City: Community Shield – live | Community Shield

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36 min Saka struggled against Akanji in the title decider at the Etihad, but he is getting a bit more joy today. He moves into the area from the right, hugging the ball on his left foot, but doesn’t get enough whip on a trademark far-post curler.

35 min Nothing comes of the corner.

34 min This is Arsenal’s best spell of the game. Martinelli teases Walker, then beats him with a sudden change of pace and hits a low cross that is belted behind by Stones.

33 min Arsenal win their first corner. Saka’s near-post inswinger is headed away by Akanji.

31 min Now Alvarez is booked for tapping the ball away. Like all the other players who have received a yellow card this afternoon, he looks confused and mistreated.

30 min Since you asked, Erling Haaland has barely had a kick. He almost gets one, a block tackle to be precise, when Ramsdale takes his time in the six-yard box getting rid of a backpass. Haaland galumphs towards him but Ramsdale has enough time to clear.

28 min Though they have only had about a quarter of the possession, Arsenal have created the best chance and restricted City to long-range efforts. Using Partey alongside Rice, even with Rice as a nominal No8, gives them much greater solidity.

26 min Havertz is booked for deliberately legging up Stones, with no attempt to play the ball, and the Arsenal fans start booing again. This is getting a bit pathetic.

25 min: Great chance for Arsenal! White bursts into the area, away from Akanji, and crosses low towards Havertz. His shot on the turn is well saved with his left foot by Ortega, and Martinelli smashes the rebound into the chest of Stones. There were appeals for a penalty but Stones had both hands behind his back.

24 min More boos when Haaland fouls Partey. As Lee Dixon says on ITV, every foul isn’t a yellow card.

24 min If the referees adhere strictly to these new regulations*, pretty much every Premier League manager will be sent off by the end of August.

* They won’t, but I hope they do.

23 min This is turning into a bratfest, off the field at least. A routine foul by Silva on Timber doesn’t elicit a yellow card, which leads to more booing from the fans and more moaning from Arteta.

22 min Haaland tries to turn Partey on the edge of the area, but Partey reads it well and makes a good tackle.

22 min “Brilliant to be back,” writes Bill Hargreaves. “Do you agree with Gary Lineker’s view that Arsenal will win the league this year?”

Nope. City will win it by at least 10 points, and I haven’t a clue after the order from second to sixth.

19 min Howard Webb appears on the big screen, and is immediately booed. Football’s back, baby!

18 min Alvarez shins a long-range shot well wide.

17 min Rodri pulls back Havertz, and there are boos when he isn’t booked. Mikel Arteta runs down the touchline waving an imaginary card, so Stuart Attwell gives him one.

That’s another thing the FA want to clamp down on, and quite right too: the brattish, myopic entitlement of 95 per cent of footballers and managers is utterly tedious.

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal is shown a yellow card by Referee Stuart Attwell. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

16 min Blimey, the possession percentages are actually Arsenal 20-80 Man City. Pep’s back, baby!

Pep’s back, baby!
Pep’s back, baby! Photograph: Tolga Akmen/EPA

15 min Rodri pings a drive from 25 yards that hits the onrushing Rice and spins just wide. Rice appears to be playing as both a No6 (when Arsenal don’t have the ball) and a No8 (when they do). He’s got the lungs for it.

14 min It feels like possession has been about 65/35 in City’s favour, even if most of it has been in front of the Arsenal defence.

12 min City’s formation: it’s very close to 4-4-2, you know. Well, it’s Pep’s take on 4-4-2, which as I type is closer, with Stones stepping forward, is actually 1-5-4. I’m not joking.

He’s been watching Brighton videos, hasn’t he.

10 min Saka scoots away from Akanji, who makes a good recovery tackle just inside the area. Saka appeals for a penalty and/or a corner; he gets neither. I think Akanji knocked the ball off Saka and behind.

Arsenal’s English midfielder Bukayo Saka clears the ball.
Arsenal’s English midfielder Bukayo Saka clears the ball . Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

10 min City have been the better team in the first 10 minutes, though there isn’t a huge amount in it. Listen to me, talking as if this is a game that actually matters.

8 min Partey is booked for kicking the ball away. That’s one of the new regulations this season, although it doesn’t stop half the Arsenal players from moaning at the referee.

7 min Kovacic has already played about 25 passes. He’s a perfect signing for City.

6 min Akanji gets to the byline and lifts a cross towards Alvarez, who is about to head it into the net from six yards when White leaps in front of him to clear. Good defending.

5 min “Well this is a rum do as I find myself more interested in how Declan gets on in his debut than in the prospects of the depressing flipshow that is his old club,” writes Brian Withington, though he didn’t say ‘flipshow’. “If only supporters could cast off for fresh pastures so easily. There’s a lot to admire about his new club on and off the pitch, but I really draw the line at those supporters who turned on Arsène Wenger. Shame on every one of them, who really don’t deserve Arteta (or ‘our’ Declan, for that matter).”

They’ve probably forgotten.

4 min Akanji asks for a yellow card after being pulled back by Odegaard. It probably would have been a yellow-card offence in a Premier League game.

Manchester City's Swiss defender Manuel Akanji.
Manchester City’s Swiss defender Manuel Akanji. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

3 min Nothing to report so far, though City have had most of the ball.

2 min Tacticswatch: Declan Rice is playing as a left-sided No8 for Arsenal, who are in their usual 4-1-2-3 shape. CIty’s shape looks closer to 4-2-3-1, with Alvarez just behind Haaland. It’s not a million miles from a formation most of us grew up watching. It would be hilarious if, for his next trick, Pep Guardiola resuscitated 4-4-2 at the highest level.

1 min Peep peep! Gabriel Martinelli gets the 2023 Community Shield under way.

It’s a lovely day at Wembley, which is a pleasant surprise after the summer we’ve had. Let-the-ball-do-the-work kind of weather.

Here come the players. The curtain is about to raised on the English football season of 2023-24 (even though plenty has been going behind the curtain for the last few days).

“It’s a great opportunity to win a trophy”

And here’s Mikel Arteta’s pre-match interview. It’s important for Arsenal, after losing 7-2 to City in the two league games last season, that they don’t suffer another pasting today.

“We’ll see how we respond to winning the Treble. Right now I don’t know”

Here’s Pep Guardiola’s pre-match interview. He seems in good form. If there is any post-Treble complacency at Manchester City, it won’t come from him.

Pep’s not happy

Beware the curse of the pre-season trophy

“Given that both these teams are fond of a bit of gamesmanship game and time management,” says Andy Flintoff, “how many cards do you think will be given out and how much added time will there be?”

Well, Million Pound Motorhomes starts at 8pm on Channel 5, and I’ve set the video as a precaution.

Football’s back. Roy’s back

Nick Ames on Arsenal’s summer business

He’s on the bench today

Read our Premier League fan previews

Rules and regulations

90 minutes*, then penalties. No extra-time.

* Plus loads of added time

Team news: Rice, Havertz, Timber, Kovacic all start

Arsenal’s three summer signings – Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber – all start. Thomas Partey is also in the side, which may mean a slight change of system. There are a few ways Arsenal could line up in midfield and attack.

Mateo Kovacic makes his Manchester City debut, though Josko Gvardiola isn’t in the squad. Julian Alvarez also starts, possibly as the other No8. Bernardo Silva could also play there, in which case Alvarez would start on the right.

Arsenal (possible 4-1-2-3) Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Timber; Partey; Odegaard, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli.
Substitutes: Turner, Tomiyasu, Kiwior, Holding, Tierney, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Trossard, Nketiah.

Man City (possible 4-1-2-3/3-2-2-3) Ortega Moreno; Walker, Stones, Dias, Akanji; Rodri; Alvarez, Kovacic; Bernardo, Haaland, Grealish.
Substitutes: Ederson, Phillips, Laporte, De Bruyne, Gomez, Foden, Palmer, Lewis, McAtee.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of Arsenal v Manchester City at Wembley. These bloody Spaniards, eh, coming to our country and brazenly redefining our curtain-raisers. Most of us grew up thinking of the Charity/Community Shield as a glorified friendly, but the culture is different in Spain and both Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola regularly use the T-word – trophy – to describe the Community Shield.

In a sense, this game is a guilt-free indulgence. If you win, it’s a trophy; if you lose, as City have in the last two seasons, it’s a warm-up match. For fans, the most exciting aspect is the sight of their spangly new toys. Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber are all in the Arsenal squad; Mateo Kovacic may start for City, though Josko Gvardiola is unlikely to be involved. I’m sure he won’t have to wait too long for his first Manchester City trophy.

Kick off 4pm.

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