Arsene Wenger hails Arsenal form after Community Shield win

Arsene Wenger praised his team for continuing where they left off at the end of last season by beating Chelsea 4-1 on penalties in the Community Shield.

Despite missing out on a Champions League place courtesy of finishing 5th in the Premier League table last season, Arsenal won their final five league games before beating Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final.

And for the second time in four months, Arsenal defeated Chelsea at Wembley as Sead Kolasinac’s late strike cancelled out Victor Moses’ opening goal before they ran out comfortable winners in the shootout.

Speaking after the game, Wenger said: “I am very happy because we won the trophy that we wanted to win and I believe the quality of the game was good.

“The two teams gave everything and the game was of great intensity. Even when we were 1-0 down we didn’t panic, kept control of our game and came back. Overall, the performance is a continuity of what we did last season.”

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Unlike in the FA Cup final when they took an early lead through Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal found themselves a goal down in the Community Shield before summer signing Kolasinac levelled eight minutes from time.

Arsenal’s mental strength has regularly been questioned in recent years, but Wenger was happy that his side showed the character to get back into the game and then go on to win it.

“It is an interesting quality but you know as well that the challenge for managers is to maintain that spirit throughout the season and to maintain that togetherness as well because you will have disappointments through the season,” he said.

“It is important that we focus on staying together. The Premier League is very unpredictable because as soon as you are a bit off you don’t win.”

Arsenal’s win against Chelsea capped what has been a promising pre-season for the club as they beat Bayern Munich, also on penalties, as well as lifting the Emirates Cup.

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And Wenger is hopeful that his side can carry that good form into their Premier League campaign which gets underway against Leicester City on Friday.

“Look, it is an encouragement. Not more than that. We want to find a good balance between the confidence we can get out of these games and the urgency that every Premier League game demands,” he said.

“We have had some bad starts recently in the last four years in the first game of the Premier League. Let’s go into the Premier League now with the same discipline and the same spirit and see where we can go.

“If you look at the Premier League you have seven or eight teams who will say they can win the Premier League. That makes it very interesting.”

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