Arsenal lifted the first silverware of the new season by beating Manchester City on penalties in their Community Shield clash on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta and his victorious Arsenal players celebrated the victory, and showed the world what it meant to them to beat Manchester City, after losing out on the Premier League title to Pep Guardiola’s side last season.
Not for the first time, the level of Arsenal’s celebration was criticised by some, and on this topic Darren Bent has come to the Gunners’ defence.
Ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker and pundit Bent is an Arsenal fan. Speaking on Talksport about Arsenal’s celebrations and the importance of this win over the reigning Premier League champions, he said, “when it’s Arsenal, people have always got something to say. Always…psychologically it’s more than that…it’s about beating Manchester City in a competitive game.”
It will certainly have meant a lot to Arteta to get one over on Guardiola. He has a strong relationship with his fellow Spaniard, having acted as his assistant at Manchester City prior to taking on the top job at the Emirates Stadium.
Before this Community Shield win, Arteta had only managed to beat Guardiola’s Manchester City once before in nine previous attempts.
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Manchester City’s psychological advantage over Arsenal will have been boosted when they beat the north London club to the title last season. Their emphatic 4-1 win over Arsenal at Etihad Stadium towards the end of the campaign helped to set the seal on their dominance.
Arsenal needed to show this season that they could go toe-to-toe with Manchester City, and they did that on Sunday. Whilst it took a penalty shootout to separate the sides, Arsenal were more than a match for Guardiola’s men throughout the game.
This win will give Arteta’s squad the belief that they can overcome Manchester City again this season in the Premier League.
For that reason, as well as the win at Wembley, there was plenty for Arsenal to celebrate on Sunday.