2018 International Champions Cup
  • Alexandre Lacazette (90'+3')
  • Antonio Rüdiger (5')
Arsenal win 6-5 on penalties
Arsenal win 6-5 on penalties

Arsenal need penalty shootout to edge Chelsea in Dublin ICC match

DUBLIN, Republic of Ireland -- Petr Cech was the hero against his former club as Arsenal beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after the two sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in the International Champions Cup at the Aviva Stadium.

Antonio Rudiger broke the deadlock in the sixth minute when he rose unmarked to power in a header from Cesc Fabregas' pinpoint corner, but Cech saved a penalty from Alvaro Morata before Alexandre Lacazette diverted in Reiss Nelson's low cross from the right in the final seconds of injury time as Arsenal snatched a deserved equaliser.

Cech then stepped up again to save Ruben Loftus-Cheek's tame effort in a high-quality shootout to give the Gunners victory.

Sarri made three changes to the Chelsea team that beat Inter on penalties in Nice on Saturday. Arsenal, meanwhile, were forced to withdraw Aaron Ramsey from their starting XI after he picked up an injury in the warm-up, with youngster Emile Smith-Rowe stepping in.

The only Chelsea academy youngster to keep his starting spot was Callum Hudson-Odoi, and the dazzlingly gifted 17-year-old winger was at the heart of everything that the Blues did well in an entertaining first half.

Inside the opening five minutes, he raced into the left channel, checked and found an unmarked Fabregas, whose shot was tipped over by Cech. The former Arsenal captain was roundly booed as he went to take the resulting corner, but responded by finding the unmarked head of Rudiger.

On the left flank, Hudson-Odoi tormented Hector Bellerin every time he ran at him, and in the 14th minute, the Spaniard was tempted into a rash tackle that led referee Paul McLaughlin to point to the penalty spot. Morata stepped up but telegraphed his kick and Cech dived low to his right to smother it.

Morata's finishing was the only thing preventing Chelsea from extending their lead, as he scuffed a header and shot straight at Cech the next two times he was found by the excellent Hudson-Odoi.

At the other end, Arsenal began to exploit Chelsea's lack of midfield pace in the absence of N'Golo Kante, with Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan picking up the ball and driving at the Blues defence. The pair combined brilliantly to find Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who could only kick air at the back post.

On the stroke of half-time, Hudson-Odoi carved open Arsenal again as he raced onto Jorginho's clipped pass, but Cech took enough sting out of the youngster's shot for Shkodran Mustafi to head the ball off the line.

Arsenal pushed hard for an equaliser in front of a supportive crowd after the break, but Rudiger came within inches of scoring a carbon copy of his first-half opener when he headed Pedro's corner wide.

Alex Iwobi's introduction on 65 minutes brought fresh urgency to Arsenal, and the Nigeria international had shots saved by both by Caballero and his replacement Marcin Bulka. Lacazette was guilty of the worst miss, misjudging his angles after slipping the ball through Andreas Christensen's legs.

There was one final twist, though, as moments after forcing an excellent save from Bulka, Lacazette connected with Nelson's cross to send the match to penalties, where Loftus-Cheek was the only man to miss in sudden death.