Arsenal won the Community Shield in a new-style ABBA penalty shoot-out, scoring four goals to Chelsea’s woeful one as the Blues ended the 90 minutes with 10 men.
The Blues had taken the lead in regulation time, through Victor Moses’s early second half poacher’s strike.
But Arsenal substitute Sead Kolasinac rose unchallenged to level the scores with nine minutes remaining.
Seconds earlier Pedro was shown a straight red card by referee Bobby Madley for a late challenge on Mohamed Elney.
As pre-season matches went, this was spiky with an edge which suggest both sides took it very seriously.
Arsenal’s dominance of the opening phases should have reaped the reward of a goal or two, Danny Welbeck twice had excellent chances, the second a free header on seven minutes, a free header from six yards out, went straight into the grateful palms of Thibaut Courtois.
Two yellow cards, one for Cesar Azpilicueta and one for Hector Bellerin, both for needless fouls spiced up.
A sublime counter-attack, orchestrated by Bellerin, on 23 minutes, saw Chelsea cut apart and Alexandre Lacazette ping Courtois’s left upright with a wonderful curling right-footer. luckily for the Blues Arsenal could not follow-up with the rebound.
The first substitution came on 33 minutes when Per Mertesacker left the field dripping in blood from a clumsy challenge from Gary Cahill’s elbow.
Sead Kolasinac replaced him.
A blistering left-footer from Pedro on 35 minutes was expertly partied away by ex-Chelsea Petr Cech.
Marcos Alonso was next in Bobby Bradley’s book for one could too many - this time on Bellerin.
BRadly then brandished a yellow card to Willian, for diving after Bellerin lost control of the Bol in his penalty area. Willian appeared to click his own ankle and took a tumble.
There were no changes at half-time from either player, but the Blues raced out of the blocks and were in the lead within seconds.
A regulation corner was cleared to the edge of the Arsenal penalty area.
Cahill lobbed a header back into the six-yard box. Victor Moses, reacted quickest, beat the offside trap and slide the ball home, past Czech to put the Premier League champions into the lead.
Arsenal responded well
A lucky deflection off N’Golo Kante saw a whipped byline cross by Mohamed Elney arrow towards the Chelsea net, only for Courtois to acrobatically readjust his footing and tip the ball over his crossbar on 59 minutes.
Arsenal replaced Lacazette with Olivier Gironde on 66 minutes as well as replacing Alex iwobi for Theo Walcott.
Antonio Conte replaced Michy Batshuayi with Alvaro Morata with 16 minutes left on the clock.
An amazing finger-tip save by Courtois thwarted Granit Xhaka, as the midfielder’s blistering 25-yard left-footer seemed destined for the top right nah corner of the Chelsea gol. But the Belgium goalie produced a wonder save to tip the ball over his crossbar.
Antonio Rudiger got his outing at the expense of Alonso on 79 minutes.
Referee Bradly produced a shock red card for Pedro on 81 minutes as the Spain midfielder hacked down Elney.
Seconds later and Arsenal were level from the resultant free kick. Up stepped Kolsasinac who, unmarked, headed easily wide of Courtois.
Conte instantly replaced Willian for Charly Musonda.
Arsene Wenger brought in Reiss Nelson for Welbeck.
Morata had a great chance to restore the Blues lead deep into Dec time, but he scuffed his header from a Fabregas free-kick.
Then came the penalty shoot out with Chelsea scoring first through Cahill, but Courtois and Morata missed theirs leaving Girond with the easiest of chances to slam home the perfect fourth for the north Londoners. Following siccces for Walcott, Monreal, and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The ABBA penalty shoot-out sequence in full
Cahill goal 1-0
Walcott goal 1-1
Monreal goal 1-2
Courtois miss 1-2
Morata miss 1-2
Ox goal 1-3
Gironde goal 1-4 winner