Aaron Ramsdale sends a message - but Arsenal can't start the season with Kai Havertz up front: Community Shield winners and losers as Gunners beat Manchester City on penalties after goalkeeper's heroics

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The England international made two fine saves to keep Mikel Arteta's side in it before keeping out Rodri's spot-kick in the shootout at Wembley

Some may argue that the Community Shield is just a glorified pre-season friendly, but if Mikel Arteta and Arsenal's celebrations were anything to go by, then the Gunners certainly feel as if beating Manchester City on Sunday has sent a message to the treble winners ahead of the new campaign.

The Gunners won out 4-1 on penalties following a hotly-contested 1-1 draw after 90 minutes, allowing Arteta and his players to lift some silverware ahead of the new season after failing so dramatically to do so in the final weeks of the last.

They would have lost out to City here too, if not for Leandro Trossard's stoppage-time effort that deflected in off Manuel Akanji. The Belgian's strike cancelled out fellow substitute Cole Palmer's fine opening goal, as City looked on course to win the annual curtain-raiser for the first time since 2019.

Instead, they could only watch on as Fabio Vieira converted the winning spot-kick as Arsenal scored all their penalties while Kevin De Bruyne hit the crossbar and Aaron Ramsdale saved from Rodri to ensure victory in the capital for the team from north London.

GOAL breaks down the winners & losers from Wembley Stadium...

  1. WINNER: Aaron Ramsdale
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    WINNER: Aaron Ramsdale

    If reports are to be believed, Ramsdale's days as Arsenal's No.1 goalkeeper might be numbered. The Gunners are keen to conclude a deal to sign Brentford's David Raya, adding substantial competition for Ramsdale to deal with after an indifferent end to last season.

    On Sunday, though, the England international proved to be the match-winner for his team with three superb saves. First he managed to tip Phil Foden's effort around the post when his Three Lions team-mate looked set to make the game safe with around 10 minutes to go, before then denying Rodri at his near post from the resulting corner.

    Ramsdale saved his best for last, though, as he dived low to his right to keep out Rodri's spot-kick and move Arsenal to within one successful penalty of victory, which Vieira dispatched with ease.

    This wasn't a faultless display from Ramsdale by any means. He was almost lobbed from the halfway line by Rodri in the first half, while a couple of stray passes put pressure on the defenders in front of him. But if the fan favourite wanted to remind Arteta what he can do, this was the perfect way to do so.

  2. LOSER: Kevin De Bruyne
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    LOSER: Kevin De Bruyne

    When Kevin De Bruyne reflects on this game, he will likely be pretty happy. This was his first time on the pitch since leaving the Champions League final in tears, and while he was not at his best in his 30-minute run out, he still managed to claim an assist for Palmer's goal.

    However, his outing at Wembley will now always be remembered for his penalty that crashed back off the crossbar that opened up the shootout for Arsenal. His side never recovered, and a 4-1 loss was comprehensive in the end.

    KDB will have better days, and will soon be back to full fitness and doing what he does best: terrorising defenders.

  3. WINNER: Cole Palmer
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    WINNER: Cole Palmer

    At the start of the summer transfer window, reports suggested that Palmer would be allowed to leave City on loan after a season where his opportunities to prove himself at the Etihad Stadium were limited at best.

    The homegrown winger played just 358 minutes in the Premier League during 2022-23, and with fellow academy product James McAtee returning from an impressive spell at Sheffield United, it was thought that Palmer would this time be allowed to gain experience elsewhere.

    Riyad Mahrez's departure to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli, however, may have changed Pep Guardiola's thinking when it comes to Palmer's immediate future, with there now a space in the team as the back-up right-sided forward that requires filling.

    If Palmer has designs on that spot, then he showed why he should be considered with his superb opening goal at Wembley. Picking up the ball after Kevin De Bruyne nodded it into his path, the 21-year-old cut inside onto his left foot and curled a superb effort from the corner of the penalty area into the top corner.

    Goals in the Community Shield rarely go down in club folklore, but if Palmer's strike proves to be the catalyst to him becoming a regular star in the City team, then many will look back on it with plenty of fondness.

  4. LOSER: Kai Havertz
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    LOSER: Kai Havertz

    New club, same Kai Havertz it seems if this performance was anything to go by. With Gabriel Jesus out injured, Arsenal's new £65-million signing was asked to play up front by Mikel Arteta, but in the role he played regularly at Chelsea, he put in a performance akin to those at Stamford Bridge became accustomed to.

    In truth, Havertz's overall performance wasn't a poor one. But when you are playing as No.9, you need to take the goalscoring opportunities that come your way, and the Germany international failed in that task.

    Twice in the first half he found himself with just Stefan Ortega to beat from relatively close range, and both times the City goalkeeper spread himself well to keep Havertz at bay. The forward was also booked in the first half and looked tired by the time City took the lead.

    It's presumed that once Jesus returns, Havertz will slide back into more of a No.8 role alongside Martin Odegaard, a position where he will be judged on more than just his goal output. If this display was anything to go by, he needs to be taken out of the limelight that comes with leading the line.

  5. WINNER: Leandro Trossard

    WINNER: Leandro Trossard

    Trossard has arguably been Arsenal's best player during pre-season, and while that is not always a signal of things to come once the competitive action begins, it certainly seems like the Belgian winger is in the mood to continue making an impact at the Etihad Stadium.

    Trossard did well following his arrival in north London from Brighton in January, and his versatility is likely to make him a key figure again this term, even if he is unable to lock down a regular starting berth. He can play off either flank and as a No.10, and it was his cutting in from the right that led to Arsenal's last-gasp equaliser here.

    The strike may end up going down as an own goal by Manuel Akanji, but it was Trossard's quick feet and ability to create a shooting opportunity that led to it, and if he is set for an impact sub role initially, this was the perfect way to start his season.

  6. LOSER: Erling Haaland
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    LOSER: Erling Haaland

    Anyone who remembers last season's curtain-raiser knows that it's a dangerous game to write off Erling Haaland after a disappointing performance in the Community Shield. However, this was undoubtedly an afternoon that the big Norwegian won't remember too fondly.

    Though there was nothing headline-grabbing like his failure to score when presented with an open goal from three yards against Liverpool in 2022, Haaland failed to have any real impact on the game before being replaced shortly before the hour mark.

    He did attempt to make countless runs forward, but without the incisiveness of De Bruyne to pick him out, Haaland was largely frustrated. It was pretty ironic that when the striker was replaced, the Belgium midfielder replaced Mateo Kovacic at the very same time.

    No one will be predicting Haaland's demise this time around, but the Community Shield continues to be a game where fans are yet to see the best of him.

  7. WINNER: Howard Webb
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    WINNER: Howard Webb

    One word you'll be hearing plenty of during the first weeks of the new season is 'crackdown' as English referees aim to deal with issues such as time-wasting and gamesmanship by handing out tougher punishments.

    While the increase in stoppage-time isn't new to most people given the way games have been officiated at both the Men's and Women's World Cups over the last year, one added element to how the Premier League will be refereed this season is the introduction of yellow cards for even the smallest pieces of dissent.

    Both Thomas Partey and Julian Alvarez picked up bookings in the first half for nudging the ball a few yards after free-kicks were given against them. If that is a sign of things to come, then we could be in for some soft dismissals in the opening games of the campaign as teams get used to these new rules.

    Howard Webb, the head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) was in the crowd at Wembley and watched on as referee Stuart Attwell carried out his fresh guidelines to the letter. Depending on how quickly players adapt, Webb could soon be very popular, or extremely unpopular with coaches and fans alike.

  8. LOSER: Arsenal?...
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    LOSER: Arsenal?...

    After they came so close last season, many believe that Arsenal will yet again be City's closest challengers in the Premier League title race, with their new arrivals this summer meaning the gap may even have been closed over the past couple of months.

    However, their hopes of a first league title since 2003 may have already gone up in smoke. Why? Since 2011, only one team has won both the Community Shield and Premier League in the same season (Man City in 2018-19).

    Arteta's team could, of course, buck that trend, but the omens aren't good for mass celebrations at the Emirates Stadium come May.