Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says his players overcame a psychological hurdle to beat Chelsea, after his team triumphed 1-0 over the Blues to win the Community Shield at Wembley.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlains stunning strike in the 24th minute was the difference between the two teams, with the Gunners producing a solid defensive display against the reigning Premier League champions.
The win was the first time Wenger has triumphed over counterpart Jose Mourinho as manager, with Arsenal not having won against the Blues boss in their 13 previous attempts. Wenger insisted that he took no personal satisfaction from the victory, but believed the win over Chelsea was important for his players.
Honestly I must say it didnt play on my mind at all, but as long as I get it served every time at press conferences it can have an impact on the team. Certainly the way my team behaved during some periods in the game it had. It was important for them to get that hurdle out of the way, he said.
Arsenal had less possession and fewer shots in the match on Sunday (2 August), but after the match Wenger disagreed with Mourinhos assessment that his side has abandoned their philosophy of possession-based attacking football to win the game.
We abandoned nothing. We defend. Our game is based on togetherness and solidarity, on defending well and attacking well, he said.
I believe today we defended because of a bit of a psychological hurdle against Chelsea in the heads of my players; they were more concerned once we were 1-0 up to protect our lead than to play. You have to accept that and I dont believe thats giving up your philosophy, its just a fact that in a game like that we wanted to win and behaved like that and Im quite proud of that, Wenger added.
Arsenals second successive Community Shield triumph mean the Gunners have a 100% winning record throughout preseason. The north Londoners will be looking to maintain their good form when they take on West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in their 2015-16 Premier League opener on 9 August.