Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny put in a dominating performance at the back as his side showed wonderful resilience to overcome Chelsea 1-0 in the Community Shield final.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain settled a tight affair, but the most pleasing aspect from the Gunners’ performance was their solidarity and composure under pressure.
Chelsea boast a range of wonderful attacking players, including Brazilian international duo Oscar and Willian and of course PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard.
However, on Sunday the Blues’ quartet found no way through a compact Arsenal backline inspired by the excellent partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
|Tackles||Interceptions||Aerial Winners||Outfield Blocks||Effective Clearances||Touches||Accurate Passes||Mins Played|
As per the table above, French international Koscielny was the game’s outstanding player from a defensive perspective as he dealt with everything Jose Mourinho’s side threw at him.
The 29-year-old produced one interception, two tackles and an unbelievable 16 effective clearances – ten more than the next best Arsenal player and more than the entire Chelsea team combined.
Every cross, set-piece situation or diagonal pass looking for Loic Remy was mopped up by the former Lorient man, prompting ex-Manchester City man Rodney Marsh to sing his praises on Twitter.
If Koscielny isn't MOTM there should be a stewards inquiry !!!!— Rodney Marsh (@RodneyMarsh10) August 2, 2015
Moreover, Koscielny was calm in possession and distributed well from the back, taking a total of 66 touches and making 44 accurate passes with a success rate just shy of 70%.
With plenty of talk about the club needing a new centre-back or defensive midfielder, on this display there aren’t many players around who will be capable of dislodging Koscielny, Mertesacker or Coquelin.