Chelsea suffered a defeat in their second to last preseason game as Arsenal ran out as penalty shootout winners in Dublin on Wednesday evening.
Despite leading for the majority of the game, Chelsea conceded late on to force a shootout, before Petr Cech proved to be the hero in the International Champions Cup fixture.
The game proved to be a nice warm up for both sides as the 2018/19 Premier League campaign approaches quickly and players continued to work towards match fitness. Antonio Rudiger's head gave Chelsea the lead, before Alexandre Lacazette struck in the final seconds of added time to force a penalty shootout.
The Hudson-Odoi show
Chelsea started the better of the two sides and looked especially bright every time 17-year old Callum Hudson-Odoi got on the ball. The youngster continuously threatened Hector Bellerin and his movement looked like that of a player far more mature than 17 years of age. It would be Chelsea who took the lead after just five minutes as Antonio Rudiger's powerful header beat Petr Cech to make it 1-0, thanks to some poor man marking from Emile Smith-Rowe.
The Blues then were given a golden chance to make it 2-0 as Hudson-Odoi's quick feet saw him fouled by Bellerin, earning his side a penalty. Alvaro Morata's bad luck in front of goal continued as his spotkick was saved by Cech to keep it at 1-0. The Spaniard came close to redeeming himself minutes later as Hudson-Odoi slotted the ball through to him, but Morata's final finish wasn't there.
It was all Chelsea in the first half as Sarri's possession based system has already become evident in their style of play. Despite the chances and the possession, they could only manage the lone goal at the break.
Lacazette leaves it late
Arsenal did improve in the second half and were inches away from equalizing through Alexandre Lacazette. A poor pass from Jorginho allowed Mesut Ozil to slip Lacazette through, but the Frenchman's shot curled just wide of the post. Reiss Nelson then forced subsitute goalkeeper Marcin Bulka into an excellent save from close range to keep Chelsea in front.
Despite Maurizio Sarri's side looking the better of the two, they were still pegged back often in the second half. Arsenal eventually found their equalizer with 17 seconds remaining as Lacazette pounced on Nelson's low driven cross to tap in from three yards out.
The final friendly of the preseason for Chelsea would eventually end in defeat as their former goalkeeper stepped up in the penalty shootout. With both sides perfect after five penalties each, Petr Cech stepped up to save Ruben Loftus-Cheek's penalty, before Alex Iwobi scored to seal the win for Unai Emery's team.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal will have plenty of positives to take from the game as they prepare for the same opponent in their next outings. Chelsea will take on Manchester City on Sunday in the Community Shield, before facing Huddersfield Town in their opening game of the Premier League season. Arsenal will also look ahead to Manchester City, who they face as their opening game of the season.