FA Community Shield: Sergio Aguero double secures the win for Manchester City
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri now has to focus on the futures of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea 0 Manchester City 2
The temperatures were at South American levels at Wembley yesterday and that suited Sergio Aguero as the Argentine striker scored twice to secure the Community Shield for Manchester City against Chelsea.
As the sun bore down on the national stadium so Aguero bore down on the Chelsea defence, scoring his first of the game - and his 200th goal for the club - on 13 minutes when he fired a low shot past Willy Caballero into the corner of the net.
His second came 13 minutes after the break and was created by a slick pass from Bernardo Silva, enabling Aguero to once more slide the ball past Caballero with a cool finish. It was City’s third trophy in six months - following last season’s League Cup and Premier League titles - but manager Pep Guardiola won’t get too carried away.
Both sides were shorn of most of their World Cup stars with City missing Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and David Silva, although that allowed Guardiola to give 18-year-old Phil Foden an outing and the teenage midfielder didn’t look out of place among his more illustrious teammates.
Chelsea’s most notable absentee was Eden Hazard and the talk among Blues’ fans arriving at Wembley was about the report in The Sunday Times claiming he is poised to sign for Real Madrid this week.
According to the paper Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri will today offer the Belgian a new and improved £300,000-a-week contract “to encourage him to change his mind about joining Real Madrid”.
Sarri will also hold talks with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois but the Sunday Times says he “is determined to leave Stamford Bridge” and he is expected to join Real Madrid within the next 48 hours.
It all made for a miserable day for Chelsea fans, whose side managed only one shot on target in the second half, a long-range effort by 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi. At least they have a relatively gentle league opener next weekend, away at Huddersfield, while City travel to the Emirates on Sunday to take on Unai Emery’s Arsenal.
What they said
Maurizio Sarri on Chelsea’s performance: “In the first half, not too bad I think. In the second half there was a difference in the physical point of view. So we have to work. Our pre-season has been a bit crazy.”
Sarri on Hazard’s and Courtois’ futures: “I talk to them two days ago so I know what they will say to me tomorrow. I’m ready. But I think more good than bad.”
Sarri on tomorrow’s International Champions Cup match against Lyon: “It’s not very easy in the next week. We have a friendly, but I would prefer to stay on the pitch only for training.”
Pep Guardiola on the City performance: “We started well and played the level of last season with just five or six training sessions. The mentality was in the right position. It’s our third year so most of the things we practice we know, not like when you arrive.”
Guardiola on Phil Foden: “He was ready last season. Now he is one year on, he is more mature. It is so good to have another player with his talent. He’s a City fan - and Mancunian - and it is so good for us.”
Guardiola on the start of the Premier League season vs. Arsenal: “Now we focus on Arsenal. We have seven days to train this week and hopefully we can increase that level.”
Guardiola on the chances of defending the title: “We don’t have to think too much about defending the title. That was the first game - we have to prepare game by game. In April and May, we will know. The result will show who we are. We’re not talking about having to win the Premier League title.”