Arsenal’s captain and talisman, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, continues to come up trumps for the Gunners and his latest heroics have helped them to the FA Community Shield in a highly contested match against Liverpool.
Despite the Gabonese frontman’s refusal to discuss his future, there is little doubt of the impact he has on his team mates when he is on the field. His quality shines through; head and shoulders above the rest.
The Gabon international struck in the 12th minute, against the run of play, putting the Gunners in front in a tight contest as the England champions dominated play, only to be stunned by Aubameyang’s well-taken strike.
The Gabon international sportingly paid tribute to the Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman with the now famous “Wakanda Forever” salute.
The Reds equalised in the 73rd minute with a strike from their new boy Takumi Minamino, scoring his first goal for Liverpool. The strike pulled the Reds back into a contest that was quickly getting away from them.
Despite Liverpool’s dominance from open play they created little chance for their fearsome front three as Arteta’s men defended doggedly to ensure that the score remained a one-all draw to take the match to a penalty shootout.
Having inspired Arsenal to FA Cup glory earlier in the 2019-20 season with match winning performances in the semi-final and final, Aubameyang made no mistake as he took his penalty with aplomb to send the Gunners faithful into rapture after Liverpool’s highly rated youngster Rhian Brewster had missed his spot kick. Meaning a second Community Shield loss on penalty shootout in consecutive seasons for Jürgen Klopp’s men.
Although he has lifted the FA Cup and now the Community Shield with Arsenal, uncertainty still surrounds the future of Aubameyang as Europe’s elite clubs circle around a player who is yet to sign a new deal to commit his future to the Gunners.
Arsenal’s head coach, Mikel Arteta, has however expressed confidence in retaining the services of the Gabonese forward. He said: “I don’t know, to put a date right now is very difficult. I like the way the conversations are going, I like what I’m hearing.
“I’m sure for both parties, the quicker we can do it, the better for everyone. I am confident he will extend his stay.”
This win represents another feather in the cap of Arteta as his burgeoning coaching career and Arsenal rebuild continue apace.
Festus Oppong Kwabena Asante