Reiss Nelson says his desire to take the first penalty for Arsenal yesterday was driven by missing out a few years ago in a previous Community Shield.
In 2017, the Gunners beat Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out, and the young winger was keen to step up, only to be denied by then boss Arsene Wenger who defaulted to more experienced takers.
Yesterday, in the 5-4 shoot-out win, the substitute was decisive, insisting to his manager he wanted to step up and go first for his team – and he set the tone with a perfect spot kick to beat Liverpool keeper Alisson.
He told Arsenal Digital, “It’s one of them things, you know. A few years ago we won it and I remember under Arsene Wenger I really wanted to take a penalty, but I think I was 17 at the time, and the boss didn’t let me take it.
“I said to myself that I ever get the opportunity again to take it again, I’m going to be the first one, be confident, just pick a spot and hit it.
“Today, I got the opportunity, I went to Mikel and said ‘I want to take it’, I was brave and he let me take it.”
A happy Arteta afterwards revealed he had no compunction about letting him do it, Nelson’s confidence a convincing factor.
“He said ‘Me first’, so when you see a player that convincing, let’s go!,” said the Arsenal boss.
“They also did really well to score five out of five against this goalkeeper, it’s not an easy thing to do.”
Read today’s Arseblog: Community Shield Champions! Some thoughts and observations