Mikel Arteta admits Reiss Nelson eagerly put himself forward to take the first spot-kick in Arsenal’s Community Shield win over Liverpool on penalties.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring for the Gunners in the first half, stepping inside to curl a trademark strike into the back of Alisson’s net.
Takumi Minamino took advantage of a loose ball in the box and got Jurgen Klopp’s side back on level terms in the 73rd minute.
The game went straight to penalties at full-time, where Arsenal converted every one of their five spot-kicks to win the shootout 5-4 and seal the first trophy of the new season.
Nelson – who was denied the opportunity to take a penalty in the 2017 Community Shield win over Chelsea – made clear to Arteta that he wanted to step up this time and duly buried his side’s first effort from 12 yards.
‘He said, ‘Me first’, so when you see a player that convincing, let’s go,’ the Spanish boss told Arsenal Digital.
‘They also did really well to score five out of five against this goalkeeper, it’s not an easy thing to do.’
Nelson added: ‘I really wanted to take a penalty [in the 2017 Community Shield] but I think I was 17 at the time and the boss didn’t let me take it, so I said to myself if I ever get the opportunity to take one again then I’ll be the first one and I’ll be confident and just pick a spot and pick it.
‘I got an opportunity, went to Mikel and said I’ll take it, then I was brave and he let me take it.
‘It was a bit weird because the walk is so long, but as I got to the goal it seemed fairly big, so I thought let me just hit it, hit a spot and hope for the best. It went in!
‘It’s a big confidence boost and to start a season like that is very big for all the young players. It’s amazing that we’ve got another trophy and now we need to keep it going throughout the season.’
‘For me it’s about getting myself in the starting XI,’ he added.
‘The boss has made a lot of changes and brought a lot of top players into the team and I feel like that can only help us, but I want to fight for my position, be hungry and get a spot in that starting XI.”