It was a topsy-turvy affair at the Stamford bridge on Saturday as Mauricio Sarri’s Chelsea ran off 3-2 winners against Unai Emery’s Arsenal,making it two wins on the bounce for Chelsea with 6 points and zip for Arsenal with the same number of games.
At the stroke of 20 minutes Chelsea were already up with 2 goals in the match. Arsenal had a beautiful chance as Guendozi found Henrikh Mhkitaryan on the right with a”delicious” through ball and Aubameyang couldn’t make the most of Mhkitaryan’s cut back in the penalty area as Aubameyang fluffed the glorious opportunity to reduce the deficit with a wayward shot way over the bar.It was same tactics,same move few seconds later when Mhkitaryan replicated Aubameyang’s earlier effort by sending the ball way over the keeper.
Chelsea were abysmal in midfield as Jorginho couldn’t keep up with Guendozi as Arsenal took over midfield.Monreal did well to break the play of a Chelsea player to square the ball to Alex Iwobi who took an extra effort to square the ball back to Mhkitaryan outside the box for a shot into the right bottom corner of the goal to make it 2-1 for the visitors.At the stroke of half time Arsenal evened the score as Mkhitaryan passed the ball behind the Chelsea defenders in to the path of Alex Iwobi,the Nigerian without hesitation put the ball in for a goal for the gunners to make it 2-2 at the end of first half proceedings.
Arsenal began the 2nd half with much enthusiasm but were not clinical enough in the final third as Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi missed glorious opportunities to help their team to a four goal lead.
The complexion of the game took a different turn as the introduction of Kovacic and Hazard brought some spark in the Chelsea line-up.Chelsea regained control of the midfield as Chelsea kept mounting pressure on the Arsenal defence.The effort eventually paid off as Hazard squared the ball in for Marcos Alonso who delightfully put the ball in between Cech’s legs to make it 3-2.
MY TAKE ON THE MATCH
Arsenal had no business losing this game as they had the opportunity to put the game to bed in the first half.But yet again,Arsenal’s lack of precision in front of goal was too expensive as they paid dearly for it.Chelsea had it all good as they converted the best opportunities (except the late Giroud chance) they had.
Chelsea ‘s first goal came from a high pressing,counter attack game as Bellerin was in no man’s land as the home team took advantage and made it count. The second goal was baffling as the Arsenal centre backs were pressing too high up the pitch.It’s somewhat suicidal for not too pacey centre backs to stay too high up the pitch.It gives the opposing attack a lot of advantage.
For Chelsea’s third goal,Bellerin yet again was missing in action as Alonso was allowed to drift into the box to slot in from that angle.
Bellerin should be doing better. Mkhitaryan didn’t do enough to keep Alonso busy just as Iwobi made sure Caesar didn’t have a filled day on the left flank.
In my previous articles,I explained that the Arsenal team need natural wingers (I don’t understand the moral of selling Walcott and Chamberlain without proper replacements) to counter marauding full backs in the Premier league.
It happened with Manchester City, it has happened with Chelsea.Arsenal needs to fortify that area of the pitch.Like I said previously most of Man.City’s goals come from their left flank (don’t know why analysts or fans don’t notice this).
Why did Arsenal lose this game?The answer, so simple, they couldn’t convert their chances.Period.
In individual performance, Guendozi stood out,Ozil looks traumatic to me,still haunted by the German world experience.Xhaka was invisible except for the yellow card incident. Aubameyang was unsually woeful in front of goal,Iwobi had a wonderful game and I was surprised he was subbed.Iwobi had the highest number of touches (5) in the opponent’s box same as Chelsea’s Kante.Bellerin was not up to the task to put it mildly as he neglected his duties as a full back ,forgetting who he was playing against.Mkhitaryan was just putting in extra effort to help out on the flanks.Sokratis was just too slow and indecisive.Mustafi well, was just Mustafi, did his bit but needs to improve his game.
Up next is another London derby against West Ham.Arsenal should be doing enough to win this game. Drawing or losing this game would set off spark of a string of discontents among their fans with the already built up tension after the supposed take over of the club by American billionaire,
Arsenal needs to get back to winning ways so as to ensure they close the gap between their rivals in the race for the the Champions League spot.
Meanwhile, Unai Emery has praised his team for their spirited efforts against Chelsea but urged them to continue to improve and come out better as they prepare for their next game at home against West Ham.Unai cut a frustrated figure on the touch-line as he couldn’t understand why his team should be 2 goals within 20 minutes.He knows he has a lot to do.He knows what he has to do to succeed in the league.He should also know that the Premier league is rather toxic and takes no prisoner so he needs to work extra hard lest the fans turn on him.
So until then have a nice day ahead.