Arsenal: 0 Chelsea: 1 – Another disappointing game against Chelsea

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Going into the match Arsenal hadn’t beaten Chelsea in a competitive game since October 2011 however the Gunners win in the Community Shield provided Gooners everywhere optimism going into the game. Chelsea’s bad form this season meant that Arsenal were clear favourites and win for us would allow us to regain our lead at the top of the table. Unfortunately things didn’t go to plan, the early Mertesacker sending off put us on the back foot. Once Chelsea found the breakthrough they were set up to defend for the remainder of the game.

 

The game started with both sides playing good football. Arsenal created the first chance of the game; we worked the ball nicely down our left hand side. Theo got his head up and found Campbell with a nice floated ball but he was unable to make clean contact with his volley and the chance was wasted.

Chelsea, despite being in poor form, were playing the ball around the Arsenal midfield with ease and on the 17th minute Willian drove forward with the ball unchallenged and slipped a ball in behind Mertesacker. A poor decision by the experienced German lead him to take down Costa as the last man and referee Clattenburg had no alternative but to send off Per.  Like many of our previous games against Chelsea we now had to play the majority of the game with 10; clearly we failed to learn our lesson.

With our 10 man disadvantage Chelsea’s pressure became even more intense and moments later Diego Costa ghosted behind Koscielny to tap in a near post cross. The ease that Chelsea played the ball through our midfield was worrying and Flamini’s perplexing positioning and gesturing did nothing but confuse the Arsenal defenders.

The remaining of the opening half continued in a similar fashion with Chelsea often waltzing past our midfield. Although they didn’t create much else in the way of chances they never really looked like they needed to get out of second gear. Arsenal managed to create a good opportunity late in the first half but Flamini blazed over with an awkward volley.

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Flamini’s Zlatan impression flies woefully over the bar

The second half was much of the same with Chelsea looking comfortable most of the match. Sanchez’ introduction brought a momentary spark to our play but we never really looked like scoring once down to 10 men. Ozil was stranded as a center forward. Ramsey was busy doing all the hassling and closing down in midfield and our wide players lacked options whenever they received the ball. Although we could see glimpses of the quality Sanchez possesses it was clear that we was still a bit ring rusty and he couldn’t provide the special moment to save the day.

Ultimately it was a disappointing performance from both Wenger and the boys but next week it’s imperative that we respond with a win. We’re in a bit of a rut but with a relatively easy midweek game against Burnley we can give some match time to Alex and Elneny. We’re still definitely in the race but we can’t continue allow teams to harm us from midfield. It’s time for Wenger to make some tough calls.

 

 

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