One minute into extra time and a Chelsea player finally showed a bit of passion. Chalobah didn’t like Granit Xhaka preventing him from giving the ball back to Mendy. Chelsea were 1-0 down and perhaps thought that in the four minutes remaining, they could do what they hadn’t managed to do in the previous ninety. Score, or even look like scoring. A bit of pushing and shoving and a few expletives followed but no cards.
I’m not sure Aaron Ramsdale has ever had an easier game which says a lot about the players in front of him. Thomas Partey, Ben White, Gabriel, William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko were all superb. Apart from not scoring the number of goals the Arsenal performance deserves, every player was superb in my opinion but it was Saliba who took home the man of the match award. Rightly so in my opinion.
Graham Potter must be wondering what was going through the Chelsea minds when they agreed to sign Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. The only thing he did to catch the eye was a shocking challenge on Ben White. A red card might have been a better, and probably correct, outcome.
Bukayo Saka, whose previous corner kicks had been the best by his standards, swung one into the box and as it curled, it confused the Chelsea defenders. It looked like the ball was going to creep just inside the far post but Gabriel made sure it counted by blasting it into the roof of the net. Funny enough, later in the day, Arsenal’s women scored on of their many goals directly from a corner. Just after we went ahead, Aubameyang was hauled off by Potter, a moment I’m sure many Arsenal fans enjoyed watching.
1-0 to The Arsenal was how it ended and as much as I thought Michael Oliver had a good game, he could have stamped his authority on the match earlier than he did. Bukayo Saka has become a target. We saw it last week against Forest and again yesterday. Cucurella was the serial fouler for Chelsea from the off. Mikel Arteta didn’t like it that’s for sure and I bet Saka didn’t either, especially after he was shown a yellow card for a soft challenge on the same player. His first foul too I believe. Gabriel Jesus was another player constantly fouled, Gabriel Martinelli too. Basically, our attacking players.
Chances – the home team had very few whereas Arsenal had a few more. Gabriel Jesus was centimetres away from making a better connection with his head to a cross from Gabriel Martinelli. Another chance was blocked well by Silva. Ben White blasted an early chance we’ll over the bar and when he tried again later in the game, he dragged his shot wide. Martin Odegaard missed an opportunity to slip the ball to Martinelli who was in acres of space, instead going for goal himself but missing.
Not scoring the number of goals our performances deserve is frustrating, it’s probably more frustrating for the players though. The longer goes without a goal, the harder it’ll get for him to score but all he needs is for one to go in and I’m sure he’ll be firing on all cylinders again. Trouble is, he’s a workaholic, he wants to be involved and if that means dropping back to get it, he does so then we have one less player further up the pitch making themselves available. It’s almost like we’re playing with two number 10’s. Not that either he or Martin Odegaard wear that number.
This is hilarious I think. Have to love Granit Xhaka really, he’s having a great season, as are Arsenal.
Lastly, a word from Mikel Arteta about the fans:
They were absolutely brilliant again today, they’ve been phenomenal at home, away – around the place, the energy that they have created has transformed the team, I think. We are really pleased for them, really pleased for the team and especially the players, to play the way they have done today against this opponent deserves a lot of credit.
I think Mikel Arteta deserves a lot of credit too. Three consecutive victories at Stamford Bridge in the league is something not many managers can boast about. But he can…
See you in the comments..