Match report – Participant rankings – Video
There’s something very ‘this season’ about Arsenal doing the ‘double’ over Chelsea for the primary time since 2003-04 (a reasonably first rate marketing campaign for us, if I bear in mind appropriately), amid a number of the different outcomes we’ve had.
I’ve to say, I discovered final night time’s recreation perversely pleasing. Is it the best way I wish to see Arsenal play? Completely not. On the identical time, you may’t have watched us of late and thought going to Stamford Bridge to attempt to play open, expansive soccer could be a good suggestion. Briefly, we embraced our crapness and gained. Chelsea misplaced, Arsenal took all three factors, and that’s good.
I suppose there was a component of insignificance to it from an Arsenal perspective, which took away a number of the common stress you’d really feel in a recreation like this. Had this recreation actually mattered, maybe the method would have been one thing to get a bit extra labored up about, however on this context, I simply don’t have it in me to get vexed. Not least as a result of, you realize, we gained, and Chelsea misplaced.
Mikel Arteta went with a again three, Pablo Mari with Rob Holding and Gabriel both aspect of him. The large Spaniard made a dreadful mistake early on, dallying on the ball to permit Kai Havertz to undergo one on one with Bernd Leno. You can see the keeper considering ‘Ich Nichten Lichten‘ however his £75m compatriot ballooned the ball over the bar. A fortunate escape for Arsenal, and whereas Mari was poor in that situation, I don’t assume he was helped a lot by a considerably iffy Gabriel cross – one thing that was a function of the Brazilian’s recreation all night time.
I do marvel if that flaw in his recreation, one thing which wants a good quantity of labor in my view, is why Mari has been most well-liked to him of late. On an evening when the cross completion share for a few of his teammates was down within the 60s/70s, he ended up at 93%. Gabriel, in the meantime, made 10 clearances and blocked two pictures. Perhaps Arteta must construct a contraption to smoosh them collectively, like some form of central defensive Brundlefly.
Our objective got here after we pressed Chelsea fairly effectively excessive up the pitch, Mr Tumnus hit a again cross to the goalkeeper which just about went in. Kepa clawed it off the road, Aubameyang was sharp and whereas Emile Smith Rowe’s end was a bit scuffy, it went in off the submit. Frankly, though many of the recreation hadn’t been performed but, it was at least he deserved. He’s quick turning into one in all my favorite gamers. Unencumbered by system and construction, he performs with an effervescence and bravado that’s simply pretty to observe. If the remainder of the workforce can resemble a stagnant pool at occasions, Smith Rowe is a fizzy glass of glowing water with ice and a slice. Mmmm, refreshing.
Simply to make it clear: his objective meant we gained and Chelsea misplaced. What a lad.
I suppose, whenever you take a look at how efficient that urgent factor turned out to be, it’s a little bit of a disgrace we didn’t strive a bit extra of it, however from there Chelsea dominated possession and did have probabilities. Saka at proper wing-back wasn’t nice – not unexpectedly given the supervisor expressed some concern about his defensive consciousness within the rather more pure for him place on the opposite aspect – and the house aspect had some pleasure. Photographs had been blocked, Leno was excellent, assured and stable, and no matter else you may say in regards to the efficiency final night time, we labored actually onerous. This didn’t appear to be a gaggle of gamers who had given up and had been desirous about their summer time holidays or something.
Chelsea introduced on Oliver Giroud whose first contact was a wild swipe on the ball which made me snicker. Hector Bellerin got here on, performed a stunning deft contact to Odegaard, had a shot on objective, made an acrobatic clearance after which needed to come off after touchdown awkwardly. Those that dismiss Mikel Arteta’s tactical genius might solely eat the largest slice of humble pie accessible after his determination to fill the substitutes bench with proper backs.
Late on, Leno made an excellent save from Zouma, tipping a looping header onto the bar, and Giroud impressed with me along with his continued suppleness as he hooked the rebound again onto the bar along with his proper foot. Nonetheless, once we did get the ball clear, I had a little bit of amusing about that too. Six minutes of damage time? No downside. Chelsea turned one thing else, a BrundleStoke if you’ll, lumping the ball in the direction of our field, however our indefatigable defensive heroes would merely nut the ball away like a photographer loafing Jamiroquai. Meat and drink.
Too little too late? Nicely, perhaps, however extra like simply sufficient too late, and look, I do know what this season has been. I do know the issues, I’m not blind to the problems. I’ve seen the video games. I can learn the outcomes. I’ve written about it, and talked about it from first whistle nearly by to the final, and as we speak I don’t assume we realized something new, and it doesn’t put the whole lot proper. All the identical we’ve misplaced some video games by poxy unhealthy luck this season, and if we obtained a bit fortunate final night time, it feels overdue. I’m merely going to take pleasure in beating Chelsea, as a result of which means Arsenal gained and Chelsea misplaced and no matter the way it occurs, that may be a good factor in my world.
Afterwards, Mikel Arteta was happy with the win however sad with the press protection of some his pre-game feedback. To be trustworthy, that’s one thing which requires a weblog submit of its personal or, higher but, a dialogue for tomorrow’s Arsecast, in order that’s the best way I’ll cowl these. As I mentioned earlier although, we will all see when a workforce goes by the motions, and regardless of the actual fact this recreation was primarily meaningless for us, I didn’t see that final night time. Have been we good? After all not, however there was effort, and regardless of the actual fact it’s not one thing you may quantify, it’s nonetheless necessary.
We now have a little bit of day without work. With a purpose to enable all golf equipment have a house recreation with some followers, the fixtures scheduled for this weekend have been moved to midweek, and we go to Selhurst Park on Wednesday. So, I’ll go away it there for now, we’ll have an Arsecast tomorrow and extra right here on the weblog.
Till then, take it simple. Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal. HA and certainly HA.