Chelsea’s awesome power (and subtlety) rip Arsenal

There are many positives that Arsenal can take back home from their Chelsea loss. They were bright in possession, created more goal scoring chances, and the defense held up very well against Chelsea’s robust counterattacks. Hats off too to Lukasz Fabianski – he had to be beaten by two absolutely spectacular goals by a familiar duo of Arsenal assassins. We definitely did not hand the game to them.
The Polish goalie might have been justified by butterflies in the stomach facing a team that has been ruthless in embarrassing him at every previous occasion. But he was assertive bar one time and he came up with some excellent saves. The sight of Fabianski changing Anelka’s trajectory resulting in a narrow miss and then going low to block Essien’s shot is a sign of a goalie developing some smarts to go with his technical skills. Two matches and Fabianksi is inspiring much more confidence than he has in a long time.
Marouane Chamakh almost gave Arsenal a dream start in the first minute and there were some very close calls for the Blues with Koscielny, Arshavin, and Nasri coming very close. But the script is a familiar one by now – it would be to Arsenal’s detriment the longer the game went on without a goal.
On cue, the industrious Ramires drove down the field and squared the ball to Ashley Cole with the wing back taking it all the way down the channel before he crossed. Drogba emerging from the shadows fronted Sebastian Squillaci with the narrowest of angles at his disposal and turned the ball into goal with the cleverest backheel. Amidst his unsurpassed power are these subtle touches that make him almost impossible to defend. It was the 39th minute and all Wenger could do was to shake his head in disbelief. Yet again, Drogba had found a way to punish Arsenal.
What was encouraging was Arsenal’s second half display. For about 20 minutes the Gunners pinned back the Blues as they buzzed and hovered around goal and recycled attack after attack. Nasri worked the tight spaces in the middle, helped by Wilshere and Diaby to keep up the pressure. Clichy and Sagna crept up the flanks and sought out Chamakh with their crosses. The equalizer was there. Surely, the Blues would let their guard down for just their third goal given up. There was a moment when Abou Diaby’s strike hit John Terry and the ball looped over a stranded Petr Cech and tantalizingly close to goal. But despite all that dominance, it was the Gunners coming close to going behind again after Squillaci’s mistake gifted Anelka a clear chance at goal.
The Gunners finally did fall behind after Drogba was brought down by Koscielny for a free kick. It was dead center and 25 yards away. This time Drogba dawdled on the ball as Alex prepared his run up. If Drogba’s goal was all touch and trickery, Alex’s shot was a howitzer. It would have breached the Maginot Line. We only had a human wall and manned by players who were only too human. It had goal written on it from the time it left his boot.
The match was done and dusted. Arsenal again undone by Chelsea’s efficiency. We really do look like a bunch of querying schoolboys when we play them. When will we have our answers? Its great to see Arsenal churn out profits on their real estate ventures, make millions on the transfers, and win kudos for their financial stewardship that will no doubt keep them in good stead in the long term while their peers navigate more uncertain times but such losses really put a blemish on Wenger’s skinflint philosophy. It’s telling that the only team that put a crimp on Chelsea’s winning ways is a team that has outspent them in recent years. It will come down to conceding goals and at this point Arsenal does not look like it can stop a team more determined than them.

, , , , ,
One comment on “Chelsea’s awesome power (and subtlety) rip Arsenal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Couldn't connect to server: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known (0)