So, for the second time in less that a week we are left to mourn a poor performance at our supposed “fortress.”
Coming off the back of a disappointing defeat to Wigan on Monday, we needed three points to strengthen our bid for fourth place. Unfortunately, that’s not how it worked out. As the team sheets were announced it looked as though we has a good chance, three of Chelsea’s star players, Mata, Lampard an C*le were left on the bench.
The game kicked off and it was a Cagey start, both teams struggling to make an impact but Arsenal had slightly more possession. We did not pass with the same fluidity we have seen in recent weeks, and Ramsey was caught daydreaming on the ball at least four times. One of the best chances of the half came when Theo Walcott whipped in a beautifully shaped ball, only for van Persie to hit it with his left leg – when his right was much more preferable – off the post and out for a goal kick from point blank range. Before the half time whistle we had a few more chances to go one up, with Koscielny hitting the bar from close range, but we failed to capitalise as the teams went in at 0-0.
After the fifteen minute break, the players looked much more up for it, Arsenal enjoying a large chunk of possession but found it difficult to break down Chelsea’s “Park the Bus” strategy. The tactics were similar to midweek, with Chelsea looking to hit on the break, but playing with eleven men behind the ball really wasn’t the recipe for a scintillating football match. As we progressed into the second half, it started to get desperate, both teams trading blow for blow. There were three changes for arsenal as we neared the end of the match, the injured Theo Walcott was replaced by Gervinho, Rosicky was replaced by About Diaby and the Ox was swapped for André Santos. Meanwhile, Chelsea brought on Mikel, Mata and C*le to strengthen their young side. Gervinho almost made an instant impact, some great footwork around the box, he played a one two with Van Persie, and then repeated the trick a second time, this time just loosing out. Meanwhile Abou Diaby was playing okay, seeing a lot of the ball as we surged thorough the park, obviously he needs some time to regain full match fitness but he held the ball well yesterday, only giving away a few loose passes. The end of the game was flat, simply because we Couldn’t break through the wall of eleven men lined up in and around the box. On one Chelsea break away, Sczcesny attempted to thwart Mata’s run by charging out of his box, it was poorly timed and Almunia esque, but luckily Koscielny was on hand to clear up after him.
At the end of the day, it could have been a lot worse. One point is much better than no points and it means if Chelsea win their game in hand they remain four points back. Also, with Spurs slipping up against QPR, they drop into 5th behind the resurgent Newcastle. Only three points separate the Geordie’s from us, and they have a game in hand.
We must pick ourselves up and continue the good work when we visit the Britannia. They looked weak from what I saw of the Newcastle game, but we must not be complacent as Stoke are a very difficult team to beat at times.
Anyway that’s your lot for today, look out tomorrow for an interesting Transfer story, and more quality content throughout the week.