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CHELSEA 2-0 Arsenal: A Case Of Chelsea Against The World?


Well, if our poor showing at Hull was put down to the carrying’s on in the press during the week then you’d have to suspect our players have been forced to sit in a darkened room wearing earplugs and having group hugs for the last few days because not only did the initial jeers from the away support appear to fall on deaf ears yesterday but the shift we put in defensively epitomised the word ‘team’.

I’ll be the first to admit to pre-match nerves given how disorganised we looked mid-week, particularly with United walking all over Pompey to nick top spot again Saturday.  The thought of a distracted and spiritless game against the likes of Fabregas and Arshavin had me fearing the sort of wounds we wouldn’t be able to patch up again before the real battle begins. And whilst we didn’t exactly inflict much in the way of prolonged pain on Arsenal going forward, our mental strength and unity showed the doubters our players are still very much up for the fight.

If all it took was possession, then Arsenal would have beaten us hands down because they had it in bucketloads. The trouble is, they appeared to have a leak. Because for all of their possession, all it took was a couple of quick counter-attacks from the man who loves playing them the most – and it was pretty much game over. Of course we still had to defend in numbers but as long as Arsenal insisted on trying to walk the ball into the net, we’d have been comfortable defending all night.

Carlo Ancelotti had already sussed how we’d play them before the off. We’d beaten them 3-0 this season already and if that game hadn’t given him enough clues, their suspect defending and lack of response against United last week would most certainly have formed his game plan. And despite Arsenal’s bright start, it took just 8 minutes for Didier Drogba to tap in John Terry’s flick.  Drogba’s second, on 23 minutes came courtesy of a Frank Lampard pass and took his tally against Arsenal to 12 in 12 games.  He almost had a third in the second half but unfortunately, whilst his shot had Almunia beaten, the bar had other ideas and it cannoned back out.

It’s not that Arsenal laid down and died for us though, for me they definitely put up a better fight than they did against United, they just don’t seem to be able to get past the niceties of the game and go for the kill. Arsenal are a pretty side, not a clinical side and our defence dealt with them admirably. So Wenger can argue for penalties and go on about them being ‘the better side’ as much as he likes, because until they learn how to come out of a scrap on top, they’re the one’s with the glass jaw.

Overall then, we might not have been at our best but it was still a very professional performance.  Arsenal could have had possession until midnight and I doubt they’d have got past our defence who were nothing short of immense on the day. Stands to reason why Petr Cech looked back to his unflappable best when he had that sort of solid, self assured defending in front of him.


CHELSEA: Cech, A Cole, Terry, Carvalho, Ivanovic, Mikel, Ballack (Zhirkov, 81), Malouda, Lampard, Anelka (J Cole, 86), Drogba (Kalou, 90)

Unused subs: Hilario, Ferreira, Alex, Deco

ARSENAL: Almunia, Sagna (Eboue, 73), Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Diaby (Rosicky, 73), Fabregas, Song, Walcott (Bendtner, 65), Arshavin, Nasri

Unused subs: Fabianski, Campbell, Ramsey, Denilson



CHELSEA: Didier Drogba 8, 23




Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


February 2010
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