By Walter Broeckx
A bright start from Arsenal who immediately took the game in hand and went in search for the attack. Chelsea sitting deep as expected and defending numbers from the start. A new manager but nothing changed at first sight.
Alexis winning the ball in the Chelsea half and Arsenal pressing Chelsea and pinning them against their own penalty area. A good shot from Cazorla but Courtois punched it away. Costa on the counter with Koscielny, Costa making the foul first with a clear push but then the ref gave the foul against Koscielny when the latter tripped Costa. Arsenal can clear the free kick. Alexis with a shooting chance after a run from Theo but a defender blocks for a corner. Fabregas with a late challenge on the ankle of Coquelin but ref gives an advantage. Should at least be a yellow card against Fabregas.
Cahill turning the wrong way and giving Alexis the chance to take the ball away from him. Alexis on his own with Courtois and with a delightful chip he lobs the ball over Courtois! GOAL !!!! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 12 minutes.
Arsenal keep on pressing forward and a combination over I don’t know how many stations comes to Iwobi in a central position, Iwobi to Bellerin on the flank who immediately puts the ball across the goal to Theo who was in the center forward position. GOAL!!!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 14 minutes. What a neat finish by Theo was that. No chance for Courtois to save that. The Emirates in full noise mode after 15 minutes of play with Arsenal leading 2-0.
Cech being attentive when Fabregas almost can intercept a pass at the end. Kos and Mustafi being very sharp in the duels with Costa and beating him each time. Alexis with a shot after again some good high pressure from Arsenal but it goes wide. Arsenal just pushing Chelsea back who can’t get close to Cech at all. Hazard setting up Willian after 20 minutes but the shot goes wide. The first real attempt of Chelsea in the match. Theo and even Özil and battling when Chelsea goes a bit forward to win the ball back. That is the spirit we like to see. Alexis with a back heel to Bellerin but Cahill can block his goalbound shot. Coquelin with a brave tackle to block a shot from Kante and stays on the floor. Arsenal counter with Iwobi to Alexis who gives it back to Iwobi and Ivanovic brings him down just outside the penalty area. Foul and a yellow card as Luiz was still in a position to make a tackle. After a treatment Coq can restart and the free kick from Alexis at the other end is diverted in to corner by the wall. From the corner Coquelin tries to play the ball but immediately signals his match is over. A possible knee injury from the block. Xhaka comes on after 31 minutes in the place of the unlucky Coquelin who was running midfield for Arsenal.
Kos and Mustafi keep on dominating against Costa. Arsenal continue to press Chelsea back for most of the time. A low cross just can’t find Alexis or Iwobi. Hazard gives it to Özil but he also loses the ball when a good counter could have been on. Costa with a shot but a good block from Kos. Kos then wins the ball back at the Arsenal penalty area. Plays it to Özil who with a majestic turn fools Kante completely and suddenly Özil and Alexis are on their own against 2 Chelsea defenders. Özil with the pass at the exact right moment to Alexis who looked up and saw Özil turn up at the other end and his cross was met with the left foot of Özil who beat Courtois with a bouncing volley that went in from the post! GOAL!!!! 3-0 to The Arsenal after 41 minutes! What a first half performance from Arsenal. Completely in control and bossing Chelsea from the first minute on.
Arsenal controlling the match at the start of the second half letting Chelsea getting a bit more forward now but Kos and Mustafi were always master of the situation and didn’t give Costa one inch room. An excellent Arsenal attack over Alexis, Iwobi, Özil to Xhaka who played it in to Walcott who was on goal but with a difficult angle. He tried to pick out Alexis with his cross but it went just over the head of the Chilean. 5 minutes later another Arsenal attack but the pass to Özil was just a bit behind him and in the end Xhaka his shot was blocked. Bellerin with another run forward forcing a corner that didn’t bring much. Alexis to Özil on the right flank who played it to Theo in the middle but his control let him down and the chance was gone. Chelsea still toothless after one hour gone.
Thanks to good pressure from Alexis Chelsea almost got caught out but this time Cahill could clear the ball. Arsenal now leaning back a bit looking at what Chelsea could offer going forward…. a tame shot from Ivanovic that almost ended up against the clock. (little exaggeration) Iwobi sending Theo away who could have gone down under a challenge from a Chelsea defender but Theo stayed on his feet and was one on one with Courtois. But this time the Belgian keeper could parry his effort with his foot.
Iwobi then went off after 69 minutes and Gibbs came in his place. Gibbs intercepting a pass but Alexis couldn’t find him in the Chelsea penalty area as a defender cut out the pass. Koscielny then losing the ball at the halfway line, Pedro looking to be on his way to Cech but what is that? Is it a plane? Is it a rocket? No it is Hector speedy Gonzalez Bellerin who sprinted past the Chelsea attacker and put in a great blocking tackle. After 78 minutes Alexis came off and Giroud came on. Alexis who was at the start of the demolition of Chelsea.
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Gibbs having to clear a low cross from Chelsea that went in front of the Arsenal goal. Kos pushing Costa a bit but the ref gives an advantage and when Costa reacts furious he gets a free kick against him and a yellow card. The Emirates crowd loving it. But then suddenly Batshuai is found in some space and goes one on one with Cech but the Arsenal keeper blocks the effort in to a corner, the first for Chelsea after 83 minutes!
Giroud at the other end with a poke at the first post but the ball goes over. The Arsenal crowd is singing about the greatest team the world has ever seen. Arsenal win their 9th corner of the match after a Monreal cross. Only one Arsène Wenger is being sung loud by the stadium. Yes, there is. Giroud almost being found but a defender can block his attempt. Xhaka almost finds Giroud again but Courtois first on the ball.
Arsenal won this match in an unbelievable easy way. Arsenal was way too strong for this Chelsea team on the day. 3-0 was the final score and keeping in mind that Arsenal didn’t go full out in the second half, it could have been more.