Arsenal – Chelsea: 3-0 for a team without a centre forward

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.

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.

32 Replies to “Arsenal – Chelsea: 3-0 for a team without a centre forward”

  1. I can add to this I and my fellow members of Arsenal Belgium had a great day out in the TV studios. More on this later of course.

  2. For me the biggest moment of the game was when Gibbs used his right foot to clear the ball:) Joking, I heard Iwobi was named man of the match, but the whole team would have deserved it just as well.

  3. Great day all round….and food for thought for some.
    Even had a ref who didn’t seem to indulge Costa.
    Hope Coq is ok.

  4. Great performance from a team that seems to be finally gelling after so many false dawns! The only manager that seems to be having a very successful introduction to the EPL is Guardiola.
    Apparently Conte said that on paper Chelsea were an excellent team but on the field they were poor… that’s honesty.

    I believe we are seeing the following factors starting to take effect:

    1) Wenger’s transfer and youth development philosophywhich is now paying dividends with Iwobi,Bellerin, Coquelin and Walcott merging with the Ozil,Xhaka,Mustafi,Alexis quality in an impressive starting 11.

    2) The brillance of Cech, where he is able to remain at a very high standard despite Arsenal dominating the game and defending very well with Bellerin,Monreal and Gibbs being right on their games.

    3) The excellence of our midfielders and the bench strength available. This competition for places can only be a very good thing. To be able to slot in players like Giroud, Xhaka,El-Neny, Ramsey, Cazorla etc… a sure path to success.

    4) The PIGMOB seem to have lost control of their officials in Arsenal games. Costa got carded for dissent! The referee allowed the game to be played at a high tempo and managed it quite well!

    5) Wenger seems to be getting his starting 11 just right so far and the man who doesn’t do tactics seems to be doing it rather well so far this season.

  5. There seems to be a fair amount of medja presenting the idea that Coquelin will be out weeks, months. Maybe even years.

    Wenger said it will be 48 hours before more is known, superficially it is the same problem as last season.

    So the medja is just practising fear-mongering. Imagine that.

    I’m hoping the best for Francis.

    There was a twit on the website from Mesut, probably with respect to his giving his shirt to a youngster in the crowd. And another twit, from Wilshere.

    Drogba trolled Walcott.

    But, the U23 played their game against Chelsea which had 3 goals (2-1 to Arsenal at Chelsea) before the first team played at home. So, both 3 goal games and we got all the points.

  6. The crowd was very loud and boisterous and I felt that made it easier for us to play well.
    Am hoping that they will continue cheering the team on always , even if we are playing below par. The cheering drowned out even the commentators !

    There was some booing – and rightly so too ! Players of Costa’s ilk should always be booed !That is unless when he is being laughed at for his childish antics and diva turns!
    Cesc too was given his proper and due respect – none !

    And those that sportingly did not boo , cheered the booing !

  7. Intriguing report Walter and can’t wait to read about your time at the studio. Well done.

    However, you missed a tiny but important part in the match. Apart from the goals and other highlights including Speedy Gonzales Bellarin chasing down Pedro, I just can’t forget that Ozil’s no look pass on the right flank to Sanchez when we were 3 goals up. It was so amazing a repay had to be shown. It’s worth a £million.

  8. Intriguing report Walter and can’t wait to read about your time at the studio. Well done.

    However, you missed a tiny but important part in the match. Apart from the goals and other highlights including Speedy Gonzales Bellarin chasing down Pedro, I just can’t forget that Ozil’s no look pass on the right flank to Sanchez when we were 3 goals up. It was so amazing a repay had to be shown. It’s worth a £million.

  9. Square pegs and round holes – a true (?) confession –

    An engineer once said : ” When I was young I decided to go to medical school. At the entrance exam , we were asked to rearrange the alphabets –

    P N E I S

    and form the name of an important human body part which is most useful when straight. Those who answered SPINE , are doctors today, while the rest are Engineers ….!

  10. Sorry Brickfields, the spine is not straight.

    Engineers function quite nicely as scientists. Doctors should not be trusted with pencils.

    In Canada, there is a song with lyrics.

    The most observant man on Earth,
    an engineer _of course_,
    was the only man to notice,
    that Godiva rode a horse.

  11. Grandma was nearly ninety years of age when she won 1,000,000 pounds on the football pools. Her family were extremely worried about her heart and feared that news of her large win would come as too much of a shock for her.

    ‘Think we had better call in the doctor to tell her the news,’ suggested the eldest son.

    The doctor soon arrived and the situation was explained to him.

    ‘Now, you don’t have to worry about anything,’ said the doctor. ‘I am fully trained in such delicate matters and I feel sure I can break this news to her gently. I assure you, there is absolutely no need for you to fear for her health. Everything will be quite safe if left to me.’

    The doctor went in to see the old lady and gradually brought the conversation around to football pools.

    ‘Tell me,’ said the doctor, ‘what would you do if you had a large win on the pools – say one million pounds?’

    ‘Why,’ replied the old lady, ‘I’d give half of it to you, of course.’

    The doctor fell down dead with shock.

  12. This 65 year old woman is naked, jumping up and down on her bed laughing and singing. Her husband walks into the bedroom and sees her. He watches her a while then says, “You look ridiculous, what on earth are you doing?”

    She says, “I just got my check-up and my doctor says I have the breasts of an eighteen-year-old.” She starts laughing and jumping again. He says, Yeah, right. And what did he say about your 65 year-old ass?”

    She says, “Well, your name never came up.”

  13. This one is for ‘them’ , whose stupidity will keep doctors and shrinks well occupied forever !

    The doctor took his patient into the room and said, “I have some good news and some bad news.”

    The patient said, “Give me the good news.”

    “They’re going to name a disease after you.”

  14. switching subject back to the game, I feel we tend to forget Gibbs too often.
    He is the an academy product, if I am not mistaken.
    For all the hoopla about Bellerin, I feel he deserves a lot of praise.

    he saved us in the FA CUP win, he is hard at work and never complains.

    And it was surprising to see him playing left forward last night.

  15. Its not often i get the chance to see such a performance today. Arsenal in control. I could not find anything of note that was wrong besides the little lapses in concentration, which is pretty normal.

    Chelsea looked decidedly toothless and might as well have stayed home, but Arsenal worked and worked even though the work was not too hard they played like a team together.

    More of the same determination pleez.

  16. Chris:
    Yes, Gibbs is one of the mainstays of the team, always there when needed, comes in, does his job, and fades back into the shadows like batman.

    Not many players can put their personal “wunsche” aside for the Team that easily.

    DON’T want to jinx it, but aren’t we(Arsenal) being treated a little differently lately? A commentator calling us “irresistable”, (almost) no denigration through the whole game and “mouth acrobatics” trying to praise Arsenal, and penalties too, have i missed something?

    Because their mouths have not done this for a very long while, it starts to sound a little unreal!!! 🙂

    What’s going on? as Marvyn asked, indeed, what’s going on?

  17. @Chris. Gibbs came through the academy as an AML. He featured in that position against AC Milan at the Emirate Cup in 2007/08.. That’s why he is more of an attacking threat than Monreal and I guess that’s why he does not play as often too since Bellerin also gets forward quite well. The modern day game plan is to play one attacking fullback and the other to be more defensive.

  18. Great win. It’s nice to see the rise of our young stars like Iwobi.

    Is it me or have you also noticed the refereeing situation has improved this year? Yesterday’s ref did OK, and we have been receiving penalties for a change. Has the world gone mad?! 🙂

  19. Thanks for the report Walter. Personally I’m looking forward to a insight in to your day in the studio. I’m guessing, or is that hoping, you where sat along side a guy as a attached to Chelsea as you are to Arsenal, in which case that must of been fun.

    As for things changing, well it does seem some are, at least for now, and the most important is the refereeing.

    Regarding yesterday, starting with the appointment of Oliver. This in itself was a shock as we are so used to getting one of the dreaded cartel of stitch up merchants for Chelsea matches.

    I said before the game that I believed Oliver would put in a fair performance, and if he did so and didn’t fall for Costas antics especially, we would win the match, and that is exactly what happened.

    He refereed with an even hand, but most importantly he treated Costas whingeing and whining, every time he was tackled, with the contempt it deserved.

    To be fair to Costa in all other respects he was on his best behaviour. I didn’t see him as overly aggressive. I didn’t see him dive. He just didn’t like being tackled and coming off second best and in a way I don’t have an issue with that, as long as the ref just waves it away, and as I say, treats it with the contempt it deserves.

    And by the way, just to show that regarding a referee as ‘fair’ or not per say, doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with results, as prior to yesterday we hadn’t won a match in 13 attempts with Oliver in charge.

    So it’s not just a matter of if we win the referee is fair, if we don’t he’s biased.

    All my fingers and toes are crossed that this more even handed approach from the Referees continues.

    Well done Mr Oliver.

  20. Chris
    Yes Gibbs looked good, as he always does when he comes on in that particular role. We got him from Wimbledon’s academy ( and he joined ours) as a left winger/left mid and converted him to left back. He has a twin playing somewhere or other in the football league.

  21. Good one Walter…excellent rather.

    We know that whenever any team opens up to play, bar Barcelona, Arsenal will lick them. Chelsea yesterday apparently took it for granted they’d easily get the better of Arsenal and paid dearly.

    They didn’t apply caution from the off even when a forward trio of Iwobi, Sanchez and Walcott should have warned them to play deeper. Before they knew it Cahill had assisted one. And from that moment sitting deep was no longer an option for Chelsea. They came all out and got the real wrath of an Arsenal side that has waited for just that for years.

    I couldn’t believe Walcott’s performance yesterday. Sublime. Alexis was Alexis just like Ozil. We know both qualities. But the fulcrum of that immaculate performance was Iwobi. This Nigerian lad has something far beyond his age. Few at his level play with the presence of mind and selflessness. Iwobi knows what to do with the ball before it ever gets to him. He has exquisite close control, vision and quick thinking. I’d say part of Chelsea’s nemesis was underrating the lad. To play the football Wenger wants the likes of Iwobi is a blessing to the team. Check back to our equaliser against PSG. True Ozil delivered the pass to Iwobi…but I thought Ozil’s pass was over hit…but Iwobi killed the ball fantastically before firing a bullet on target. Keeper did magnificent to keep it out but Alexis was waiting. I now know why Wenger sent Joel Campbell on loan…with Iwobi fit the Costa Rican stands no chance in the side.

    I just hope Iwobi stays fit all through the season. He will win young player of the season.

  22. There has been a lot of media comment about Chelsea’s hold over Arsenal in recent seasons, with the themes that we found Drogba and then Costa etc unplayable, plus all the cliches about us lacking steel, bottle, backbone, leaders…etc.

    However, it is surely relevant that for many of the games during this period, we had to suffer the biased refereeing of Atkinson, Dean and others, which has been well documented by contributions to this site.
    More often than not, Chelsea got away with serious fouls with impunity (Ramires and Cahill come to mind), while we had one or two players sent off.

    Although he made a few mistakes yesterday, Mr. Oliver appeared to be fair and not biased.

    This must have been a factor affecting the result. If we had had similar fair refereeing in the last few seasons, there would have been a very different narrative.

  23. Thought he missed some pretty obvious yellows for Chelsea players. Luis ran ten yards to hack Sanchez from behind nowhere near the he ball with force and got a ticking off. Closer to red than yellow too in my opinion

  24. Congrats to all Arsenal worldwide! Finally we hve silenced d haters nd sworn critics; unfortunately they wuld always hve negatives about arsenal to mouth! Anyway it was a comprehensive rout of chelsea even if some blogs like Red London will regal us in its reportage with;’ arsenal managed’ to beat chelsea 3- 0; it was one manager last season who said, Wenger is unpredictable,he culd play Cech as center forward nd play Giroud in goal nd still get his result; am therefore not suprised Gibbs was played at Left forward last nite nd still did well. Iwobi is just awesome nd I pray he doesnt loose form along d line nd remains humble like AW said awhile ago nd continue to work hard(er).now dat d team has found its rythm nd form I hope they will work harder to sustain d momentum weekly, this is d main issue for d team,congrats again arsenal! Shallom!!!

  25. re:Gibbs…I like Gibbs but I have always got the impression that his complete lack of confidence in his right foot continues to limit his effectiveness on the left side because he can’t cut in and use his right foot either to shoot or to pass but must always switch it back to his left foot.

  26. Gord – just a little bit of information on your usage of twit. Twit is a term for an idiot. Birdsong in singular is tweet. Lots of tweets are grouped as twitter. So on twitter a single message is a tweet……it might have been sent by a twit,,, 😉 .

    Incidentally PGMO’s Oliver was not fair & balanced in his officiating. Coquelin was fouled several times with attacks to his knees. It was an obvious ploy to injure him. Some of the fouls drew a ‘telling off’ to the perpetrator. It was a lesson in how to get Arsenal injured whilst pretending to be fair. There was also a ‘telling off’ for Theo for a tackle that won the ball. Problem is from my seat I couldn’t tell if he made contact with the Chelsea player.

    Whatever happens in a match do not get complacent with PGMO officials. They cheat. The organisation is corrupt until it becomes transparent.

  27. Luiz ran ten yards to hack Alexis calf hard from behind, nowhere near the ball, just a talking to from Oliver, certain yellow at least

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