By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal : Ospina, Maitland-Niles, Mertesacker, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Bramall, Ozil, Iwobi, Lacazette
Arsenal substitutes: Martinez, Bielik, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Elneny, Nelson, Malen, Nketiah, Giroud, Welbeck
Chelsea with a long ball and as Maitland-Niles is beaten Per has to stretch out one of his long legs to prevent further danger. Chelsea with the best start and Mozes just shut down by Arsenal defenders. Willian the next to get away after Maitland-Niles made a sloppy pass but his shot went wide. The pitch looking not really in the best condition as the ball bounces around a lot. Difficult to play the passing game and Chelsea more playing with the long ball. Arsenal not really creating anything dangerous in the opening 15 minutes.
Monreal suddenly limping when running back I think he just twisted his ankle a bit. Özil getting the ball on the right flank and a ball to Ramsey who came sliding in but he couldn’t make a good contact and the ball went wide. Ospina then first on a long ball just on the edge of the penalty area and colliding with Pedro. The ref gave a foul for a push from Pedro on Maitland-Niles. Pedro surely feeling the impact and having to come off. Lots of industry but not much good football from both teams at the half hour drank pause.
Chelsea almost capitalise on an error but Ospina with a good double save. The short corner comes back to Fabregas who is giving offside by the assistant so the goal from Batshuayi was ruled out. If it was offside it was close but it wasn’t really visible on the stream. But after 40 minutes Willian got away with the ball and curled it in from the post. I really cannot say it was not deserved. 0-1 for Chelsea.
Bramall then losing the ball and Batshuayi curles it in at the far post. 0-2 after 42 minutes. And Arsenal again lose the ball around their own penalty area but Xhaka can block this time. In extra time a good pass from The Ox finds Ramsey but the ball bounced too high and so Courtois could save the goal bound effort. A poor first half from Arsenal. I’m sorry to say but I fear some youngster will not make it. He can prove me wrong but I fear that Bramall is not really Arsenal quality. Not for opponents like Chelsea anyway.
Elneny, Coquelin, Welbeck, Giroud, Kolasinac and Koscielny coming on at the start of the second half. Giroud not being allowed on first as he was not on the teamsheet it seems. Chinese officials putting the dots on every i it seems. Only when Conte gives his approval Giroud can come on… Giroud just can’t get on the end of a cross from Ramsey.
That is a bit better from Arsenal at the start of the second half.
But then Alonso goes away on the left flank, The Ox slips and Alonso can go further and passes it to Batshuayi who scores from the edge of the penalty area. 0-3 for Chelsea after 49 minutes. Welbeck being fouled just outside the area. The wall stops but ball bouncing around in the Chelsea penalty area and Coquelin shoots just over the crossbar. Giroud then has a shot but straight at the keeper. Arsenal playing a bit better now but still too many bad passes and Chelsea stronger in the duels. The Chelsea players looking quicker on the day.
Willock and Nelson enter the field after some 70 minutes. Ospina has to make a good save when Chelsea again use the ball over the top. Kolasinac gets a deserved yellow card to stop another Chelsea counter. Martinez and Malen come on with some 15 minutes to go. I might have missed a few to be honest. We didn’t really make the Chelsea keepers work. Nelson on a nice run who is tripped but the ball goes to Malen who shoots against the post. And then Arsenal get another chance but Giroud can’t finish the pass from Koscielny. Koscielny making a stupid and unfamiliar mistake at the end of the match. Martinez with a nice save for the free kick.
Arsenal played with a more experimental team than Chelsea did from the start and we paid for it. We never found the cohesion in the team on the field. Chelsea didn’t really treated it as a friendly from the start till after some 70 minutes. We made a lot of bad errors deep in our own half during the whole match. That is something we must make sure we improve on against the start of the season. Chelsea took advantage on those errors by punishing us in 9 minutes with 3 goals.
Final conclusion: still some work to do for the boys and for Wenger.
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