Earlier we covered Arsenal’s 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge from an Arsenal perspective.
I cannot remember a worse defensive performance by Chelsea than what we saw today. Almost from the opening whistle, it seemed like both teams said lets forget about defence and see who can score more goals than the other. It was pure playground stuff, and it was Arsenal who scored more, as Chelsea lost 5-3 at home. It is the first time that Chelsea have conceded five goals at at home in a top-flight league match since 16 Dec 1989.
Where to start?
- How about at the back where Petr Cech was repeatedly beaten at his near post for Arsenal goals. Even Santos goal, right at the beginning of the second half was something I thought he should have saved.
- Can anyone remember the last time the Chelsea back four was ripped open so often as they were today. Arsenal scored five and missed probably another five great chances. Terry and Ivanovic were simply terrible, and Walcott gave Cole more than he could handle.
- Arsenal’s best player was Aaron Ramsey and he played in that number 10 spot between the forwards and midfield players. In that position, he is the responsibility of Mikel, he unfortunately never got near him all day. I have said this before, but since Essien started to get injured Chelsea have lacked a top-quality defensive midfield player. Mikel is simply not good enough.
- Mixed feelings on the rest of Chelsea’s midfield. Going forward they were great. They carved Arsenal open time and time again, creating lots of chances and helping score three goals. But that cavalier attacking style left Chelsea vulnerable to the Arsenal counter-attack. Chelsea needs a better balance between attack and defense as they have not kept a clean sheet in the league since the opening weekend against Stoke.
- Up front Sturridge was terrible. Missed a sitter in the opening minutes and also had another great opportunity to lay balls across the box for Torres or other Chelsea players and simply overplayed them. Torres I thought was quiet. That might have been because the Arsenal defence was overly worried with Torres and that created space for everyone else, or maybe he was just poor. Depends on what side of the Torres fence you are on.
- So big loss for Chelsea not only in the standings, but because it gives Arsenal hope that they can compete this season. Chelsea had an opportunity to leave Arsenal 9 points behind them and effectively end any hope of the Gunners being involved in the title race. But now Arsenal are only three points behind and gaining confidence.
- On the other side, if Man City win today, Chelsea will be 9 points behind Man City as they have lost three of their opening ten league games. While there is still a lot of football left, that is very big gap and if if gets any larger, you have to wonder if Chelsea can overcome it this season.
What are your thoughts on the match today?