Jose Mourinho had a game plan against Arsenal to flood the midfield with bodies to stop Arsenal’s tiki-taka style of play. The plan worked, as his tactics drove any creativity out of the game as Chelsea missed a chance to go top of the Premier League with a 0-0 draw at the Emirates.
The result left Chelsea second in the table, behind leaders Liverpool on goal difference while Arsenal dropped to fourth.
This was the second time that Mourinho has applied these tactics in a big game this season. The first time was in another dour 0-0 at Old Trafford early in the season.
And its a shame that Mourinho felt that Chelsea had to play this way in order to get a result. With the attacking and creative players they have, Chelsea should be a fun team to watch, but this season under Mourinho they are mission their swagger of old. Doing enough to be in the title chase without impressing.
Arsenal on the other hand have came through a difficult spell where they have played Everton, Napoli, Man City and now Chelsea. After playing so well early in the season it has to worry Arsene Wenger that his side have won none of those games. Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil, both so instrumental in Arsenal going top of the table appear to have hit the wall and are in desperate need of a break. But with the games coming fast and furious during the holiday season, it is difficult to Wenger to accomplish that.
The big winner on the night might well be Manchester City. City have the best squad in the Premier League and find themselves at Christmas only a point out of first place, despite struggling to win away from home this season. If Manuel Pellegrini can fix his teams away form, City might run away with the title in the second half of the season.