Way to Go Gunners!!
Did our Arsenal really go to the Champions League holders and smash them in their own backyard? WOW!! What a performance that was.
Mikel Arteta started with 3 Central Defenders, supposedly playing a 3-4-2-1 as I suggested they might yesterday.yesterday.
But it was a rather adventurous version of the 3-4-2-1/3-4-3 as once we were in possession, we had Saka playing as the normal wide forward. While on the other side, it was ESR. The game was a classic Chelsea v Arsenal encounter full of excitement and thrills from the first few minutes till the last. As Chelsea had the lions’ share of possession, we had to go in a deep 5-4-1 low block to defend which we did very well.
Here is my Match Ratings for the Gunners:
Ramsdale– Aaron Ramsdale has been a breath of fresh air to this team. His vocal presence, chemistry with Ben White and Gabriel and his antics have made him a lovable character. Yesterday, he played it out well from the back and picked out some nice passes. His judgements on aerial balls and his shot stopping have been under the radar recently. Needs to pick his game up, but the best thing about him is he is always in for a fight. Match Rating 6.5 out of 10.
Ben White – Played mostly on the right side of the defense. Couldnt have much chances to pick out his lovely diagonal balls since we did not have much possession and Chelsea was pressing intensely. Had a decent game though. Counted on the referee to give him a soft free kick on the Azpilicueta goal but dint get it. Overall a good performance. Match Rating 7 out of 10.
Rob Holding– A big performance from Holding considering he hasnt played in ages. A little rusty in the initial exchanges of the game but grew into it and looked solid specially when we sat back into his favourite 5-3-2 to lock Chelsea out of the game. Match Rating 7 out of 10.
Gabriel – Special focus on how his physicality neutralized Romelu Lukaku, Cast your mind back to the 2nd game of the season where Lukaku bullied Mari and scored. Gauging the reaction of our fanbase on twitter, I dont know how people call out Gabriel he is still what 24 and improving all the time. I mean I literally dont remember us having such a physically imposing CB in years. Match Rating 7.5 out of 10
Nuno Tavares- Tavares was Tavares throughout the game. Some moments were very good from him where he pressed and progressed with the ball with a Gallop. While at other moments he showed his lack of experience and poor defensive nous. He should have been covering up Azpilicueta for that goal but he was on snooze. His high pressing and awareness led him to pounce on a misplaced pass which led to the Nketiah Second goal. Match Rating 6 out of 10.
Mohammed Elneny- I think this was the masterstroke of today’s game from Mikel. Since Partey’s injury, he counted on Lokonga to do a job but visibly Lokonga looked a bit stressed when given such a big responsibility. We had no control in midfield over the past few games. Elneny like Holding was a bit rusty in the initial bits but grew into the game and had a wonderful game. He was integral to the midfield setup last night and had one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt. Match Rating 7.5 out of 10.
Granit Xhaka- Whenever Arsenal put up an immense performance against a big team, Xhaka is at the heart of it. I absolutely love his tenacity, and leadership qualities. Dont know why the fan base hates him so much. Brilliant again Yesterday. Match Rating 7.5 out of 10.
Odegaard- Odegaard was given the Armband for yesterday’s game by Arteta. Our young captain showed heart and matched the added responsibility with the performance. A little over eager at times and asked for the ball even when he was far far away- shows that he never hides away in any situation. The work rate was good, his passing and vision was still not as sharp to match his immense talent but he put in a performance to remember. Thankfully, his sublime touch didnt desert him yesterday. Match Rating 7 out of 10.
ESR (THE SMITH)- He took his goal superbly well after a sublime counter attack from us. Increasingly, I feel like he can be our secret backup #9 for the next season. After some brilliance in the box and quick feet, should have scored his second but unfortunately wasn’t to be. Has a cool knack of scoring at Stamford bridge. Match Rating 7 out of 10.
Bukayo Saka- Saka had a terrific game ultimately. Initially, he was as perplexed as everyone else as to what his role actually was in this formation and let Alonso have a couple of free runs. But Arteta corrected his positioning before it could hurt us too badly. 100% a penalty when Azpilicueta tried to be too clever with our star boy. The moment that nailed it was the confidence with which he picked the ball up to take that Pen. Nerves of steel, ice in the veins, you could use all the adjectives and still fall short of defining it. This truly is our next big thing here. Match Rating 7.5 out of 10.
Eddie Nketiah– Well, well Eddie Nketiah from the 1st minute of the game was at it when he set the tone of the Press. The intensity and the work rate he showed was terrific. His work rate and relentless pressing led to the first goal when a clearance from Tavares was chased by Nketiah. Christensen made a weak back pass and Eddie pounced on it. He was aerially solid and competed with Christensen and James very well. To be overcritical, his weak pass in our own half led to the first goal from Timo Werner so he needs to take care of the ball much more. MATCH RATING 8.5 out of 10
Martinelli – Came on for Nketiah and did his best to press. Lacked a little bit of rhythm but played his part well in the small time he was on the pitch. Match Rating 6.5 out of 10
Cedric – Came on for Smith Rowe, played as a RWB to see out the game. Had a big moment where if he had gone down, Malang Sarr would have been sent off. But fair play to him, he kept his feet and rightly so because he was in a great position. Just couldnt find the final ball. Match Rating 6.5 out of 10.
Lacazette- Too little time to be on the pitch to make something happen- The only positive is that Arteta has kept him in the loop still and he was visibly happy with Nketiah scoring his second. A very good team man. Love Laca.
More of the Same on Saturday Please……
Comments and Feedback always appreciated-
32-year old Arsenal FC fan since 2002. Started following Arsenal because of the gorgeous style of football they used to play and soon fell in love with WENGER-BALL. Still can’t believe how Mr. Wenger managed to make a very complex game look so simple and beautiful. Keen observer of tactics and love to analyse data and statistics. Passionate about writing on Arsenal-related stuff.