As hosts in today’s encounter, Arsenal tried to start out as hot as they could with the combined speed of Hector Bellerín and Gabriel Martinelli. The former’s cross was not cleared by Chelsea centre-back Thiago Silva, falling on the fellow Brazilian to shoot.
Thankfully the young man could not get a proper touch on the ball. Otherwise the Blues would begin the match today in deep trouble.
Chelsea tried to answer via Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, the former winning a free kick near Arsenal’s penalty box for the latter to take and almost bend it into the goal. The attempt did beat the wall in front of the English midfielder, but did not have enough of a curve to go into the back of the net.
From that point on Chelsea began challenging the hosts with their chances at goal, with both sides seeing good shouts from their attempts. That until the softest ever penalty was given in favour of Arsenal, with Kieran Tierney either throwing himself to the floor or being a complete lightweight upon the mere presence of Reece James behind him.
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette stepped up to take the spotkick, and converted the chance. No divine intervention to correct this injustice!
Unfortunately the goal boosted Arsenal’s confidence, with their players seemingly ignoring their poor form up until this very match. The second goal would soon come after the penalty via Granit Xhaka, with a free kick given away by N’Golo Kanté in a rare mistake from the Frenchman.
A double change at half-time, with Jorginho and Callum Hudson-Odoi entering the pitch in place of Mateo Kovacic and Timo Werner, was the call made by manager Frank Lampard to try to change the course of the match. But what we got instead was a freak goal from Bukayo Saka, whose cross fools everyone — including himself — to fall into our goal.
At least we got a consolation goal via Tammy Abraham, with an assist from CHO. And also a penalty, with Jorginho’s effort defended by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno. The textbook definition of “too little, too late”.
- First-choice fullbacks are back! Truly a Boxing Day surprise.
- Subs are Jorginho for Mateo Kovacic, Callum Hudson-Odoi for Timo Werner and Kai Havertz for N’Golo Kanté.
- Arsenal seven-match winless streak is over, all thanks to poor decision-making from the referee... and Chelsea.
- We really need to put an end to our wastefulness in front of the goal in the early stages of a match. An opening goal wildly swings the balance of a match, and Arsenal have proven that today.
- Next up: Aston Villa for the Premier League at Stamford Bridge in... 48 hours??? Holy moly!