As usual, Chelsea made a slow start to the game, and also as usual, Arsenal came out of the blocks with great impetus and effort. But we survived that initial pressure, which featured at least one tremendous intervention from Thiago Silva, and then slowly made it a more even contest.
But the visitors remained the better of the two sides in a largely low-quality game, and Gabriel Jesus missed a great chance to reflect that on the scoreboard as well. At the other end, Chelsea’s rare forays forward generally ended with wayward passing or poor decision-making.
It was more of the same in the second half, before Arsenal took the lead just past the hour-mark thanks to some horrendous defending on a corner.
Chelsea’s response to going behind ... wasn’t much of a response at all. Pretty tame, all told.
- Three changes from midweek, with Cucurella in for the injured Chilwell, RLC in for Zakaria, and Silva back for a presumably not quite fully fit Koulibaly. Definitely a back-four, say 4-2-2-2 or 4-3-3, but Sterling staying wide right quite staticly. Mount and Havertz in free-ish roles, deeper and further forward, respectively.
- Safe to say that the tactical plan didn’t work very effectively, or at all. Little signs of any of the purported confidence boost from the midweek win, though plenty of signs of fatigue and a lack of effort.
- Chelsea still looking for our first win against Arsenal at the Bridge since 2018.
- Arsenal go back on top of the league. Chelsea down to seventh, level on points with Brighton, but behind on goal-difference. Ironic, that.
- Next up: Manchester City in the League Cup third round