Some could say it was refreshing seeing Chelsea lining up on a 4-2-3-1 instead of the usual 3-4-3 scheme. But any goodwill from this would be gone as soon as we saw how Chelsea was in their best selves even when weighing in the usual pre-season rust.
Arsenal were the best team on the pitch from kick-off and they continued their domination throughout the first half. With sharper passing, better movement on and off the ball and the Blues being unable to figure out how to fill gaps in a back-four, the Gunners easily found scores via Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard at minutes 15 and 36, respectively.
Back on the 3-4-3 in the second half, Chelsea were much better. Playing with a familiar tactic helped the team just as much as Arsenal not being as keen to score as they were in the first half, with the Blues dominating possession but not doing nearly enough to create chances against their opponents tonight.
And even though Arsenal had done little in the second half, a hard enough push from the Gunners was enough to give them a third goal tonight. Bukayo Saka scored on the rebound after two consecutive saves by Mendy.
That was unfortunately not all for us. From a Cédric cross, Sambi Lokonga scored Arsenal’s fourth on a basically free header in the last minute of the match.
- First half XI (4-2-3-1): Mendy | James, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Emerson | Gallagher, Jorginho (c) | Mount, Sterling, Havertz | Werner
- Back to the 3-4-3 at the beginning of the first half, with Malang Sarr, Thiago and César Azpilicueta in the backline, and Reece James and Marcos Alonso as wing-backs. Christian Pulisic, Mateo Kovacic, Michy Batshuayi, Hakim Ziyech, Ethan Ampadu, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kalidou Koulibaly were the ones who rounded up subs in the second half
- Timo Werner always tries his best, but some days his best is just not good enough for us
- Trevoh Chalobah was having a torrid day on the pitch before leaving the pitch due to injury. Hope all is well with him!
- Conor Gallagher was (deservedly) the subject of much praise in our first pre-season match, but his brightness diminished against Charlotte and also today against Arsenal. Hope is not all lost, but this was still quite rough to take in
- Hello, Kalidou!
- Next up: Udinese at Stadio Friuli in Udine, Italy, as our last pre-season match