Chelsea Review: Kos We Deserved It

Arsenal 2 – 0 Chelsea

And so it came to pass…nope, did that one last week and it’s entirely unnecessary. Everything we weren’t against West Ham, Southampton and a host of other teams since Tottenham, we were yesterday. Questions about what Emery wants from his side were answered as we pressed Chelsea into mistakes and errors before overwhelming them.

It was genuinely surprising that the final score ended up at 2 – 0. Lacazette scored an excellent opener after Aubameyang missed one ‘sitter’ and another presentable opportunity. On another day, PEA would have scored one; someone else will pay the price for this profligacy.

Laurent Koscielny added the second off his shoulder and it was a moment of unbridled joy for a man dogged by ill-fortune in the past year. It might have been his second of the game, Kepa denying him from close range. A good save, yes, and perhaps a poor finish; 2 – 0 means it doesn’t matter.

Those are the moments the history books will record in their barest details; the reality of victory escapes their purview. A high-pressing game, the like of which we were promised before the season began has been seen only sporadically.

Yesterday it came back with a vengeance. The tireless pressing was consistently carried out by everyone in unison. There were few occasions where weak links emerged and the players deserve credit for that. Exasperation for not playing that way every week but praise on this occasion.

Unai Emery accommodated the style with a flat back four. No Mustafi, Monreal or Mesut; no M&Ms. The pairing of Bellerin and Kolasinac on either flank provided tremendous energy in denying Chelsea time and space, as well as prompting attacks and counter-thrusts.

Victory Is Sweet

There was a balance to the team not seen since we beat Tottenham and from that emerged the effectiveness in carrying out Emery’s gameplan. The brickbats and questions of the last week got their answer.

If only we could play like that every week. We’ll need to in the coming fortnight with games against United and City.

Chelsea had moments, not least when Pedro broke the offside trap and his lob over Leno span past the post. They came close on the stroke of half-time but the post came to our rescue.

The FA faces a testing few days. Marcos Alonso’s slap around Bellerin’s face was worthy of a red card and retrospective action is surely in order? I don’t hold out hope of this but football is full of surprises.

The half-time interval proved no release for the visitors. Maurizio Sarri launched a blistering attack on the players after the match, claiming in an astonishing outburst that they lacked self-motivation. Mo, we feel your pain; there have been plenty of Arsenal squads in the past about whom the same could be said.

Naturally, there was a price to pay for such a welcome victory. Hector Bellerin departed on a stretcher in such obvious agony that the worst must be feared. It will be some relief if he is seen in an Arsenal shirt again this season, particularly since the alternatives barely offered inspiration:

Lichtsteiner is another player for playing there and I think we have players. I don’t forget Jenkinson because he is with us, he played some matches and if we need [him], he is okay to help us.

Only had Emery remembered that Mustafi started out as a right-back could he have made the situation worse. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is forbidden to get injured…

Looking Forward

But the pairing of Sokratis and Koscielny deserve mention as well. Experience tells much in these situations and they delivered that in spades. One moment of celebration in the second half showed how much winning a tackle in this match meant to him; the Warrior pride and a cheap joke about the 300 on these pages, I’m sure.

Alexandre Lacazette won Man of the Match and rightly so. He and Ramsey ran themselves into the ground, before making way for Iwobi and AMN. Bellerin’s injury changed the thoughts once again with Elneny coming on minutes later.

Much like the aftermath of the win over Tottenham, there is a spring in the step this morning and instead of dread at the weekend’s cup-tie, optimism springs forth.

The intensity of the performance must be replicated in these big matches which we face. Is there any reason to believe we won’t? Thought not.

’til Tomorrow.

31 thoughts on “Chelsea Review: Kos We Deserved It

  1. YW
    You are right about a spring in the step today, it’s a good feeling to play well and win.

    Jonnygunner
    I let you win today 🙂

  2. Think how bad it could be. We might have to wear that travesty of a football strip worn by City today.

  3. YW,

    And that’s a sight better than the 3rd strip too. I can’t say what colour that is even. Gives me reflux just looking at it.

  4. If I didn’t have such a well earned hangover, I would have a super bounce in my step today. We defended . DEFENDED a lead. And with unrecognisable assurance aswell. It’s entirely possible that we won’t be able to replicate it very game, or even next week….when we are likely to need to….but at least it’s in there now. A chalk on the wall.

  5. That was quite an enjoyable read to partner quite an enjoyable performance.

    I know attacking wise he didn’t do much but I want to tip my cap to the work that Ramsey did man marking Jorginho and in doing so stopped their style and flow of play. He coupled with Aubameyang and Lacazette really spearheaded our press.

    I watched the match again and you can absolutely see why Lacazette was subbed, for 65 mins he not only pressed their defenders but CONSTANTLY tracked all the way back to our box and defended and tackled brilliantly. Well deserved MOTM for him for sure.

  6. Watching thr Fulham Spuds match and Chambers has been ABSOLUTELY brilliant as the DM not only putting Ericksen in his pocket but his quick thinking and range of passing is allowing for Fulham to break the Spuds press.

  7. C,

    Yes , Chambers looks like he may have finally found his best position although I’d prefer him at right back for us instead of the current understudies to HB.

    Looking forward, Emery has several options.

    Play Lichsteiner, AMN or Jenkinson in a four or five , try to convert someone else such as Nacho , Mavropanos or Gwen Doozi , or bring someone in ( presumably on loan).

    It’s probably the one position where we really don’t have even one reasonable alternative to the first choice option & this could be a huge issue for some time.

  8. Paulie Walnuts,

    Chambers has certainly found his best position under Raneiri. I personally don’t like him at RB because he doesn’t have the pace or quickness but DM seems to really suit his skill set.

    RB for me is Maitland-Niles because he offers the closest thing to what Bellerin brings to the side. Jenks and Lichtsteiner for me, well they are good for the cups. Mustafi would be an interesting option because he has played RB and likes to get forward but not sure Emery has that in his plans.

  9. Reports saying Suarez deal might be all but done and talk of us in for Gelson Martins on a loan would be brilliant business.

  10. C,

    Depends if you’re playing a four or five.

    Personally, I wouldn’t trust AMN in a 4 at this stage in his career.

    Clyne on loan from Liverpool would have been ideal but that ship has sailed.

  11. C,

    Only seen Chambers once this season and he was at RB and got shredded. And by one of the weaker offensive teams in the league (Cardiff.)
    He has to be at CB.

  12. Paulie Walnuts,

    I don’t mind him in a back 4 especially if we continue with the midfield diamond because Torriera is the midfielder on hia side so he will provide that extra cover.

    Clyne, not for me.

  13. Blue Yonder,

    He has actually been moved to DM and has played quite well. I think at DM he plays better knowing he isn’t the last line of defense and having comw up through the Southampton ranks during a time when development of futboling skills were key (they would experiment in the youth ranks playing defenders as attackers and ensuring that even GK’s were comfortable on the ball in tight spaces) he looks assured and shows off quite the range of passing.

    Not saying he is what we need or anything like that but absolutely looks a much better player at DM than he showed up to this point at RB or CB.

  14. Ytd’s outstanding performance was proof, if proof were needed, that Arsenal are capable of much better results than those of late. The pressing game does work but it needs to be a 90 minute thing.
    Has a corner been turned or was this just a teaser? Only The Shadow knows.

  15. The line up v West ham was weak. Having both guendozi and mn was too inexperienced especially for an away game. This is our best line up at the mo, torreira with Ramsey and xhaka. With bellerin injured we can’t risk having too much inexperience in the side. But it’s a big blow because we don’t really have any cover near his talent and we will be more vulnerable down our right.

    I will greatly miss and be sorry to see Ramsey go as he is an old school no nonsense good pro don’t make em like that anymore from a bygone era footballer which is showing in his attitude since being given the old it’s not you it’s me speech. But I have faith that e merry will find a top replacement .

  16. And the other point about Ramsey is I think he would shine under Emery, and his form under him has been very good. It’s a real shame Emery doesn’t fancy him.

  17. Dukey,

    I agree Dukey, it was our best line up and best defensive effort for a long time. Ramsey played well. He worked hard in defence though he did lose the ball a few times and his link up play was not great at times but I’m being uber critical here. Chelsea hit the post twice and missed a couple of other chances so it could of easily been a different score line. Not to mention Chelsea were poor overall. Mustafi on the right in place of Bellerin is the best fix at present. Jenks and LIcht are total shite and need to be shipped out.

    Ozil could of started at the top of the diamond and maybe created more but I’d say Ramsey does twice the defensive work and tracking which seems to suit Emery’s style. Maybe this is being too kind to Ozil but i think if we had a super solid back 3/4/5, a midfield 2 to provide decent cover and service which we almost have then we could still get a lot out of Ozil considering Ramsey’s out the door.

  18. Great post again yogi.

    Critical result and an encouraging performance. A really nice goal by Lacazette, tons of creativity and a really good defensive performance. Great game from kos. Onward and upward.

  19. @Bill

    Remember when me and you debates Dembele vs Courtinho at Barca….Dembele can’t atop scoring and being a match winner and Coutinho is struggling for match time because of it.🤣

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