What a way to start a new era. Chelsea defeat last night -an extension of their month and a half slump, signaled a shift of power in London. We might hope that was also a shift of power in Premier League. The experienced but ageing players were replaced by the young yet were coming of age players. Chelsea were outplayed, out-thought, out-paced by Arsenal handsomely. Three wonderfully taken goals shattered their “formidable” defense apart. Chelsea were full force last night with Terry, Lampard and Essien returned from their injuries. They only missed Alex, but we also missed Vermaelen. However, the result contrasted the outcome at Stamford Bridge in October. A well deserved win for The Gunners last night.
Wenger altered the formation by choosing Van Persie, Walcott, Djorou in dispense of Chamakh, Arshavin and Squillaci and it paid off. We were tactically brilliant with Walcott made sure their left back (who-shall-not-be-named) couldn’t provide any threat forward. Even worse, two of our goals came from their left side, provoking Szczesny (@53Szczesny53) to tweet, “Get in there! Great win and very important 3 points. I must admit their left side of defence was really weak though… lol.” That young lad is quickly becoming fan favorite, isn’t he? No doubt he’s our future No.1.
The decision to ask Van Persie spearheading our attack made sense since Chelsea definitely would play with men behind the ball instead playing with a high line defense. Van Persie could exploit the space in front of him better than Chamakh. There’s no use to try to score from crossings since Terry will win most of the headings. Logically Van Persie in this game will be more effective than Chamakh and it was proven by our second goal. For tactical analysis of the match, Zonal Marking as usual is my favorite. Here’s the run down of the three goals that should be remembered by every Gooner. This could be the start of ripening fruits of what we have planted since 5 years ago.
43 min – Receiving the ball from Nasri, Song moved the ball to Wilshere while running into the box. What a forward movement for a defensive midfielder. Wilshere passed the ball to Fabregas and he was tripped by Ferreira. Without a second of hesitation, Song swept the ball in front of him, the ball went to the far post. 1-0 to The Arsenal.
Song has been criticized recently by Gooner for his gung-ho forward approach, sometimes abandoning his role as the protector of the back four. But we should have known that they were well prepared drills by Wenger for this kind of match. Song could make a difference when no one from the opposition expects to mark him. It did pay off and again, Wenger knows.
50 min – Five minutes into the second half, Koscielny passed the ball to Van Persie. Suddenly he was surrounded by three Chelsea players resulted in Essien touched the ball and it went backward. Walcott ran from Chelsea left back blind side, making him looked amateurish, latched into the ball and passed it graciously to Cesc while jumping over Cech. The captain couldn’t be happier provided the sweet plate in front of him, so he passed the ball effortlessly to the net. 2-0 for The Arsenal. He was finally clear from his “mind injury”.
52 min – Two minutes after the second goal, Fabregas returned the favor to Walcott. Again, Walcott escaped from his marker, he-who-shall-not-be-named (we would struggle to see him on TV so maybe he was the one who escaped from Walcott), robbed the ball from Malouda and passed it to Fabregas for a one-two. With his confidence at high, he shot the ball to the far corner. 3-0. Man of the match. Game over.
A consolation goal by Ivanovic at 60 min didn’t cause us trouble. Chelsea never looked threatening for the rest of the match. They were tired and their bench lacked of inspiration. Comparing Chelsea bench with ours give us idea how much this squad have developed and how thin Chelsea’s are.
As Wenger said, “This win has a double impact. Mathematically, it keeps us in touch with the leaders of the league. And psychologically, it was important. We were questioned about our capability of winning big games.”
The curse has been broken. We have dispelled the myth that we can’t win big games. Fabregas scare has been washed away. So please win us the trophy Captain, so we can confirm this is indeed the beginning of a new era in football. For the moment let’s rejoice, we deserve this win after patiently waiting for 5 years. Be happy, Gooners!