Jumbled & Fumbled: Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal

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With just six points separating the sides, this fixture was a vital one. Arsenal were looking to put last year’s devastating loss behind them, whilst Chelsea were focused on extending their lead at the top of the table.

The game started relatively even.

For some reason, Ozil was out on the right-wing, whilst Wilshere was occupying the number ten role. To make matters worse, Cazorla was in the Ramsey-role. Utterly bizarre.

Yet, the midfield was holding on well, and Ozil was getting involved going forward, looking positive as he did so.

A brilliant dribble from Hazard drew a foul from Koscielny inside the area, resulting in a penalty…

But, the stability didn’t last forever. A brilliant dribble from Hazard drew a foul from Koscielny inside the area, resulting in a penalty. Hazard stepped up, and tucked it into the bottom corner.

The momentum was with Arsenal before the penalty though, and the maintained it afterwards too. Chelsea weren’t as comfortable as the scoreline indicated. Unfortunately though, Arsenal couldn’t make anything click in the final third. Maybe because of a jumbled up midfield.

This continued into the second half, with the two midfields battling it out. Surprisingly, the two dangermen Costa, Welbeck, Fabregas and Ozil were now having quiet games, although the latter was out of position. Hazard and Sanchez were the bigger threats.

It took until the seventieth minute for Wenger to make the change that was so obvious. Chamberlain replaced Cazorla, and Ozil was shifted into the number ten role.

But it was too little, too bloody late.

In the end, Chelsea’s patient tactics against Arsenal’s baffling lineup was enough to take all three points.

A long ball over the top from Fabregas in the seventy-eighth minute was latched onto expertly by Costa, before he lifted it over an oncoming Szczesney. So easy, and against the run of play too.

The rest of the game was monotonous. Arsenal’s midfield was now tired, having passed the ball all game long to no effect, whilst Chelsea were happy to sit back and defend.

In the end, Chelsea’s patient tactics against Arsenal’s baffling lineup was enough to take all three points.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Szczesney: [5/10]

Starting to get on my nerves with his distribution. He opts for cute passes when the ball is crying out to be thumped down field, or even out for a throw. He constantly puts the defence under pressure. No big saves to make really.

Chambers: [6.5/10]

Callum had a tough game against Hazard, but I wouldn’t say he was run ragged. He got himself booked again, which means he will be banned for the Hull match, but he looked confident going into tackles, and tried to get forward too.

Mertesacker: [6.5/10] 

Can’t fault him for any of the goals, or for anything else really. A comfortable game.

Koscielny: [6/10] 

His tackle on Hazard was a clear foul, and he could have been sent off easily. He was off the pace when Hazard popped up in the second half too, but the ball was blasted over the bar. Should have dealt with Costa’s goal too.

Giibs: [6.5/10]

Kieran was okay defensively, but so wasteful going forward, as usual. He simply needs to improve his crossing and dribbling, if he is to be considered for England.

Flamini: [6.5/10]

Didn’t actually do much wrong, but he was just another cog in a soft Arsenal midfield.

Cazorla: [6/10] 

The first of three players played out of position. Cazorla was in the Ramsey-role, up against Fabregas, Oscar and Matic. Chelsea were walking past him, and he couldn’t create much going forward too. Had one shot go wide of the post.

Wilshere: [6/10] 

Played at number ten ahead of Ozil, and made pretty much nothing work. He held on to the ball for too long, couldn’t make the final ball, and his first touch was poor too. He worked hard and beat the odd player, but couldn’t create chances.

Ozil: [5.5/10] 

Even I’m frustrated by Wenger’s insistence to play Ozil out of position. I can’t begin to imagine how frustrated he is. He was on the right-wing today, up against Hazard and Azpilicueta, with Chambers behind him for support. He showed some good touches, but should have done better to hold on to the ball more. Looked better when he was moved into the middle, but the game was basically over by then.

Sanchez: [7/10] – MOTM

Our hardest worker and brightest spark  going forward. Tried his best to make effective runs, but the passes weren’t finding him properly. Man of the match by default

Welbeck: [5/10]

Hardly touched the ball all game. He had extremely low-level of delivery to be fair, but he didn’t do enough hassling and tracking back to warrant this as a good performance. Horrible two-footed tackle on Fabregas at the end, was fortunate to stay on.

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Substitutes

The Ox: [6/10]
Should have started the game, but came on too late to have any impact, despite injecting some energy back into the side.

Rosicky [N/A]

Jumbled & Fumbled

Arsenal’s  game was over before it even started.

Can you imagine playing a player as small and as weak as Cazorla in a key central position, against the likes of Matic? How about one of the best chance creators in the world, on the right-flank against Hazard instead of in the hole, where he thrives?

What on earth was Wenger thinking?

All logic pointed to a midfield of Flamini, Wilshere and Ozil, with the Ox on the right. It made sense, and would probably have worked a lot better. Instead, we had a jumbled midfield for seventy bleeding minutes. Seventy.

Sanchez and Welbeck were starved as a result, and by the time Chamberlain came on and Ozil was moved to the ten role, the game was gone. Even as I type, I can;t quite fathom what was going on inside Wenger’s head. Truly, truly baffling.

I was excited about Walcott coming back. Now though, I’m just afraid Wenger will use him as competition for Gibbs.

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