Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea
After a thrashing at City, Arsenal welcomed Chelsea to the Emirates. The table was incredibly tight, and so Arsenal could either find themselves clear at the top of the table after a win, or fourth, should they lose. The Blues were obviously looking to gain on The Gunners, and so it was all systems go – for both sides.[quote_right]”Chelsea were sitting back, whilst Arsenal were struggling to penetrate The Blues’ midfield, let alone their sturdy defence.”[/quote_right]
The first half was largely eventless to begin with.
Chelsea were sitting back, whilst Arsenal were struggling to penetrate The Blues’ midfield, let alone their sturdy defence. As a result, the stalemate lasted until the half-hour mark.
The game ignited however, after Lampard thundered a shot from inside of the box after a clever Chelsea move. The ball rattled off the crossbar, and the game truly began.
For fifteen minutes thereafter, the tactical midfield battle opened up slightly. Arteta was throwing himself about, Ramsey was giving balls away, and Rosicky was sliding in at every opportunity. It was all a little reckless.
I hate having to blame referees, but unfortunately, I feel compelled. Minutes from the half time whistle, Arsenal were once again robbed by terrible officiating. Mikel and Arteta both went in for a loose ball, but Mikel’s studs ended up in Arteta’s shin, at an extremely dangerous angle. Mike Dean, who was just feet away, didn’t even flinch. It was almost certainly a red card.
From the same foul, Ozil brought the ball forward at pace, and into Chelsea’s box. He laid the ball off to Walcott, who was clearly kicked at the ankles by Willian. Theo went down upon contact, but Mike Dean was once again, uninterested.
The final whistle soon blew, and although Arsenal had played poorly, they deserved had deserved a penalty at the very least, whilst Chelsea deserved to be down to ten men.
Not much changed in the second half.
Arsenal were toothless in the final third, whilst Chelsea were pretty much cruising, not too worried about needing to get the ball forward.[quote_left]”In the end, neither team really did enough to win it, but Mike Dean certainly had a part to play in keeping the scores level.”[/quote_left]
Mikel Arteta was doing the dirty work in the middle, but he was getting little help for anywhere else. Rosicky was looking more and more fatigued as the clock wound down – yet Wenger kept his subs on the bench.
Chances for Giroud came and went, and in the dying moments, Chelsea predictably began to pick up the pace.
They threw on Schurrle, Oscar and Luiz, yet Arsene refused to make a change, despite players like Rosicky looking absolutely knackered. As a result, the final moments were a little nervy.
Yet, the game surprisingly just fizzled out without too much of a fuss. In the end, neither team really did enough to win it, but Mike Dean certainly had a part to play in keeping the scores level.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Had very little to do, but his distribution was once again suspect.
Put in a couple of good crosses, worked hard, but lost possession more than he should have. Refused to put his foot through it when under intense pressure in and around his own box.
Mertesacker: [8/10] – MOTM
No problem for Per. Torres was kept quiet with some excellent reading of the game, along with a brilliant last-ditch block. Organised the defence well for set pieces.
The skipper returned, and did his job very well. Thomas made a few good tackles, won his fair share of aerial battles, and looked at ease on the ball.
Not a stand-out game for Kieran. He got one or two good crosses in like Sagna, but he wasn’t able to make anything actually happen. Solid enough at the back.
Started poorly with some bad passing, but grew into the game over time. We needed him to scrap in midfield today, and he did that very well.
Not a great game from Aaron. He misplaced pass after pass, and hid for most of the match. Yet, he played in one or two very good balls to set up chances towards the end of the game.
Tomas was throwing himself about quite a bit, trying to help Arteta break up Chelsea’s tempo. Yet, he wasn’t doing enough offensively, and made a few wayward passes.
Theo was energetic, but couldn’t make anything happen in the final third. He made his runs, picked his passes well, and look a half-decent threat. But Theo really did well when it came to defending. He helped Sagna (and Gibbs) out massively at times, so credit to him.
Mesut got on the ball quite a bit, and tried his best to make something happen. Chelsea were set up to stop him playing, but he managedto make a nuisance of himself at times. Nothing actually came off though.
Hmm. Olivier worked hard, but yet again he missed a glaring chance. Ramsey’s ball over the stop sat up perfectly for Giroud to smash it home, but he sliced it instead. Did very well to get on the end of a cross a few minutes later, but the shot was saved. Needs a goal.
Subs? What subs?
[title]Difficult Point to Swallow[/title]
Without a doubt, I would have taken a draw at the start of the game. But in the end, this point was a hard one to swallow, due to two things.
Firstly, in the final few minutes, when Arsenal were crying out for a positive change to swing things in their favour, Arsene sat on his hands. With the scores level at home, you need to try to grab the goal. Chelsea made three substitutes, Arsenal made none.
Secondly, Mike Dean refused to award a red card to a bad tackle from Mikel, and a penalty after a foul on Walcott in the box. Both decisions were terrible.
But in all truth, both sides were poor offensively. Nobody really deserved to score, and nobody did. The point keeps us well and truly in the mix, equalling Liverpool’s 36 points. Goal difference is all that keeps us second.
Next up, West Ham. Let’s hammer ’em.
What did you think of the City vs Arsenal match? Let me know in the comments below!