Before the game I was optimistic as you can be when Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge:
Want to win GUARANTEED money?
Bet on Arsenal to lose against Chelsea 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0.
— Mike (@afc4life_uk) September 17, 2017
But on this occasion, I am more than happy to eat my words.
In the last decade, we’ve only won once at Stamford Bridge, when Arsenal won 5-3 and Robin van Persie scored a hat trick and John Terry decided that he forgot to move his legs and just gave up. While that was a great game and performance from Arsenal, the background to that match was that Andre Villas Boas was losing control of the Chelsea changing room.
And recently, we’ve been abysmal at Stamford Bridge, hence the above bet and tweet. It seems like every time we visit Stamford Bridge or Anfield, we play far too open and end up losing 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0.
But today, Arsenal played like a team.
Which this season hasn’t happened yet.
For the first time in a while, the formation, team selection and tactics were all spot on. Arsenal had Koscielny, Mustafi and Monreal in the back three, and had Hector Bellerin on the right (where he should be – not on the left!). And finally, finally, we had Sead Kolasinac where he was supposed to be, at left back!
Crazy I know Arsene but playing your full backs in the right positions might work!
Then we had Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in central midfield, both of whom had excellent games.
But whether Arsene Wenger had intended or not, the front three today were spot on.
With Alexandre Lacazette the spearhead of the Arsenal attack, he was flanked by Danny Welbeck and Alexander Iwobi – and it was a masterstroke.
That front three set the tone for Arsenal’s performance and all three of those players were full of running and ran their hearts out for the cause. They hustled, harried and put the Chelsea defence under constant pressure.
The amount of closing down they did was truly phenomenal and something we haven’t seen this season, mainly because of the way Mesut Özil plays.
Welbeck, Lacazette and Iwobi worked together and if it wasn’t for their example we wouldn’t have been good as we were because they set the tone, lifted the team with their passion and that’s why we should have beaten Chelsea in their own back yard – comfortably.
In terms of chances, Welbeck had a good chance with a header early on, Lacazette forced a good save from Courtois after Ramsey and Bellerin combined well – and overall we caused the home side all kinds of problems.
The performance from back to front was exceptional today and you will not find an Arsenal fan who was not proud of the lads today. They worked their socks off, gave it their all, were well organised and played like a proper team.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the goal we rich deserved and that’s a bit disappointing, but no-one can fault the performance and in a game where we usually get turned over, instead Arsenal have given the fans hope and optimism moving forwards.