The Gallant Gunners Fight Against The Champions (with Player Ratings)

Flamini Has The Va-Va-Voom!

What a game!

Whatever the pre-match hype might have been about, the game itself was all about the players still in an Arsenal shirt and they proved once again that if you write them off they will produce.

And just like against Manchester United we scored a late goal which would usually win the game, but this time Chelsea still found time to get the equaliser – and maybe could have had a bit more!

But Arsenal without Toure, Henry, Gallas, Rosicky and Lauren – essentially the senior members of the squad – the young guns did us proud. The character the players showed against Chelsea was fantastic – and the defence consisting of under 21’s did brilliantly, despite showing signs of inexperience.

Arsene decided to leave out Freddie which was the right decision based on his recent performances, so it was Mathieu Flamini would fill the 5th midfield spot along with Gilberto, Fabregas, Van Persie and Hleb.

The game was frenetic and both sides had decent chances – with Alexander Hleb missing a big, big chance to steal the match. But as it stood Arsenal would probably be happy with a point, although 3 would have been a fantastic result.

The last 15 minutes were so high tempo and Chelsea could have nicked the winner, after replacing the lacklustre Schevchenko with Robben and SWP. The final act of the game was Frank Lampard’s shot that Flamini deflected onto the post after Lehmann spilled from a Robben shot – at the end Arsenal were holding on.

But like Arsene, I was more than proud of the players for their character and the perfomance against Chelsea. That feeling is something no amount of money can buy.

Below are my player ratings for the Chelsea game:

Jens Lehmann – 6/10
Did not have much to do at all until the last 10 minutes, when Chelsea piled forward in numbers. Could have cost Arsenal with dodgy goalkeeping from a corner which luckily Fabregas cleared off the line, and spilled Robben’s shot at the end for Lampard to shoot against the post. Also got involved in stupid antics with Didier Dog Bra.

Emmanuel Eboue – 6/10
Lost the ball in important positions which could have cost Arsenal. Did bomb forward to support Hleb and made some good runs on the right hand side. Struggled with Robben when he came on late in the game.

Philippe Senderos – 7/10
Like Eboue lost the ball carelessly at times which put Arsenal under pressure. Coped with Drogba reasonably well and restricted him to half chances.

Johan Djourou – 8/10
Fantastic at the back keeping Schevchenko quiet and recovered well with his pace and positioning. Didn’t make a mistake and more than capable cover for Gallas and Toure.

Gael Clichy – 8/10
Brilliant on the left – supporting well and confident at the back. Played in Freddie for the cross that Hleb should have scored from for the winner.

Robin Van Persie – 6/10
Played well early on in the match when Arsenal kept possession but once we were on the back foot couldn’t really contribute to the game and was isolated in attack.

Gilberto Silva – 10/10
Man of the Match. Protected the inexperienced backline well and made some vital interceptions and tackles – the most vital stopping Drogba tapping into an empty net after Lehmann saved from Robbens shot. Showed real maturity when things got heated and calmed everything down. A real captains performance, simply outstanding.

Cesc Fabregas – 7/10
Worked hard in midfield and helped Gilberto out well but found it hard to impose himself in an attacking role with only Adebayor upfront. Had a shot in the second half which should have tested the keeper much better. Never stopped running.

Mathieu Flamini – 8/10
Gave 110% as he always does and scored the important opening goal. Fantastic link up play with Hleb for the goal and great positioning to take his chance. Defended well and made that hugely important deflection from Lampard’s shot onto the post in the last minute of the game.

Alexander Hleb – 7/10
Gave the ball away cheaply at times but generally kept the ball well. Never afraid to take on players and looked like the man to make something happen in the final third. Created the goal for Flamini and defended well with Eboue but missed a huge chance to steal all 3 points.

Emmanuel Adebayor – 8/10
Found it hard to play up on his own but never stopped making runs and looked a threat when he had the ball. Took on Terry and Carvalho and showed some decent skills and pace.

Freddie Ljungberg – n/a
Only played the last 10 minutes and made a great chance for Hleb to score.


8 thoughts on “The Gallant Gunners Fight Against The Champions (with Player Ratings)

  1. I would hope that Arsenal fans can come to understand that our team is simply inconsistant because they are young. These guys get up for the big games, I will predict that Arsenal will not lose this year to Man U. Chelsea, Liverpool or Tottenham, because they are focus. If you notice they are losing and drawing against the weaker teams because they are overlooking them, this is the problem with youth. Please everyone be patient and in two years we will rule europe.

    American Gooner

    Why did Batista not play today?

  2. Why is everybody asking for Baptista to play? Has anybody seem him do anything?
    Be that in a Real Madrid shirt, Arsenal shirt, Brazil shirt…?

  3. did anyone else think cole was a complete twat today? he and the rest of the chelsea players kept screaming at the referee AFTER EVERY DECISION. that team are pathetic!

  4. Chelsea players always whine to the ref for almost every decision against them , it happens week in week out. They arent the only team mind you, as all teams can be guilty of that at times. But they do take it to new levels alright. The cure for it is to either book the player or move the freekick 10 yards forward, or both. that will soon see an end to it.

  5. Pretty much spot on for the player ratings there, although I though Lehmann should have got a 10 for his very sly ‘knee’ into the back of Schevchenko.

    Now that was priceless!

  6. It is only a matter of time this season that Lehmann will give away a penalty by shoving people. Getting involved with Dog Bra was needless. Good article here. On Djourou: “Didn’t make a mistake and more than capable cover for Gallas and Toure”. He made only one mistake when he was caught with the ball trying to turn or something and everyone had to chase back. I noticed that DogBra switched roles and tested both defenders. Djourou was definately more assured. Spot on on his ratings.

    Eboue needs to be more of a ruthless defender. Chelsea tried our full backs and Mourinho was quick to spot weaknesses by bringing on SWP and Robben. SWP was quiet, well done to Clichy but Robben kept marauding. We need more defensive ruthlessness from Eboue. He really does play like Garrincha (Brazil) but imho I think he needs to grow up fast. Cut out the whinging and stop backing up when a player is running towards him.
    Gilberto was captain fantastic.

  7. Yeah, I agree about Robben and SWP – Wrighty was quiet but Robben almost created the winning chance or could have even scored himself. I think Lauren’s return in the new year will do nothing but add to the squad as his experience is invaluable, and will hopefully make Eboue take the step up to the next level.

    Arsenal’s main problem is at the back where there hasn’t been a settled defence all season. Hopefully come the new year we can have a back line of Lauren, Toure, Gallas & Clichy. That will give us stability we need to push on and hopefuly put the pressure on United and Chelshite. Hopefully Henry will be back to his best after as well after his extended break and fresh for the rest of the season.


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