Chelsea Don’t Just End Our Title Challenge, But Show Us We’re Miles Away

Arsenal (0) – (3) Chelsea
The Emirates Stadium, London

At the start of the season, people were saying that this is the most open title race in years. Everyone of the Top Four could possibly win it, and teams like Tottenham and Manchester City could also threaten at the top.

But after today, it’s clear it’s a two horse race.

Chelsea had too much power, too much class and more importantly the ruthlessness to win football matches that we don’t have.

Credit to Chelsea, they gave us a footballing master-class and showed us exactly where we need to be if we want to even consider winning the title.

And while I was optimistic what a win would do for our title hopes, the performance from Chelsea clearly showed a gaping chasm in the level both teams are at. Chelsea are on another level, while Arsenal are simply miles behind.

The gap is now 11 points, and while Chelsea and Manchester United are going from strength to strength and their performances are getting better and better, Arsenal have hit a slump at a vital time of the season. That’s two defeats, no goals and some terrible defending.

We’re virtually in Liverpool territory now in regards to our title hopes.

Before the game, the biggest worry was that Chelsea would pick us apart. This game played into their hands – Arsenal will always be open and attacking at home, so all they had to do was sit back and catch us on the break. And their superiority in class showed at the end of the day.

Arsenal, as usual, had a lot of attacking possession but Cech literally had nothing to do. The frustrating thing was that instead of pulling the trigger, Arsenal wanted to play that one extra pass that would inevitably be intercepted by Chelsea or wasted by Arsenal. I can’t believe now many times Arsenal had half a yard of pace and could have taken the shot on, and Eduardo was particularly guilty of wasting the ball in key areas.

I realise that Denilson has been out injured, but he was extremely poor today. He lost the ball so many times, and took too many touches instead of releasing the ball early. I couldn’t believe it when Song was replaced instead of him at half time.

Chelsea’s goals were just typical Chelsea – classy, incisive and yet simple in execution. All the worry was the left side of our defence with our third-choice fullback Armand Traore replacing Clichy and Gibbs but it was from the other side where we were punished. Both of Chelsea’s goals in the first half came from simple crosses from Ashley Cole. The first was turned in expertly by Drogba (which always seems to happen against Arsenal) and the second was inadvertently scored in similar fashion by Vermaelen.

After that the game was pretty much over, barring an early goal from Arsenal. As time ticked away, Arsenal once again looked for that perfect goal instead of just putting their foot through the ball, and with Chelsea’s defensive power it was straight forward for the league leaders.

Arsenal had a couple of half chances but nothing clear cut, and Drogba hit the final nail in the coffin as he smashed a freekick late on.

Cesc Fabregas looked lost in the middle and as the second half went on his body language summed up how Arsenal supporters felt. In one instance, he lost the ball and then just gave up. Can you blame him? Fabregas has been extremely loyal to Arsenal but you wonder how much disappointment he can take. This was a crushing defeat and we never looked like winning this game.

Arsene told us that our young side has matured and were ready to beat Chelsea, but unfortunately I didn’t see a difference between today and last season’s defeat to Chelsea were we lost 4-1.

There was a massive gulf in class and quality then and it was the same today.


34 thoughts on “Chelsea Don’t Just End Our Title Challenge, But Show Us We’re Miles Away

  1. leave beautiful football out of this.we need to win games and we need to win them fast ,if we want a title.the only positive i can take out of this game was that we can attack…arshavin should have scored that pass he received from theo ,eduardo is still dreaming and fabregas is getting frustrated by the min…..chances came and went by ….but we couldnt capitalize on any…on the other hand we have chelsea fc….2nd best throughout the game but the difference was this..

  2. leave beautiful football out of this.we need to win games and we need to win them fast ,if we want a title.the only positive i can take out of this game was that we can attack…arshavin should have scored that pass he received from theo ,eduardo is still dreaming and fabregas is getting frustrated by the min…..chances came and went by ….but we couldnt capitalize on any…on the other hand we have chelsea fc….2nd best throughout the game but the difference was this..

  3. its the same team as last season thats why. they werent good enough last season this sorry lot . wat makes this season any different. wenger should think seriously of packing in. this kids thing doesnt work, never will

  4. I didn’t see a footballing masterclass either by Chelsea either. Chelsea put their chances away and defended well.The couple of chances that they had, they stuck away. The chances that we did have, we took too many touches or faffed around as usual. Walcott was doing it, Eduardo as well. We didn’t have a poor game, but just a predictable one. Now instead of passing through the eye of a needle, it is giving it to Sagna to put a cross into the box to one guy in red surrounded by about five defenders. It’s poor tactics at the end of the day.

  5. Sm1 tell wenga,dis policy sucks n wnt work,he’s achievd d best he cn..mayb a takova is a blesin..arsenal is a laugh nw…wit dis xter,anoda 4-1 loss luks likly in d cl

  6. The one thing Chelsea do not have is class- either as a club or a team that plays with 9 men back most of the time. They were made to look better than they are by a team playing the wrong tactics against a much bigger, physically stronger team. Arsenal’s defensive shortcomings were exacerbated by tactical naivety and poor final ball delivery. Aston Villa and others have proved that Chelsea are not unbeatable. It is a pity that Arsenal do not seem to have a clue how to play them.

  7. Ruthlessness is exactly the right term.
    Once again we were more-or-less as good or better than our opponents for the bulk of the game, but failed to turn it into a victory.

    I think hes a great footballer, but I have to say the signing of vermaelen has done nothing to solve our problems at the back. Most of our goals (it seems to me at least) have been conceded from set plays or crossed balls, and today, the killer blows came from balls crossed in. The 2nd one I think drogba’s meer presence was enough to force a mistake out of us.
    Gallas has been excellent all season, and vermaelen has generally defended very well – it’s just that we are trying to defend with 2 ball-playing CBs again. Vermaelen is not so dissimilar to toure in terms of his abilities (a little better overall imo) – but what we really needed was a sol campbell-type.
    In midfield and up front I think we have the quality to win the league, maybe a bit of extra cover for song would be all I’d want to add. I know we didn’t look potent today, but we’re just entering that patch that cesc was talking about, where we need to prove we can keep clean sheets, and it aint happening
    At the back, we are just not good enough.

    Also, I dont think van persie as a player is irreplaceable. In terms of ability I think vela will be able to play his role almost as well – perhaps better given time – but is rvp not the true leader of this side? I think that is what we miss most about him when he’s gone.

  8. One thing that I notice, is the massive size difference between Chelsea andArsenal players. The league is such a massive competition and a lot physical too. So how can a manager like Arsene Wenger expect smaller version of Arsenal players to be so intimidating to the opposition defence and midfielders. There was moment in the match when Le drg just touched Traore and he flew off like he was hit by a truck. Such is the physical stature of most of our players. Back during our winning days the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Viera, Campbell, Pires, Gilberto, Adams, were all of huge physical stature and that team back then was so intimidating to the defenders due to their size and skill. But all I can notice is but players all less than 6 foot except for Bendtner and RvP. What gives? Should we buy playerswith size and talent rather than small and fragile and talented?

  9. Sam – “Back during our winning days the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Viera, Campbell, Pires, Gilberto, Adams, were all of huge physical stature and that team back then was so intimidating to the defenders due to their size and skill”
    That’s very true. I think everyone else has learnt from that (except wenger for some reason, lol). I believe ferguson actually commented on that once when we beat his side in a match

  10. Three shots on goal. Stop talking rubbish about 15 chances.
    Three shots in 90 minutes. One shot on goal every half an hour.
    And we were not equal or better like in the game with the Manure, we were second best through out the entire game.
    We couldn’t score for 50 minutes, and no wonder when we expect to rely on strikers like Vela, who will be a great striker in the season after the season after the next season. We have potential. We will not buy anyone in January. We will not win anything this season. We will be promised that we will…next season. Welcome to Arsenal.

  11. Well its been almost 5 years of frustration now an I certainly hope it will end soon. But what is Wenger thinking with current crop of tiny players. We need strength Physically whis what our team lacks. How in the hell can one expect Eduardo or Vela to brush aside a defender like the drog does? I don’t understand, we are just light weights among the top 4. I really hope that we are not another Liverpool in making who has only history on their side and nothing else. Five years is just not right. It feels more like 10 now. Sigh! Thanks Davi for the comment!

  12. Teampossible – “And we were not equal or better like in the game with the Manure, we were second best through out the entire game.”
    You’re claiming that because chelsea took their chances, we were 2nd best for the whole game? Don’t you think we could have scored on another day?

    Also, do you not agree that the ref was kinda against us AGAIN (as wenger was trying not to say)? – Im sick of always getting the short end of it in big games. Its just too easy for the ref to not give us anythingcos it doesnt get talked about after the match. Most arsenal fans just accept it now like it’s normal.

    When vela came on he was excellent btw – always seemed to make the right decision and played some good passes. Of the forwards available, he is the best. Even when all forwards are fit, he’s probably only behind van persie from what I’ve seen. The others are all inconsistent, and eduardo hasnt played well up front for us all season, just out wide. He deserves a chance.
    Walcott didnt have to do anything to earn his shot, and vela has done well in almost every appearance Iv seen.

  13. Great post!
    Anyway this is from the mirror website: “Arsenal have only allowed an incredibly stingy 41 shots on their goal this season. But they’ve conceded 18 goals. Shouldn’t they be looking at a long-term replacement for Manuel Almunia?”

    Hit the nail on the head right there. I can gurantee at least 10 of the goals conceded are down to almunia’s/mannone’s fault. Never communicates with his defenders, indecisive and not a top team goalkeeper. Mid table at best! We need a new world class keeper DESPERATELY! And a strong striker who can play a 4-3-3.
    It’s also a sad predicament when denilson, suppossedly our answer when song goes off to the acn is brushed off the ball with so much ease by at least 8 different chelsea players.

  14. This was simply a case of men against boys. Say whatever you like about Chelsea (cheaters, unfair, etc.) they have the know how to win the league. They are strong, physical and none of the teams in the league can out-muscle them. They’re also ruthless and don’t drop stupid points against teams like Sunderland.

    As someone has already pointed out, our main defensive weakness is from crosses and set-pieces. And I believe that it’s down to a goalkeeper who isn’t good enough. If we had someone like Riena or Cech in goal we wouldn’t look so fragile every time the ball came into the box.

    But the biggest problem is Wenger’s whole philosophy on tactics. United, Chelsea and even Liverpool adapt and change their tactics and formations depending on who they’re playing. Wenger needs to wake up and realise you just can’t attack attack attack in every match. Every other team takes into account the opposition, but we don’t. The only team that can get away with this is Barcelona, but they’re the best team in the world.

    Forget about the league, we’ll never win that now. It’s all about the Champions League and FA Cup. But then again Wenger will probably throw the FA Cup again like he did last season.

  15. The problem was song was subd instead of that weak ass denilson. Everytime he is being brused aside or on the floor! stil dnt undastand y he is a 1st team player! wilshere shud b there nt him. Shame 4 song as he was one of our best playerz dis season!

  16. could u gooners stop whinning .its not the end of the race .if we had bendtner or rvp in there chelsea would have got an ass whooping .we r just unlucky with the strikers .we dominated possesion, just didnt know when ta pull the trigger.we ll bounce back ,1 gameweek can change everything.but i do feel that we need to spend in the winter

  17. What would we have been capable of if it wasn’t for the fact Adebayor had been hounded out of the club? There were too many players all of the same type, none of whom could penetrate a defence that just had to stand there in formation and wait until the ball popped out. They actually invited crosses by standing off, knowing it was totally impossible for anyone in the middle to win the ball. However much possession there was in advanced areas, defending was like shelling peas. After that it was a matter of delivering the ball into the right areas and a goal (or og) was bound to happen. The problem isn’t so much the defence as the midfield and attack.

  18. I despair of Arsenal fans who cling to the fig-leaf of possession to cover up the naked truth: having the ball means NOTHING – the statistics Wenger always cites are vanity and no more; it’s what you DO with that ball that counts in football.
    The manager pitched his prematch psychology all wrong, his tactics were awry, his substitutions shocking, and his postmatch press conference was appalling. Chelsea were very impressive in every department – even Ivanovic, who I thought would be a weak link.
    The difference was summed up when Drogba controlled a ball deftly shoulder to shoulder with Song, turned brilliantly and left the midfielder sprawling.
    And, by the way, what kind of lowlife throws a phone at Frank Lampard?
    Horror show all round for gooners.

  19. dhruv.

    Stats from game

    Attempts on Target – Arsenal 3 Chelsea 5

    Attempts off Target – Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2

    Corners – Arsenal 4 Chelsea 3

    Do they sell Wengervision glasses in the club shop?

    Dignity and class though eh 🙂

  20. Too many pundits are lauding Chelsea this morning, and while I think they are demonstrably the best team in the country, if not the prettiest, I think yesterday’s game flattered them.

    I don’t mean to diminish their performance which was calculated, powerful and complete, what I mean is that it served to show that, for all the plaudits from the the so called football purists (particularly in the media), Wenger’s approach is deeply flawed and hopelessly naive, his reputation for discovering stellar talent on a shoestring exposed as a myth. Arsenal were good when they had big, ugly players to do the spade work, allowing the skilled players the time and space to play.

    Premier league football changed 5 years ago, when Mourhino raised the bar, and only United have responded. As long as Wenger is manager, Arsenal will be battling for 4th place and not always succesfully.

  21. idiots….what i meant to say is that arsenal went on trying but couldnt get clear-cut chances at chelsea……but chelsea on the other hand took their chances ….that expression was hypothetical ….of course arsenal never took 15 shots!!!!

  22. tn….unak (why the hell would u write that as a name)
    mourinho never raised the bar
    if u r a gooner ,did u see the 07-08 season. the league was ours if it werent for injuries and bad referring .who was the manager ? AW gets too much criticism when he looses .yes he gets his tactics wrong before a big 4 game but he doesnt really have attacking options up front .we r 11 points off chelsea but have a game .were getting a big dane back .diaby too .chelsea r gonna loose players in jan . the race isnt over just yet

  23. look we can sit and argue all day about this but the fact remains chelsea left our house with 3 points.


    simple they are biger stronger better and can take there chances

    yes our player are very skillfull but they couldnt hurt chelsea’s back four

    not lets just get real here there are games when we need to dig in deep and take our chances instead of making pretty patterns

    not i think we need bigger stronger players a strong striker
    may even two.

    onl;y reason we made it to there back four is because they sat back

    the men taught the boys a lesson any arsenal fan who say diffrent does the club a disjustice by continuing this illusion that all is well at the club

    i will continue to to support the boys but we aint good enough right now

    villa and the scum are getter stronger every year plus man shitty now with their my moneybags

    mr wenger has no plan b and if i was him id use this week trying to find one

    and find that credit card hes been sitting on and hit the january sales

    getting rid of wenger is a no go for me

    if he goes what top manager would wan the arsenal job?

    none of em the kinda of money they wanna spend we dont have

    they are plenty of big strong youth out they but they aint at arsenal

    sanchez watt has more chance than eduaro yesterday!!

  24. All of these comments just prove what was said last year and the year before and the year before etc, Wengers policy will not win trophies….it may win the applause of some really DUMB supporters who cannot see that failure year on year is just not acceptable! This game just underlined everything that is lacking in our side i.e.

    1. one style and one style only of playing that is boring possession football that if it has an end result can look good but last week and this week it was poor
    2. There is a distinct lack of QUALITY players in the squad, apart from a core of say 6-7 good players we have a lot of average players hiding behind Arsene’s bs.
    3. We have far too many small players who all play the same way …just go through the team and you will see what I mean.
    4. We have a goalkeeper who is at best average and who was only good enough to be our fill in a few years ago when we had a top class (but mad) Jens Lehmann in goal !
    5. Gallas is a big weak link. He is too small to be a centre back who can dominate in defence, he is also not a good defender, and I blame him for at least the first goal last night, just watch, he could have made the effort to cut out Cole’s cross but just lets it go……how many class denfenders would do that……in all the coaching and pplaying I have done it was always vital that crosses be cut out if at all possible and even if you had to stretch yourself you should try!! But this was just part of his weakness, Week after week by having him there instead of acquiring a true stopper to play alongside the great Vermaelen, it is costing us goal after goal.
    6. Wenger has proven time after time that he has lost the plot in as far as he has run out of ideas. He has no flexibility in his methods and it is soooo predictable even my dog knows how Arsenal will play each time they kick off. Plus he fails to see that by spending and adding some more CLASS players in critical areas he would maybe achieve winning another trophy, but he just blindly carries on insisting that this same bunch of losers are good enough….well the time has surely come for someone at the club to put their foot down and say its not and things must change or he must go!!!!!!!

  25. Time for gooners to realise that Chelsea are the real deal. How many more defeats will it take for them to realise this? Thats Man Utd, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal all beaten this season without conceeding a goal! Ashley must be pleased this morning.

  26. all i see in the last 3 comments r a bunch of seriously fucked up supporters .seriously does it matter what u think .arsene wont leave ,he wont listen. if he thinks 2 +2 is 5 u can kill his family but he still wont change his opinion.the day he let pires leave i thought he went mental .he has the money but is too miserly (ppl arsenal does have money .the just need ppl like usmanov to invest ,and he is more than willing but 4 a certain mr wenger).he can crib all he wants about the disallowed goal ,the penalties blah blah blah .if he doesnt spend in the winter and think of other tactics it wont be long before arsenal too becomes like leeds or newcastle .cole gave it 2 us in our backyard .thers no use booing him coz he gets the last laugh .

  27. I don’t think Chelsea were master class.. they are just more clinical with their football.. they can score on set pieces, dead ball, crosses and they take their chances..

    we are all about threading it into the damn every closing needle hole.. we never looked like scoring. they didn’t dominate us football wise they just knew better how to make their chances count,

    the only sliver of a silver lining is the russian outfit can only dominate for maybe another season after this.. too many old legs.. wow, a sad state, i am talking about our rivals weakening instead of us getting stronger..

  28. All this bullsh*t about we have learn our lesson should stop. because come next season it the same old bullsh*t with da some old player, oh with some Player, looking to go to a next club then we use the money to keep peter hillwood and his boys happy


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