Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal: Arteta could win, Aubameyang fails, Zinchenko’s different dimensions

Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to return to the top of the Premier League table and keep their London rivals seventh. Gabriel scored the only goal after Bukayo Saka’s corner was missed by many Chelsea players.

Here are the main talking points, broken down by our writers…

Arteta and Arsenal show title is possible

It was Mikel Arteta’s 150th game in charge of Arsenal, equalling his number of appearances as a player, but the more striking statistic is that it was his 87th victory – more than any of his predecessors, including Herbert Chapman, Bertie Mee, George Graham and Arsene Wenger, during the same period.

The numbers can be deceiving; Graham won the Premier League in his third season in charge and Wenger in his second. It was a different era. When Wenger led Arsenal to the title in 1998, the total was 78 points, compared to 93, 100, 98, 99, 86 and 93 for the past six titles. The Invincibles won by 90 points.

Gabriel scored the only goal (Photo: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Arsenal started the game with remarkable speed – they scored more points than the Invincibles at the same stage of the 2003-04 season – and, if they are to overtake Manchester City, they will have to maintain that.

It’s a guaranteed, authoritative performance that tells you it’s possible. Arsenal went to Stamford Bridge with a game plan, and despite the lack of incisiveness in the first half, it’s hard to imagine they could have followed it better. Whatever happens for the rest of the season, the progress they have made under Arteta since the start of 2021 has been impressive.

Oliver Kay

Aubameyang fails to prove a point to his former club

Chelsea have fond memories of what Didier Drogba and Diego Costa have done to Arsenal defenders in the past.

Both played an important role when Chelsea once dominated their opponents and this is the first opportunity for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to do the same in a blue shirt.

He did not come into the game in the best scoring form. Aubameyang, bought from Barcelona for £12m ($13.7m) at the September deadline, has just three goals to his name. That game happened early last month and only one of those games was in the Premier League.

Arsenal fans were quick to tell the 33-year-old what they thought of him right now. His first touch was loudly booed and he was the target of a rather unflattering chant after being booked for a late tackle on Ben White. The north London club’s 92 goals in 163 appearances are apparently long forgotten.

Chelsea failed to bring Aubameyang into play in the first half, during which he only touched the ball four times – and none of them were shots. On a few occasions, Kai Havertz had a chance to pass the ball to him, but missed.

It speaks volumes about Chelsea being an attacking threat, his first two interventions after the break were clearances from his own area.

An incredible shot was blocked shortly after, but it was no surprise that he was replaced by Armando Broja after Arsenal had taken the lead.

Simon Johnson

Jesus falls into the void again

This is nothing new this season, but today was a repeat of Gabriel Jesus’ lack of clinical advantage in front of goal.

Arsenal did a fine job of dissecting Chelsea from inside the three-point line in the first half, finding the ball to Gabriel Martinelli, whose cross found Jesus’ header. result? just wide. judgment? Should have scored.

as sports It was previously reported that this is representative of Jesus’ career considering his goals and expected goals.

In fact, looking at the 900-minute rolling average from the 2019-20 season, Jesus has rarely had the chance to make the most of the opportunities he has seized, with his goal output often falling short of expectations compared to his goals.

The good news, of course, is that Jesus can still get into those lucrative spots to score. During his entire Premier League season, Jesus’ average expected goals are close to 0.5 per 90 minutes, meaning he has the chance to score one in two games.

That doesn’t forget the full range of contributions Jesus provides – getting into pockets of space, drifting to create for others, and being an off-ball pest to keep opponents from building from behind.

While Arsenal are winning games and finishing at the top of the table, Jesus could be forgiven for his poor performance in front of goal. If the title is on the horizon and the margins are higher at the end of the season, Jesus may get less sympathy for his lack of clinical advantage.

Mark Carey

Pressure on Porter will grow

Graham Potter has a tougher task than Thomas Tuchel to win over Chelsea fans

Replacing a popular coach is never easy, especially when the season has already started and you don’t have preseason games to work with.

Porter’s honeymoon period at Chelsea ended in humiliation for his old club Brighton after a 4-1 defeat last week, but this tame surrender to their London rivals at Stamford Bridge will do more damage this time around.

For most of the game, Chelsea’s players were hesitant in possession, and none of their games were instinctive, unlike their opponents.

This is understandable. Porter is trying to change the rather rigid style of football that Tuchel adopts. Chelsea players are trying to adapt to it and him.

Tuchel is beloved by Chelsea followers for winning the Champions League last year. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that he took over from fan favourite Frank Lampard, but when he tried to do things, there were no supporters in the stands moaning and groaning due to COVID-19 protocols. The scrutiny of Germans in the first few weeks was less intense than it is now. When fans returned to the pitch, Tuchel had justified the decision to replace Lampard.

Having said that, two points from his last four Premier League games should be questioned and Porter will be under pressure to do better in his two away games ahead of the World Cup, against Manchester City (Carabao Cup) and Newcastle.

Simon Johnson

Zinchenko’s Roaming Return

Arteta has kept changes to a minimum this season and is understandably reluctant to change what is usually a winning team, but bringing Oleksandr Zinchenko back to the starting lineup after a calf injury was an easy one decision.

It was the Ukrainian’s first appearance in five weeks and his second in two months, and it tells you how well they cope without a player, his arrival in the early weeks of the season Inside is considered transformative.

Kieran Tierney and Fuan Wubo have provided vastly different qualities at left-back in recent weeks, but Zinchenko has brought different possessions to Arsenal. For most of the first half, he was in the infield as Pep Guardiola asked Philip Lahm and Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo at Bayern Munich, or Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool with Trent Alexander – The kind of deep midfield role that Arnold tried together.

Again, the benefits of deploying Zinchenko like this are obvious. As early as the 3rd minute, Zinchenko found space in the middle to catch Ramsdale’s ball, passing the ball to clear Martin Odegaard and finally giving Bukayo Saka a chance to charge towards the isolated Mark. · Cucurella.

As with Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold, there are risks to this approach. Arguably, Chelsea’s two most promising first-half attacks came from exploiting the space left by Zinchenko. Opposition managers will take note. But it’s easier said than done when a team is in control of the game the way Arsenal are currently doing.

Oliver Kay

Xhaka is the epitome of calm, controlled Arsenal

race people? There is no shortage of red candidates.

BT Sport won for William Saliba and it’s easy to see why. He and Gabriel excelled at centre-back, as did Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in front of them.

The top four – Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli and Jesus – all impress in different ways, as do Ben White and Zinchenko at full-back same.

In short, it was an excellent group performance. But it’s hard to avoid returning to the backbone of the team. Saliba and Gabriel were brilliant in every way, with the latter scoring the decisive goal, while Xhaka and Patei dominated the game brilliantly.

Even when shoving in stoppage time with Trevoh Chalobah, Xhaka appeared in control, in stark contrast to the hot-headedness of the past.

Think of those times when Arsenal played a soft centre over the years, especially at Stamford Bridge. It’s the exact opposite.

Oliver Kay

Chelsea are behind

With Graham Potter still looking to find his best system and personnel at Chelsea, today’s display saw a real lack of threat on their left flank.

With Aubameyang and Havertz drifting across the front – especially in the first half – Cucurella had few options when Chelsea stepped up on the left, meaning Arsenal could easily close that flank And forced Chelsea to attack the bottom right.

Statistically, 44% of Chelsea’s attacking touches are on their right side – the highest percentage for this flank in the entire Premier League. Raheem Sterling’s natural flank threat – combined with Zinchenko’s advanced position at left-back – also does help with more activity on that flank, but Chelsea’s left attack is almost non-existent .

The long-term injury to offensive-minded Ben Chilwell doesn’t help, but more broadly, Potter hasn’t consistently found the best balance on his team right now.

Mark Carey

(Photo: Mark Atkins/Getty Images)

Source link