Thursday, October 7, 2010

Belated Thoughts about GroundDrog Day.

An improved performance after the West Brom debacle, but still not good enough.

It confirmed much of what we know: Chelsea are ruthless, Arsenal are profligate. Chelsea give nothing away and Arsenal are generous. Chelsea have a tried and tested way of beating Arsenal and Arsenal are no closer to finding an answer to it.

Scoring the first goal would have made things interesting but Koscielny wasted a sitter in the opening exchanges and the writing was on the wall. The game developed into a very similar pattern to the corresponding fixture from last season. Arsenal enjoyed (endured?) most of the possession- because Chelsea allowed them to. The blues kept men behind the ball, and when they won it they sprung forward into the space that Arsenal constantly leave in their own half. Arsenal struggled to make a clear chance despite the approach play being decent at times, while Chelsea always looked like scoring when they attacked. And it was no surprise that when they did, it was Drogba, the man Arsenal simply cannot handle. Also no surprise that Cole set it up because he has become another scouge of his old club. He provides a cutting edge that is beyond the remit of his regressing replacement and it was inevitable that he would lose Nasri at some point and provide a telling ball.

To be fair, Arsenal exerted a lot of pressure throughout the game, but by the end, after Alex's blockbuster finished the contest, it seemed as if all that was just part of Chelsea's plan. A grim inevitability, and familiarity, about the whole piece.

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