It wasn’t the greatest of games, but the end result deals a massive blow to Arsenal’s title hopes and boosts Chelsea’s chances of giving Manchester United a run for the money.
The first half was poor with both sides unable to make their all-important final touches count. Drogba knocked the ball too far in front of him with his thighs. Arsenal was untypically errant with their passes. Kalou whiffed the ball in front of the Arsenal net. And the mistakes from both sides went on and on.
In the second half, both team’s nerves settled and the quality of football on the pitch improved. Drogba had a terrific second half and it’s wonderful to see him back showing his glimpses of brilliance. Sagna’s header that opened the scoring was exquisite and a perfect example of a training ground move.
While Chelsea didn’t play their best football, I was very disappointed with Arsenal’s lack of imagination when they moved forward. Too many times, the Gunners pushed the ball to the wingers. But, time after time, Chelsea did a superb job at either blocking the cross or preventing Arsenal from knocking the ball in from the wing.
Defensively, Chelsea was brilliant. The Blues did an excellent job at getting behind the ball and providing Arsenal with few options when going forward. Just like Arsenal’s draw against Middlesbrough, the Gunners were unable to break down a crowded defense.
While Arsenal isn’t officially out of the running for the Premier League title, the Gunners will find it very difficult to make up the six points difference between them and first place Man United. Concentrating on the Champions League may be Arsenal’s best chance of silverware this season.