Chelsea is a machine. Indestructible. Precise. Physical. Flawless. Arsenal is the total opposite. They’re more fluid, and play a beautiful brand of football that is easy on the eye. When the two opposing forces came together on Sunday afternoon, few would have predicted how Chelsea completely tore the Gunners apart, leaving behind an Arsenal side that looked lifeless on the green, wet pitch at Emirates Stadium.
If this wasn’t proof that Chelsea is going to run away with the Premier League title, I don’t know what is. In fact, I’ll go on record as saying that there’s no other team in Europe right now that can stop them from winning the Champions League trophy. Yes, they’re that good.
The most impressive aspect of Chelsea’s performance today was not up front where they scored three goals, but in defense. Chelsea’s defending was spectacular. But it wasn’t just the marking or the way their players came back to crowd the penalty box that impressed me the most, it was the pure physicality of Chelsea’s defense. And not physical in a negative way. Chelsea were physically bigger and stronger than Arsenal’s players who looked like pipsqueaks and were easily knocked off the ball (Nasri, Fabregas, Vela, Arshavin, Walcott, Denilson, Eduardo, and so on).
To be fair to Arsenal, the goal that the Gunners scored that was disallowed should have been ruled a goal. But as is often the case, annoyingly so, the referee gave an unfair advantage to Petr Cech despite Eduardo’s fair challenge for the ball. Despite that unfortunate decision by the ref, Arsenal will not be looking forward to the potential enquiry from the Football Association after one of their spectators threw a hand-held camera on to the pitch. Plus after Drogba scored Chelsea’s first goal, a rain of objects were thrown on the pitch including plastic bottles.
Calling Chelsea a machine is not meant to take anything away from how skillful Ancelotti’s side is. It’s just how perfect they seem to play their football in an almost machine-like manner where it seems impossible to beat them. Manchester United looks human next to Chelsea, capable of making basic errors and full of weaknesses, while Chelsea cruise forward seemingly with ease.
For Arsenal, it was another oh-so familiar game of football. Despite maintaining a lionshare of possession throughout the game, the side looks wimpy, was guilty of not taking shots when they had opportunities, took too many touches of the ball and appeared too predictable when moving forward. In comparison to Chelsea, the Blues were more direct with their football, more spontaneous and looked far more threatening when they had the ball in the final third.
Even with the addition of Theo Walcott, Arsenal lacked an explosive spark. The young Englishman who played down the right wing was far too reminiscent of a meandering Shaun Wright-Phillips as Walcott cruised down the wing but couldn’t do anything with the ball, often losing it underfoot or failing to get in a decisive cross.
Simply put, Arsenal was outplayed by a brilliant Chelsea side that achieved a massive psychological advantage of destroying the Gunners on their own turf. If Arsenal looked this bad at the Emirates, imagine how good Chelsea will look when they play the return match at Stamford Bridge.
So while Chelsea supporters, players and personnel will not admit it, the Premier League title is definitely in Chelsea’s bag and it’s not even the beginning of December yet. Chelsea is five points ahead of United, but in all reality Chelsea is miles in front of Manchester United in terms of confidence and performances. After all, Chelsea have now beaten Arsenal 3-0, Liverpool 2-0 and Manchester United 1-0. I don’t see anyone stopping them now.
Photo credit: Soccergoalx1.