Powered by
Univision Deportes
JUL 5 12PM ET
arg1
bel0
JUL 5 4PM ET
ned4
crc3
JUL 8 4PM ET
bra1
ger7
JUL 9 4PM ET
arg4
ned2
JUL 12 4PM ET
bra0
ned3
JUL 13 3PM ET
arg0
ger1

Chelsea Expose Flaws Of Arsenal And Their Beautiful Game

didier drogba Chelsea Expose Flaws Of Arsenal And Their Beautiful Game

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.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →

37 Responses to Chelsea Expose Flaws Of Arsenal And Their Beautiful Game

  1. Bishopville Red says:

    When it came to the disallowed goal, I thought Arsenal were hard done by too. That said, Essien bossed Fabergas, and even drew the foul for the third goal. Just to put an exclamation point on the domination.

    Arsenal? Owned.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Good points. Fabregas, for me, was invisible in midfield for large portions of this match. I considered calling him a flat track bully, but I think that would have been unfair based on how Essien and Chelsea were simply so much better than Arsenal. It wasn’t that the Gunners didn’t turn up (which is often the excuse that supporters make when their teams lose). They were just outplayed.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  2. John says:

    I agree with the Gaffer…the Premier League title race is over. Just can’t see anybody beating Chelsea in the second half of the campaign. Perhaps Man Utd, but they are at least two wins behind.

    In the Champions League, I hope we get a Chelsea-Barcelona final. The two best teams in Europe and a dramatic rematch of last year’s controversial semi-final.

  3. Simon Burke says:

    Hmm, well last year Arsenal with Van Persie beat Chelsea 2-1 at about the same time of year. I wouldnt say its the death of our beautiful football, more that Eduardo never got into the game in the same way that Van persie could. Chelsea were by far the better team on the day but Arsenal often got at them but had no serious goal threat due to the absent Van Persie and even Bendther is someone we can lob balls at. We have been a little unfortunate Van Persie, Diaby and Bendther are all out at once. That said Chelsea will win the league at a canter.

  4. A fan says:

    Chelsea played very well indeed and Gunners were first unfortunate and then lost control. However, I do believe it is an overstatement that there is no team in Europe to stop them. Although they won against ManU (despite ref’s decision not to give an offside and foul), ManU outplayed them on every front, practically rendering their attack helpless while controlling mid-field. Chelsea are yet to play at Old Trafford and the title is anything but decided.

  5. b says:

    First off, let me say that I’ve always thought Chelsea would win the league this year. And they are better than Arsenal without Van Persie.

    But the scoreline flattered them today. They scored one goal from open play. 4 shots on goal, total. That’s not domination. That’s Chelsea playing like an Italian team. Negative, chippy, dirty. How Obi Mikel doesn’t get thrown out of every game is beyond me. On a yellow card he threw 2 elbows and a forearm shiver at Rosicky, and walked away. They’re dirty. Drogba is a circus clown. His crying is absurd. Essien and Mikel are professional foulers. They “boss” the game because refs let them.

    (I should also mention that Vela’s diving isn’t needed at Arsenal.)

    So yes, better than Arsenal. And should win the league. But I’d rather lose Arsenal’s way than win Chelsea’s way.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Yes, Drogba is usually like a fish out of water flopping everywhere, but not on Sunday night. I thought he was composed and played well. He had a couple of skirmishes with Vermeulen, but rather than moan to the ref like he would have done in the past, he laughed them off and remained on focus.

      Yes, Chelsea played like an old-fashioned Italian team. Very defensive minded, but that was exactly their tactics. Get 2-0 up and sit back to prevent Arsenal from scoring and then launch counter-attacking runs.

      As for Mikel, I thought the dispute near the corner flag should have gone the other way instead of a foul being called against Mikel.

      They bossed this game but not through negative play but calm and collected football.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • nikesb says:

      Olodo….what game are you watching

  6. Logan says:

    Chelsea are the Leeds United of this era. They have some respectable players, but I have never seen one team make such ridiculous fouls and whine and cry so much. They deserved to win the game, but if Arsenal had been full strength, I think there would have been a different outcome.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Logan, I think to call them Leeds United is a bit of a low blow. They play good football, just not the Arsenal way. As for Arsenal missing players, they were only missing one who would have made a difference in this game and that was Robin van Persie. However, Arsenal created so few chances that even van Persie on fire wouldn’t have been able to beat Chelsea Sunday night.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  7. Sam Davis says:

    Chelsea are playing with confidence and seem unstoppable just like they did last year. United have their issues but why exactly does the Gaffer keep acting like Chelsea pounded United? First you lump them in the same category as Wigan as simply being “tough to break down,” when they bossed the game at the Bridge, and now we look human next to them….except for when we played them.

    Chelsea were overhyped at the beginning of last season and it looks like it’s going on now. What was their team like when they narrowly beat Hull? What was their team like when they lost to Wigan? I don’t recall them being undermanned. They drew 2-2 in the CL against Aletico and finished 1-0 (I think?) to Porto. All with pretty much full strength sides. It’s happened before and it can happen again.

    • bob says:

      It sounds like a bunch of bitter Arsenal and Man U fans to me. Don’t get sad and bitter when your team loses.
      Didn’t Man U lose to Burnley and Liverpool (who are absolutely awful this year)?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Hi Sam, I’m not convinced that Man United bossed the game at the Bridge. Sure, there were spells in the game where United were in control, but they didn’t look like they were going to get an equalizer even close til the end of the game like they did against Sunderland and countless other teams where they get a last minute winner or equalizer.

      Looking back at my review of the game (which can be found here: http://epltalk.com/chelsea-1-0-man-united-ugly-match-exposes-uniteds-frailties/12779 ), I felt the Chelsea v United game was ugly to watch, contained countless mistakes and featured a very defensive-minded Man United line-up.

      I remember United playing well in a few moments of the game, but boss United they definitely did not.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • dejiy says:

      Sam, I disagree with your comment, there’s no comparison with the present Coach(Anceloti) and the previous season coach (Scolari) when almost every team won Chelsea…. so don’t compare.. Chelsea is hotter than even the last season you’re talking about.. it’s you (ManU) to readjust so you don’t lose any trophy this season…

  8. brn442 says:

    Success in football is achieved by being consistently ruthless, something two out of the top four English teams are missing at the moment.
    Once again, Wenger’s failure to sign experienced, veteran players since Gilberto left has come back to bite him in the……

    I can’t see the likes of Adams, Dixon, Bould, and Winterburn letting in 3 goals at home.

    A midfield marshaled by a Viera type player wouldn’t have been run over today, and a striker with the single minded ruthlessness of Ian Wright would probably have been on the score sheet.

    Yes, Arsenal has injuries, yes – the squad is a bit more experienced and confident but once again, as in the Champion’s League against Man U last season, it was men against boys.

    • brn442 says:

      And another thing, seeing how ineffective Walcott and especially Lennon was this weekend, especially with the final product, should make it almost a certainty that Beckham will be in South Africa next year.

  9. Kishore says:

    No disrespect to chelsea(im a man u fan), but claiming tht no team can stop them and the league is done and dusted is a bit over the top in my opinion. The season has a long way to go and i’ve heard such claims for the past 3 seasons but nothing really materialised…im not saying this as a man u fan…for all i know thr is a long season ahead and its a sprint to the finish….even arsenal are not the finished article…dont rule them out just yet….and if u happen to watch the el-clasico last night…its a reminder tht thr is an even meaner ‘machine’ called BARCELONA….madrid’s millions cud do nothing to stop them even though they played well…so i wouldnt say chelsea is the best rite now…but they are in about thr…

  10. GoFutebol says:

    What happen to Arsenal beautiful game? I was watching Barcelona vs Real Madrid last night. Then I agree that Barca is playing a beautiful game. They create art of football.

    I also want to see Chelsea vs Barcelona. I will be a cracking match.

  11. Jason says:

    I think Real Madrid still will have a say in all of these Chelsea V Barcelona Champions League final predictions. But with Chelsea making a run in two of the major competitions. I am hoping that they put less of an emphasis on the FA Cup. I would love to see a smaller team (a team in the bottom half of the EPL or lower divisions) win it.

  12. Tyson says:

    Chelsea are far from unstoppable we were in the same situation last year when Chelsea dominated for a while before it caught up with them.

    Chelsea also started off fast and then slow down in the second half of the season in contrast to United who actually lose quite a lot in the first half of the season and then concede or lose nothing during the second half of the season.

    A couple of weeks ago United completely and utterly dominated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and aside from that erroneous free kick it would have ended a draw.

    When you consider there was only one striker up front and both Vidic and Ferdinand were injured it shows Chelsea are far from the best.

    Fact of the matter is you put Chelsea up against United or Barcelona they will lose just like they done so in the past.

    The problem with the way Arsenal play is their style eats right into Chelseas hands. Their players are all generally small and they are up against Chelsea giants in the midfield and defense. Their defense is also quite weak an Drogba is on top of the world at the moment, it’s just two opposites clashing with one opposite at full strength while the other has a bunch of problems.

    I’m calling this a two horse race between Chelsea and United but I am willing to bet anything United are the strongest team in the PL come next year. I am not even talking wins I am talking numerous games witout a single goal conceded on the trot. Just bang on perfect form for a bunch of games.

    • dejiy says:

      No Way, never say ManU is the strongest in the EPL… to with the last season, there was obviously an issue with the managerial aspect, so you (ManU) wining Chelsea was not an extraordinaries..same thing applies to the Gunners, only the fact that (Man U) escaped the FA Final by loosing to Everton.. Only God knows what could have happened.. well i bet the Gunners could explain better.. i wonder why people talk about the injuries sometimes. like all the players were not presence when they were flogged at this same Emirate 1-4 just this last season.. why why complains about Injury players…??? Please be quiet and harden up.. come next Leg and take heart..

      • Tyson says:

        Hmm I don’t understand some of what you said but the managerial aspect is a moot point.

        While it is a valid point that changing managers mid season is a problem Chelsea haven’t won the PL in 3 years now with a variety of managers and they started off incredibly well the last few years before falling off in general.

    • Dave says:

      Chelsea stumbled last season because the players turned on Scolari, and their form dropped off as a result. I don’t think we’re going to see a repeat of that this season. This team seems to be playing much better under Ancelotti than they ever did under Scolari.

      • Tyson says:

        What makes you so certain Ancelotti will do a better job?

        If you don’t remember I’ll remind you. Under Scholari Chelsea didn’t lose a game till their 9th PL match.

        Under Ancerlotti they lost their first match during their 7th PL game. Last year Chelsea didn’t lose a single game till the 9th match.

        In other words the manager who exited Chelsea was doing better with more games won on the trot than was Scholari.

        • nothap'n says:

          Have you not looked at all at the teams played in those first 9 games from last year compared to this year? Have you not watched them play at all?

  13. ish says:

    the current chelsea side are much stronger then last season. they are not clear favourites yet but are looking strong. In terms of the whole united are strong at the arse end of the season thing, that isnt exactly true, united won the competition in the december-january window. From when hiddink came to chelsea till the end of the season i think chelsea were the best performers.
    Also the whole chelsea were up by more last season debate, yes that is true but last season chelsea were up by 8 while united still had 2 games in hand meaning realistically they were only up by 2. That and losses against arsenal, liverpool and the draw with manU at stamford bridge really hurt their title chances.

    During the United vs Chelsea game, yes united did well but they played with 10 men behind the ball and played smart, united are a counter attacking team, they draw the teams to attack knowing their defense can soak up any pressure and then break away emphatically, if anything they play exactly the same as chelsea during the first 2 mourinho years with a fit robben.

    Now against villa, hard done by, during the set pieces they made us pay, they didnt even test chelsea during open play. Against wigan, they got lucky with the red card decision and penalty and some good counter attacking football when chelsea were going for the win. A loss is a loss but in both circumstances chelsea never looked muzzled like they did last year with scolari against many of the big teams and some lower teams(hull for instance)

    • Tyson says:

      The current Chelsea side as formed of the same players as last season so exactly how are they stronger?

      This year Chelsea have won quite a few games on the trot but they lost their 7th PL game whereas they made it without a loss to their 9th PL game last season. In other words Scholari started off better than Ancelotti has.

      Beginning of last season before they lost to Liverpool in an unlucky match that was pretty close, Chelsea were clear favourites to win the title. We all saw what happened during the second half of the season.

      United didn’t win the PL during December to January they were in Asia for much of that.

      When they came back they broke numerous records in relation to cleansheets.

      Manchester United just ran circles around Chelsea. You said they played with ten men behind the ball so you make it sound like all they did was defend.

      Manchester United took more shots than Chelsea, had more possession and got a total of 7 corners(compared to 0 for Chelsea). Most of the match was played in Chelseas half and Chelsea hardly got a chance to do anything significant.

      This is all when there was only one striker up front as Berbatov was injured and both Ferdinand and Vidic were out.

      Now lets replay that match without a lone striker up front and with the heart of Uniteds defense back. There is a reason we play those three practically every game you know.

      Not to mention even most Chelsea fans will acknowledge had it not been for that fabricated foul that goal would have never come as Chelseas attack wasn’t bad but Van Der Sar was completely dominating all those attempts without his henchmen there.

      Fact of the matter is when a team dominates you at home with 3 first team players injured in that manner there isn’t a way of putting a good face on it.

      Manchester United had better possession, took more shots, got more corners, invoked more territorial advantage and all in all ran the game the way they wanted it. Only thing that was lacking was the striking but that was something forced on United with Berbatov injured.

  14. Great Ormond St says:

    What a difficult game to watch as an Arsenal fan, but I’m sure they will be back to normal in the next match.
    One great thing about yesterday was that it was Charity day and the Arsenal players and directors all donated their day’s wage to Great Ormond Street Hospital. The team is trying to raise £500,000 for the hospital.
    Donating is easy! Just visit, http://www.beagoonerbeagiver.org/ , and pladge

  15. v says:

    The issue with Arsenal I’ve always been seeing is this lack of confidence until they get a goal, van Persie offsets this with the strength of his conviction to score, Bendtner has this but his skill is still nowhere near that of van Persie’s, but none of the other strikers on Arsenal have that conviction. I honestly think that the match yesterday would have ended on an entirely different note if the disallowed goal stood, maybe not a win or draw for Arsenal but an entirely more confident and collected response during that last half. The players can only take so much before they feel like everything is against them, and 2 goals in the first half that were built more on luck then skill and the disallowed goal would be enough to shatter the nerves of the most confident teams. Yes, Chelsea’s defence played spectacularly, but to say that Chelsea dominated the game is exaggerating the performance. Chelsea finished the opportunities they were provided and Arsenal did not, Arsenal had both possession and pressure they just didn’t have the cutting edge to cut through that back four. Arsenal needs a backup to van Persie, someone to step up and provide the necessary pressure to make defenses second guess their plans.

    But Sunday’s game is the reason we all love the beautiful game, on any day a team given only a few chances can walk away winners. Chelsea won this time, but the season is long and we are not even halfway through it. Next May let’s see where the cards fall.

  16. thoseredlights says:

    There’s a reason they don’t hand out the trophy in November, and quite honestly I can’t understand how so many people can have such short memories, especially those who have followed football all their lives. Countless times in years past teams have been top of of the league and hearing praise from pundits round the world, only to hit some block at some point in the season that ultimately costs them the title.

    Yes Chelsea are top now, and yes they’ve played well against what’s been thrown at them so far. But that is now, the present. The future we can’t predict, especially in football. Relax, take a deep breath, and stop going for the ultimate.

    • Gaz says:

      I said at the start of the season that this is going to be Chelsea’s season. However, I’m going to have to agree with the comment above. It’s November, people. Making any predictions and trying to pass them as gospel is worthless. If you feel that strongly, go put up a wager. :)

      Correct me if I’m wrong:

      Chelsea are on top by 5 points right now. Weren’t they ahead by even more this time last year (6 or maybe even more)?

      • Tyson says:

        They were 8 points ahead last year and they didn’t lose a game till their ninth match.

        They started off significantly better last year and had a much larger lead.

        • ish says:

          united had also played 2 games less and chelsea had not played a top flight team till said week(week 9). they then proceeded to draw many games.

          also unlike last season, chelsea have a fully fit carvalho, essien, j.cole, drogba and the style of play means less emphasis on strikers/attackers and more on midfielders.
          the trophy is still up for grabs but people need to accept that the current chelsea team is a different beast to last years.

    • Tyson says:

      Football fans are some of the dumbest on the planet they pick up the tabloids in the morning and believe everything they read.

      If you look at the statistics Chelsea are doing worse this season than last season where they had 9 wins on the trot. They are in a worse position thusfar than they were last year at this point under a manager that got the sack.

      Seriously it’s unbelievable how short peoples memories are.

      • Zola612 says:

        “If you look at the statistics Chelsea are doing worse this season”

        If by “statistics” you mean points, yes they are behind last years pace. But if your willing to look a bit deeper than the points column in your “statistical analysis” you’ll note several differences from Chelsea today and Chelsea 12 months ago. For that matter, you might even find that the circumstances for a variety of clubs have changed over the last 12 months. I think that might be why they play a new season each year.

  17. Afo says:

    It’s so bleeding obvious that Chelsea are a stronger team this season under Ancelotti than they were under Scolari. Anybody with brains should know that. Last season, they failed to beat a top four side at home under Scolari but this season they have already achieved that by beating Liverpool and Man U. Anyone comparing the Chelsea team under Ancelotti to the one under Scolari must obviously be a delusional Man u fan who can only wish it is the case because they stand no chance of stopping Chelsea this season especially in the absence of a certain number 9 that plays for Real Madrid.. Well, keep on wishing.

  18. The Gaffer says:

    This Chelsea side is so dominant right now that I honestly believe the 5 point gap they have at the top of the table is going to increase. They’ll be looking at a 8-9 point gap before you know it.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>