Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal a deserved win against Chelsea at the Emirates – their first in 5 years.
As ever, feathers were rustled immediately the starting line up was revealed as some fans were surprised to see Granit Xhaka omitted after his exploits in the last two games. That said , Arsenal got into their stride early on moving the ball around with awe. Arsenal got the first chance after Santi Cazorla’s stinging shot was parried to safety by Chelsea’s Thibaut Coutois. The resulting corner kick was easily gathered by the Chelsea stopper.
Arsenal continued their impressive passing with Chelsea contented with sitting at the back waiting to catch Arsenal on the break. That didn’t happen though as Arsenal got their first goal of the night in the 11th minute through Alexis Sanchez who benefited from a Gary Cahill clanger . The Chelsea defender took too long to send a back pass to Courtois and was caught in possession by the Chilean who took full advantage, haring into the area and chipping in delightfully.
Fast forward two minutes later, when Chelsea were still trying to get their house in order, they got hit again, this time through Theo Walcott who was making his 350th appearance for the club. Arsenal moved the ball around beautifully before Bellerin was picked out on the right-hand side of the penalty area by Alex Iwobi, where he was left in far too much space by Hazard. The right-back, who immediately spotted Walcott sent a lovely low cross into his path and the rest was history.
You wouldn’t believe it. Chelsea were stunned.
The Blues tried to conjure out something to save their day but it never materialized. Willian had their best chance but flashed his shot wide. Diego Costa had a shot blocked and was kept quiet all game by Laurent Koscielny who looked prepared for his antics.
There were some grim moments though as Francis Coquelin picked up an injury after blocking a shot. He was replaced by Xhaka.
If you think the substitution of Francis Coquelin would make Arsenal crack, you are wrong as Arsenal took the game out of Chelsea’s reach. Mesut Ozil spinned away from Ngolo Kante and Arsenal were left with a 2 – on – 2 situation with Ozil having Sanchez running at the Chelsea defence. Ozil found Sanchez who floated a cross across the Chelsea backline for Ozil to slam in.
At this point, it was game over.
At the start of the second half, it was more of damage limitation by Chelsea. Arsenal’s orgasmic football has heaped pressure on the Chelsea’s defence and they could not cope.
Arsenal should have been out of sight after Xhaka’s weighted pass found Walcott whose cross was too high for Alexis Sanchez (by the way, this was Alexis Sanchez’s 100th appearance for Arsenal). Ozil, Theo Walcott and Xhaka had chances to put the game to bed but couldn’t. Not that it mattered though.
The players gave an assured display and you’d wonder why they don’t do this often. We’ve gotten Chelsea out of the way and it’s on to the next one – Basel in the Champions League.
Come On You Guners.