Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Four Talking Points  

It seems like Chelsea squad has strict orders from Interim manager, Guus Hiddink, “if you don’t win, don’t lose either.” The Blues have extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches after leaving the Emirates Stadium with a 1-0 win over Arsenal, winning three and drawing four. The Gunners would not be euphoric with the result, considering the way the match progressed in both halves. Arsene Wenger’s men created some chances for themselves in the game but failed to convert them into something solid.

There were some strong performances put in by Theo Walcott, Ramsey, and Ozil but the following issues ultimately became the reason for their loss:

4 – FABREGAS NEARING HIS BEST

Match statistics may not show it, but Fabregas excellently dominated the midfield in the game especially the first half. The Spaniard midfielder regularly penetrated Arsenal defence, made several key passes and was excellent in recovering balls in both halves of the pitch. Chelsea are still not at their prime but the way Fabregas took control of the match, it is not far that the reigning champions will be back to their winning ways.

Despite a brilliant display of talent, the former Barcelona player failed to add a goal or assist to his tally in this game.

3 – RED CARD:

Willian got the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and drove it towards the opposite half, before spotting Costa’s run and sending it a delightful through ball. Costa probably would have scored had it not been for Per Mertesacker’s tackle that took the Spaniard to the ground, and the German was shown a red card that eventually turned into the decisive moment of the game.

Chelsea scored only a few minutes after the red card, and there is nothing Arsene Wenger can complain about because Arsenal defence switched off for a while. Even with ten men, Gunners pushed hard for an equaliser right till the last minute, but the task proved too difficult to accomplish.

2 – GIROUD SUBSTITUTION:

After the Red Card, Arsene Wenger had to make a substitution to send in another centre-half, but he surprisingly sent in Gabriel to replace his striker, Giroud, who seemed heartbroken with this decision. It was a tough decision to take as the Gunners failed to score without their leading striker despite attacking hard and penetrating into Chelsea’s defence.

It would have been better had Arsene Wenger opted to a three men midfield and attackers, Giroud, and Walcott, in front. He would have substituted Joel Campbell, who did not provide much threat in rest of the game.

With 12 goals under his belt, Giroud is the top scorer for Arsenal in the season thus far.

1 – COSTA PROVIDED THE DECISIVE BREAKTHROUGH:

Angry-man Costa might have lost his legs for a while under Jose but has been relentless under Hiddink. He scored the only goal in the match which eventually turned out to be the deciding factor between the two teams. He made some incredible runs, cutting the defenders and beating them at pace, and kept the Arsenal defence busy the whole evening. If Costa continues his form, the Chelsea glory days are not far. He has already taken his goal tally to 8 goals in the league.

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