The team was: Almunia, Sagna (Diaby 72), Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue, Fabregas, Flamini (Bendtner 88), Hleb, Adebayor, Van Persie (Walcott 76).
We started well with a lions share of possession. Van Persie started on the left and Hleb inside behind Adebayor. Eboue was on the right and had another poor game. He lacked concentration, lacked ideas and gave the ball away. I really am not a fan of slating one of our own, but it's weird with Eboue.
He does have talent don't get me wrong, but there is the common sense part of his game missing. He gets himself into good positions, can dribble well but his decision making is awful and for every one thing he does which is good, he does something shortly after twice as bad. I've watched him for two years now and his feigning injury and diving antics don't do him justice either. He is a like a spoilt little kid who is only playing because his dad owns the team or something.
Anyway, back to the game. We had chances, with Toure and Gallas a real threat from corners. Both coming together for an effort that saw Toure flick on and Gallas hit the post. Van Persie then shortly had two shots in quick succession. A fit Van Persie would have put those chances away.
Chelsea then came back into the game, starting with a Drogba effort. John Terry with a hopeful punt down the pitch and Drogba latching onto the ball but luckily it rebounded off his knee. Two other major efforts, one from each side before the interval with a cross from Van Persie, Ade with a scuff and Eboue might have not well been there. Kalou scuffed a shot down the other end and then it was the break.
An exciting first half, that all Arsenal fans would have been happy with. The second also started well and we had the ball and played it around well. On the 59th minute an in-swinging corner from Fabregas and a header and first goal of the season from Sagna. 30 minutes to go and we were 1-0 up at the bridge. Sagna had been instrumental in the game so far, defending well and attacking down the right with assurance.
It was unfortunate that moments later, Sagna twisted his ankle and could no longer feature. Diaby came on and Eboue reverted to right back. One minute later, it was 1-1. A cross into the path of Drogba and he’d equalised. Replays show that Drogba, Anelka and Kalou were all offside.
A bitter pill to swallow.
Do you remember the Carling Cup final last year, we were 1-0 up and then Drogba equalised with a goal that was offside. It’s theme with Chelsea, but more of the linesman’s fault than Chelsea’s.
10 minutes later it was 2-1. We kicked the ball out as one of their playing was feigning injury and instead of passing it back to our keeper, they kicked it out for a throw in near our corner flag. Subsequently they applied pressure and moments later we gave away a free kick and Drogba scrambled in the winner.
We had Walcott and Bendtner on for the final few periods, but even then, dirty tricks, time wasting and even the Chelsea coaching staff wasting time. There was no chance to equalise and the game finished 2-1.
It’s a horrible way to end our title charge and Chelsea do themselves no favours at all. But they’re now second and we’ve dropped to third – it’s our worst run in 9 years.
But if we had lost our first two games and drawn our next X and then won the last Y in a row, we’d all feel differently. We’re 6 points behind United, we have 7 games to go. It’s not over. Hard, not impossible though…
Okay, we need to refocus, we have Bolton away next… it’s going to be a difficult few days but let’s give this result some time and chat again tomorrow… Until then.]]>