Arsenal FC! By far the greatest team, the world has ever seen! And it’s Arsenal!
There’s only one team in London!
As you can tell, I’m not yet over our win, and I’m pretty much sure you aren’t, either!
I recorded the match, and for once, I don’t have to hit ‘delete’ straight after! I’m currently watching it again!
The line-up was exactly as predicted by Dev:
Djourou – Mertersacker – Koscielny – Santos
Arteta – Song
Walcott – Ramsey – Gervinho
This was a very massive game, no doubt about it, the media not failing to remind us that this was a big test in determining whether we have really turned the corner. Funny enough, I didn’t think much about the game before-hand, as I busied myself doing other things, so much so that I didn’t realise Drogba was suspended until just before kick-off! If anything, that fact alone made me confident that we’d win, and couple it with the fact that we’ve got the best striker in the league in van Persie, who’s in the form of his life, there was no way in hell, I felt, that we were going to lose!
Chelsea actually started well in the opening minutes, their first chance coming less than 2 minutes on the clock, after some slack defending, but we responded with a half-chance, Ramsey chasing a Robin throw-in all the way down the byline and feeding it into the box, but no Arsenal player was anywhere near. Chelsea then almost scored, if not for the big boot of Mertesacker. They cut us open again, but Szczesny was able to smother the cross. Chelsea had the most of the early excahnges, but out of nowhere, we had two quick-fire chances, both brought about by Theo.
First was brought about when an absolutely delightful ball from Ramsey found Theo in acres of space down the right. He skipped past Cole easily, and laid on a dolly for Gervinho, but he somehow managed to put it wide! It was harder to miss than score! Less than a minute afterwards, Song found Theo, and he laid another one this time for Ramsey, but it was just a little bit too high, and he could only toe-poke it high and wide.
But you can tell and you know what happened next. Frank Lampard popped up with his fat head (okay, it’s not fat, but I feel like being rude!) and stooped in to head it in, after Mertesacker had missed his header. Boo! The commentators were nice enough to remind us that the last time we won at Stamford Bridge, we had to come back from a goal down. We weren’t completely outplayed at this stage, but all we could manage really, were half-chances. Sturridge really should have made it two, with only 29 minutes on the clock, but the sight of Szczesny frightened the hell out of him, so he had to mess it up. Good lad!
Less than 10 minutes later, we equalised! Who else, but our talisman!? Ramsey again played a delightful ball to Gervinho, completely eliminating the Chelsea centre-backs, and with Cech coming out to smother the ball, he intelligently and unselfishly passed back to Robin to slide into an empty net. Beautiful goal! More importantly, an equalising goal! Sturridge thought he’d scored not too long afterwards, but he was just offside! Phew!
Thought we’d make it to half-time level, but we conceded just before, thanks to our trusty achilles heel. What, you don’t know what I’m talking about? Set-pieces! Chelsea got a corner, and just as the commentator was reminding us about that fact, we proceeded to do just that, Mr Terry the villain, sorry, scorer, after a Mertesacker slip. And it was halftime.
Santos was terrible, and Mertesacker kept tripping on his feet. We really had to step it up in the second half defensively.
But we started brightly though, and had two chances in the opening minute of the second half, Cech sticking out a foot to deny Robin, and then Ramsey’s clever chip/lob was just over, after some lovely footwork by Gervinho. We were rewarded though, equalising yet again, with only 3 minutes played, from the unlikeliest of scorers, given the game he’d had so far! Song found SANTOS in ACRES of space, and I guess no one was expecting it, but he just had a straight and unopposed run at goal, finishing under Cech! Great stuff! Now, if only he could up the ante defensively… And he did! Seems the goal did a massive amount for his confidence, and he was getting the tackles in and winning the ball cleanly. Complete turn-around from the first half.
We almost undid ourselves though, Szczesny almost getting himself sent off almost immediately, after barging into Ashley Cole. But he only got a yellow, as it was outside the box, and it wasn’t a clear goalscoring opportunity, or whatever the rule is! Chelsea almost took the lead from the resulting corner, but Szczesny redeemed himself, pushing the ball past the post.
Goal number 3 came not long after, and what a goal! Theo had the ball, and began his usual foray towards goal. He tripped, the Chelsea defenders stared, he picked himself up, ghosted past Terry and Ivanovic, and fired an unstoppable effort past Cech! 2-3 to us at the Bridge! Unbelievable! Great solo goal! So much for us being a one-man team, eh!? Only 55 minutes on the clock! It was pretty much like ping-pong at this point, and we almost made it 2-4, with Ramsey causing all kinds of havoc in the Chelsea box! He was almost brought down by Cole, but he stayed on his feet and managed to get his shot in, but Cech was there deny him.
Still the chances came, but mainly for us. Made the first sub on 75 minutes, Jenkinson coming off for Djourou, who was playing at right-back. Like for like substitution, and Theo came off for Rosicky, 3 minutes after.
But it having being pingpong, it only made sense for it to be Chelsea who got the next goal! And it was a beauty! But this isn’t an Arsenal blog, so I won’t be describing it in detail! Good goal by Mata, and nothing Szczesny could do to stop it. It was just one of those screamers we concede ever so often. Top goal. Disinfecting my hands now.
Anyways, 10 minutes still to play, lots of time to score more goals, no? Was proper shitting myself at this stage though, wanted the ref to blow the whistle there and then, ignore the clock! Actually, I’d been shitting myself since Theo scored, a whole 30 minutes from time! Interesting stat came up when the score was still 3-3, and apparently we’d both had 11 attempts, 7 on target for Chelsea, and only 4 on target for us. Certainly didn’t feel that way all match!
And then came the best moment of the match! Terry slips (he never learns, does he?!) under absolutely zero pressure (okay, it was a poor back pass from Malouda), and pretty much gifts Robin the goal, as he was there to mop up, rounding Cech and slotting it in. 2 goals scored by Robin, both after having rounded Cech! Great stuff! 85 minutes on the clock. full-time whistle please, referee?
We made our third and final sub shortly afterwards, the one and only Tommy V coming on for Gervinho. Great to see him back playing in the league, even if it was only for a few minutes. It’s been ages, Tommy V! I’m actually not sure what position he played. We had 5 defenders on at this point.
There was still time to score a 5th, though! Counter-attacking football, Rosicky finding Arteta, who then slides the ball out left to Robin, and what a finish! No stopping that, Mr Cech, with the ball swerving in the air! Bend it like van Persie! Great goal for his hattrick, and surprisingly, only his 5th goal against Chelsea, after scoring a double three years ago in the same fixture.
And the came the full-time whistle!
What. A. Bloody. Match! What a way for Arsene to get his 500th win as Arsenal boss!
28 goals in 27 league games for Robin. Amazing! Apparently he’s now the premier league topscorer, this season. Please injury-gods, keep him fit all season!
There really is no need to do much analysis after that match, just sit back and enjoy it result. Stand out performances though by Ramsey, and ofcourse Robin. Theo was brilliant, and Santos finally showed us what he’s made of in the second half. I’d like to see more of the 2nd-half Santos, not the first-half one. I think Djourou did well, and Kos was magnificent. Song too did well. Generally a good team performance, and I guess the fact that we won showed that we were able to carry the few who weren’t at their best.
Wish I could go out tonight and celebrate this win, but I’ve got an annoying cold, so can’t. Booo! Anyways, I hope this win does give us the boost we need, not so much in terms of results, but in terms of performances, as we’ve actually had a good run of late- 8 wins in the last 10 games in all competition. I’m sure we’ll push on from here.
Up next, Marseille at the Emirates. Won’t be an easy match, but we’re on such a high, and I hope we can carry that into the match. Brilliant stuff.
I’ll be off now, but would just like to say (again)- THERE’S ONLY ONE, TEAM IN LONDON!