- Improved… But still with a lot to prove
So we weren’t down by 3 goals after 20 minutes, neither had Gibbs been sent off for Chmaberlain because Andre Marriner wasn’t in town, but then it was not a very firm statement of improvement from us generally. Chelsea were better in every single department today, even affording the luxury of using two goalkeepers while our ‘Number 1’ still has a way of not wanting us to put all our trust in him. Hazard’s penalty was less about Koscileny’s miscalculation and more about individual brilliance and it is somehow inexplicable that a team with Wilshere, Cazorla, Alexis and Ozil would struggle to produce brilliant moments in free-flowing torrents. We were more mammalian today than the snail-like performance last time but we must produce more if we are to be considered super-human.
- Chambers needs more lessons
The young defender showed very good signs in the beginning of the game, tracking Eden Hazard effectively and keeping him at bay. The Chelsea danger man would eventually drift away from Chambers’ grasp into the center from where he dealt us the first blow. Repeated confrontation between the two would later earn him his fifth booking of the season which now means he’ll not be available for the home game against Hull. Considering he’s reached this mark quicker than Mattieu Flamini, it should be a sign of worry about the timing of his tackles and general temperament, which for a defender is not always palatable.
- Should have kept the Gala-ttack
We conceded two goals yesterday; hence, there will always be question marks about our defence. However, it was the attack who were really lacking in creativity yesterday, with neither of Alexis, Ozil or Cazorla managing to bring anything to the table. There were times when we had ample space on quick breaks around the area close to the edge of Chelsea’s box but it was either Cazorla took the wrong option of spreading it wide rather than look forward for Welbeck’s run or Alexis trying another Cryuff turn. It was not the same attack we had seen on Wednesday night against Galatasaray, not only because Ozil was shunted out again or that Chamberlain was dropped but because the passes were less purposeful and more errant. Wherever the template for that game was, we must recover it.
You could argue that he was under some emotions at the initial stages of the game, with an over-hit pass into his own area, puffed cheeks showing the image of a lad afraid to run a sledgehammer through his dad. That, though, was the worst he did all evening as he just showed us what a player he still is. Pulling Wilshere away from the clash with John Terry made him look like he was still Arsenal Captain, but the incredible one time ball to Costa was a clear reminder that he was wearing blue not red. Perhaps, not too easy for us to move on now, is it?
So you win the game, and you still can’t shake the opposition manager, perfect role model for the kids.
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