Chelsea vs Arsenal – the highly competitive London Derby never failed to generate excitement in recent years. This afternoon fixture at Stamford Bridge was tipped to produce a similar outcome as Chelsea, despite being a better outfit and team in form, lost to their rivals in two of their previous outings – Arsenal defeated the Blues in the FA Cup final last season and again snatched a victory in Community Shield earlier this season.
Chelsea secured three successive wins in the league following their disastrous opening weekend defeat against Burnley at home, whereas the Gunners’ were slowly getting back to their best banking on a couple of victories over Bournemouth and Europa League group stage fixture against FC Koln after a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield prior to the international break.
Today’s game started in high tempo as both the outfits kept on creating opportunities to break the deadlock. Arsenal were impressive as Arsene Wenger showed tactical masterclass against Antonio Conte and never let the Blues take control of the game. Although it ended in a scoreless draw, the game provided much more excitement than many of these two sides previous meetings.
Here are few talking points from this exciting yet goalless encounter.
Arsenal Are Better Off Without Mesut Ozil in High Pressing Games
There are no doubts over Mesut Ozil’s quality. But the German international’s work ethics have been scrutinized time and again and his ineffectiveness in big games has been criticized severely. Ozil missed today’s game with injury and Arsenal looked more purposeful and promising without him in today’s outing.
Youngster Alex Iwobi was handed a start and he did a fair job by sticking to the basics and obeying Wenger’s gameplan. He did not offer much in attack, but never stopped running or tracking back to win possession. Also, he, along with his teammates, pressed high up the pitch and did not allow Chelsea to take control of the game in midfield. Antonio Conte, the Blues boss, was tactically outplayed by Arsene Wenger at Stamford Bridge.
Morata Appeared To Be Clueless Without Supply
Alvaro Morata has already settled in new surroundings since completing a big-money move from Spanish giants Real Madrid. Conte has exiled hitman Diego Costa following a training ground rift last season and the Spaniard has been brought in to replace his countryman in front of goal.
He has already scored three times in the league but is yet to create a similar impact as Costa and looks isolated if his supplies are cut off. It is too early to come to a conclusion and Morata has a bright future ahead of him. But he needs to offer more upfront and work harder to win back possession outside the box.
Lacazette’s Shocking Miss Denied The Gunners’ A Deserved Win
Probably the story of the game in short as the Frenchman should have scored in the first half to break the deadlock which could have been a thoroughly earned victory for the Gunners.
Aaron Ramsey’s brilliant individual effort beat Courtois and clatter the post. The rebound fell kindly for Lacazette, but he skied his volley and missed a sitter.