MATCH REPORT: Chelsea 0 – 1 Arsenal

Chelsea (0) 0 Arsenal (0) 1

Premier League

Stamford Bridge Grounds, Fulham Road, London SW6 1HS

Sunday, 6th November 2022. Kick-off time: 12.00pm (noon)

(4-3-3) Aaron Ramsdale; Aaron Ramsdale; William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhães, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Martin Ødegaard (c), Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli.

Substitutes: Kieran Tierney, Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding, Cédric Soares, Fabio Vieira, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Reiss Nelson, Mohamed Elneny, Matt Turner.

Scorers: Gabriel (63 mins)

Yellow Cards: Bukayo Saka, Ben White

Arsenal Possession Percentage: 56%

Referee: Michael Oliver

Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt, Dan Cook

Fourth Official: Robert Jones

VAR Team at Stockley Park: VAR Jarred Gillett; AVAR Matthew Wilkes

Attendance: 40,142

For today’s derby clash at Stamford Bridge, we have seven changes from the side that beat FC Zürich 1-0 last Thursday to ensure top spot in Group A of the Europa League. The only players that remain in the team against Chelsea today are Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel, Ben White and Gabriel Jesus, whilst captain Martin Ødegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are returning, along with Oleksandr Zinchenko, whose return from injury is most welcome.

After the incredibly moving respectful silence, the playing of the Last Post by a solitary bugler and the laying down of wreaths in the centre circle to commemorate Remembrance Sunday next week(as today is the last first-class match at Stamford Bridge until 27th December), this normally white-hot London derby between these two leviathans of the English game commenced with the home side starting proceedings at high noon. Within a minute of the start, Thomas Partey launched a long throw into the Chelsea penalty area and although Gabriel met it with his head, the ball went harmlessly wide. The opening stages of the match were dominated by us, and although we came close to scoring on a couple of occasions (including an excellent free-kick taken by Bukayo Saka after he was fouled by Marc Cucurella), our superb efforts came to nothing, sadly. Following a Chelsea counter-attack which petered out, Ben White had an excellent shot on the tenth minute for the match which went inches wide of Édouard Mendy’s goal. Generally, we are playing with confidence, creating chances and causing problems for Chelsea in many areas of the pitch, often blocking the home team in, mainly in their own penalty area. Gabriel Jesus robbed Ruben Loftus-Cheek of the ball and weaved past a couple of defender’s challenges and into the penalty area, but sadly his shot was blocked by Thiago Silva. Just before the half hour mark, Ben White was the recipient of an extremely late tackle from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which rightly earned the ex-Arsenal man the first booking of the match. Shortly afterwards, Gabriel Martinelli placed a beautiful ball from the left into the Chelsea penalty area destined for the head of Gabriel Jesus, who placed it inches wide of the post. William Saliba neatly robbed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the ball in the penalty area, and although the home side are having chances, at the moment, we do not appear to be threatened too much. There is a lot of good passing between our players, but not a lot of decent finishing, as the match is looking to be quite flat at the moment; it needs an Arsenal goal to liven things up a bit! Bukayo Saka received our first booking of the afternoon for a silly tackle on Marc Cucurella, and in injury time, Gabriel Martinelli broke through and won a corner, which subsequently went nowhere, and seconds later, referee Michael Oliver blew his whistle to bring an erstwhile dull first half to a conclusion.

The second half started with Arsenal kicking off and taking the game to the home side. We got an early free-kick courtesy of a foul on Bukayo Saka by Marc Cucurella (again), and although the ball went out for an Arsenal corner, it was easily cleared by the Chelsea defence. César Azpilicueta was booked for a bad tackle on Gabriel Martinelli, and after our free-kick the match returned to us playing good football and pressurising the Chelsea goal. Ten minutes after the restart, a ball in from the right wing courtesy of Martin Ødegaard glanced off Thomas Partey’s head just in front of the goal, and it flew past Édouard Mendy’s post. The game was stopped briefly for a medical emergency in the crowd, and when it restarted, Trevoh Chalobah was booked for a body check on Gabriel Jesus, and a few minutes later, our number nine was desperately unlucky not to score when he was put through on a one-on-one situation, and on the sixty-third minute, we fnally took the lead when a corner from Bukayo Saka was allowed to go through a host of bodies at the near post, and although it looked like the ball was heading straight in the goal anyway, our man Gabriel made sure by prodding it over the line to score the opening goal of the afternoon. We went back looking for a second goal when Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross from the left fell to Bukayo Saka on the opposite side of the box, and he took a touch and completely “skyed” his effort. This effort from Oleksandr Zinchenko led to several good chances from our strikers, particularly Martin Ødegaard, who blasted the ball over the bar when it looked certain that he would score; with thirteen minutes of the game remaining, Kieran Tierney replaced Oleksandr Zinchenko, and a couple of minutes later we had a penalty call denied by VAR when it looked like Marc Cucurella handled the ball in the Chelsea penalty area. Ben White was booked for time wasting, and shortly afterwards, William Saliba cleared the ball out of our six-yard box after a Raheem Sterling effort looked dangerous. Conor Gallagher tugged at Kieran Tierney’s shirt (which earned him a booking), and the home side’s goalie plucked the ball out of the air quite easily from the resulting free-kick. Our captain Martin Ødegaard (who passed the armband to Granit Xhaka) was replaced by Mohamed Elneny with four minutes of the match remaining, and after yet another yellow card for a Chelsea player, when Raheem Sterling fouled Thomas Partey, we entered the five minutes’ injury time with a frustrating fracas between Granit Xhaka and Trevoh Chalobah which resulted in our man getting a talk in his ear from referee Michael Oliver, and with the minutes ticking away, Gabriel Martinelli was replaced by Rob Holding in order to shore things up, and just a mere minute or so later, the whistle was blown for the match to finish, and for us to replace Manchester City at the top of the Premiership.

Okay, it was not exactly a classic match, it was a wee bit scrappy at times, but we got the three points and Arsenal return to the top of the Premiership this afternoon in the wake of this victory. Ben White, William Saliba and Gabriel were absolutely first-class today, as was Thomas Partey, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Ødegaard also; let us not forget the impact Granit Xhaka had on the game today either, he kept his head really well (full marks), despite some extreme provocation by some Chelsea players. Overall, we were by far the best team on the day, and well deserved our win at the Bridge, and as far as the history books are concerned, the win today was the first time that we have won three matches in a row against Chelsea since 1974, and the first time since 1951 that Arsenal have won three consecutive league games at Stamford Bridge. All in all, a very good day at the office for the boys.

Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: Brighton and Hove Albion at the Emirates on Wednesday, 9th November at 17.45pm (Carabao Cup). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon

1 thought on “MATCH REPORT: Chelsea 0 – 1 Arsenal

  1. Johnno

    Disagree with your match report today Steve. Didn`t think that there was anything scrappy about that win. Thought it was controlled domination to be fair. We are a seriously well coached side at the minute, tactically brilliant all over the park. The players are carrying out the managers instructions to the letter, that much is obvious.
    We do need to start ramming home our advantage when we`re on top. Thought we were a 3 or 4 goal better team than Chelsea yesterday but as long as you don`t get the 2nd or 3rd you always give the opposition a sniff.
    The whole team were magnificent in my opinion and it`s not really fair to pick out individual performances when the team were that good. However, I`m going to do it anyway. Partey was immense, he`s a different type of player to Vieira but we`ve never had a player who controls/dominates his area of the pitch the way he does since Paddy left. Absolutely unbelievable, he was. I`m starting to think we could challenge right to the wire if he stays fit all season.
    And Saliba, how fucking good was he? For a 21 year old kid to coast through a game of that importance without barely breaking a sweat was really something to see. He`s a rolls Royce player and it`s frightening to think how good he could become. Hopefully, we can get him tied down to a long term contract because the vultures will already be sniffing around.
    Everybody keeps saying that Jesus (brilliant again) has taken this side to a new level and he has but for me, Saliba is the main reason we`re a more dominant team this season. His power and pace has allowed us to play 5 – 10 yards higher up the pitch. We`re winning the ball back in much more dangerous areas and playing in the oppositions half with much more frequency. That`s down to Saliba in my opinion. Lastly, I want to give out a mention to the geezer beside him, glad to see him get the winner. He`s having a really good season but you still get halfwits criticising him. These people have to moan at something and he`s been their target. Hopefully his performance and goal shut a few of the cunts up yesterday.
    Up The Arse.

    Like

    Reply

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