Tag Archives: Chelsea

2 more sleeps before Arsenal appear in another FA Cup final

Morning all.

I am all over the place this morning. Part-time furlough will do that to you. Do not know whether I am coming our going!

Hopefully by now you all have your FA Cup final plans sorted.

I will be doing the same as I did for the semi-final. The lads I regularly go with coming mine. BBQ. Beer. Football.

Chelsea are very slight favourites for the final. How close the odds are might surprise some considering they finished 10 points ahead in the league. But it is the form of Arsenal since Mikel Arteta which narrows the gap.

Since Arteta’s first game against Bournemouth on 26th December for the , Chelsea won 34 points in 20 games. Arteta’s Arsenal 33 points.

I have continually bashed on that Arsenal are a top 6 team that were coached poorly for the first half of the season – firstly under Unai Emery and then Freddie Ljungberg.

No blame can be put at Ljungberg’s feet. The problem was the board took 5 games between sacking Emery and bringing in Arteta.

In that 5 games we got 5 points. How different would our season have been if we had have got Arteta in the day after Emery left. Like Spurs did replacing Pochettino with Mourinho. I am certain we would have finished in a European spot. Maybe even challenged 5th.

So we face Chelsea in the final we double figure points between us in the league, but the gap is narrower in reality.

Arteta has faced Chelsea twice since he took over.

The first game was 3 days after Arteta took the helm. Chelsea won 2-1. But the result did not reflect the performance.

Arsenal were winning 1-0 with 7 minutes to go, before Jorginho and Tammy Abraham scored to steal the victory away.

3 minutes before Jorginho’s goal, he pulled back Matteo Guendouzi.

The Brazilian had already been booked and it was a blatant yellow card, which would have been his 2nd equalling a red.

Referee Craig Pawson had already shown 7 yellow cards, a couple of which were for pulling back an opponent. He bottled sending off Jorginho. What sums it up is Alexandre Lacazette was booked for protesting too much!

In the away game at Stamford Bridge, David Luiz was sent off after just 26 minutes. Chelsea scored from the resulting penalty before Gabriel Martinelli equalised.

Chelsea went 2-1 up with 6 minutes to go before Hector Bellerin scored 3 minutes later.

In years go by, down to 10 men after 26 minutes, Arsenal would have conceded 5 or 6. To come away from the Bridge with a point was seen as a bit of a victory.

So over 2 games against Chelsea, Arsenal have been the better side.

I am quietly confident about Saturday.


Match Report: Chelsea 2 – 2 Arsenal

Chelsea (1) 2 Arsenal (0) 2
Premier League
Stamford Bridge Stadium, Fulham Road, Fulham, London SW6 1HS
Tuesday, 21st January 2020. Kick-off time: 8.15pm

(4-3-1-2) Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Bukayo Saka; Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pépé; Mesut Özil; Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette.
Substitutes: Dani Ceballos, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Emiliano Martínez, Joe Willock, Mattéo Guendouzi, Eddie Nketiah.
Scorers: Gabriel Martinelli (63 mins), Hector Bellerin (87 mins)
Red Cards: David Luiz
Yellow Cards: Mattéo Guendouzi
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 41%
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 41,577

Less than a month since our previous meeting, we play Chelsea for the final time this season in the Premiership tonight. Judging by both of our results from three days hence, it goes without saying that a win is desperately needed at The Bridge for us. But it is good to see Hector Bellerin back in the first team line-up, and even better for him to return as team captain for this highly-charged London derby.

It was quite a messy start as far as we were concerned, with a corner or two given away, Shkodran Mustafi temporarily incapacitated with a painful injury and the home team coming close to scoring from a corner in the tenth minute. However, we live to fight on, and the midfield area was getting mighty crowded with much of the early action being concentrated in the centre of the pitch. Defensively we looked wooden again, with an inability to gain control of the game quickly when Chelsea attacked. All hell broke loose on the twenty-fifth minute when a poor ball from Shkodran Mustafi let in Tammy Abraham; he lost Bernd Leno easily and David Luiz had no option but to bring him down in the penalty area. The result? David Luiz getting his marching orders from Stuart Attwell, and Chelsea taking the lead from the subsequent penalty via the right foot of Jorginho. Down to ten men, things started to look a trifle dicey for us now in all areas of the pitch. Despite a period of about five minutes before half-time when we started to wake up a bit, the home side recovered and wave after wave of attack on our goal started to take its toll on our defence. With no shots on the Chelsea goal in the first forty-five minutes, the referee’s whistle for half-time came as a relief for us.

The second half started pretty much as the first one finished, with the home side putting pressure on us, which is only to be expected under the circumstances. Mattéo Guendouzi replaced the ineffective Mesut Özil after fifty-four minutes, but despite new legs being introduced, we still looked all at sea with the inability to make our mark on the match. Somehow, literally out of nowhere, from a Chelsea corner that we cleared, Gabriel Martinelli grabbed the ball and ran the whole length of the pitch (sixty-seven yards to you) and coolly slotted it past Arrizabalaga to equalise the scores in the sixty-third minute with our first attempt of the match. So now, finally we have a game on our hands! We certainly played with more purpose now, as Arsenal felt for the first time in the match, that they actually had a chance of winning the game; and with Alexandre Lacazette’s goal chalked off for offside on the seventy-third minute, who knows? Rob Holding replaced Nicolas Pépé with ten minutes to go, and although we were under renewed pressure from Chelsea, we managed to soak up pressure extremely well. With six minutes left on the clock, controversially with Tammy Abrahams returning to the pitch on an offside position, César Azpilicueta scored for the home side from a corner; but it wasn’t over, even then. A minute or so later, the ball came to Hector Bellerin on the right, and cutting inside scored a beautiful goal with his left foot from outside the penalty area with three minutes left of the match. Joe Willock replaced goalscorer Gabriel Martinelli with a minute left of normal time, just to give us something extra for the four minutes of injury time. It made no difference overall, despite one or two close calls from both sides, the match finished as a draw.

Wow. Two shots, two goals, we’ll take that, any day of the week. Despite all of the disasters out there at times tonight, particularly in the defensive area, the one thing that we cannot criticise is our indomitable and unshakable spirit, and with ten men on the pitch as well! Of course we still have extreme defensive issues and questionable leadership problems, but tonight’s spirited performance went a long way to start righting many wrongs. The road is long, but with the right signings in the next few transfer windows, Mikel Arteta’s new broom may just well pay off eventually. 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: AFC Bournemouth at The Vitality Stadium on Monday, 27th January at 8.00pm (FA Cup). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.


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.

The Top 6: Who is still left from 2012/13?

With the transfer window slamming shut, Arsenal’s activity has left them with just 2 members of the squad who have been with the club since the 2012/13 season. Nacho Monreal and Damián Martinez.

This summer we have seen Carl Jenkinson and Laurent Koscileny both leave. They were the only two remaining players from the 2012/13 squad picture, with Monreal joined us in the January transfer window.

It feels like a huge squad turnover, that out of the 35 players to have pulled on an Arsenal shirt during that season, just 2 remains.

How does this compare with the rest of the top 6?

Liverpool – 1

Just Jordan Henderson remains from Liverpool’s 2012/13 squad. They have the highest turnover over all of the top 6. Not a surprise considering they finished 7th that season.

Chelsea – 1

following David Luiz joining Arsenak, just 1 member of the Chelsea squad of 2012/13 remain. Club captain César Azpilicueta.

Arsenal – 2

The aforementioned Nacho Monreal is still at the club having signed a 1 year extension a month or so ago. Damián Martinez played twice in the League Cup that year.

Manchester City – 2

David Silva and Sergio Aguero are the only 2 players left from a Manchester City team that finished the 2012/13 season behind their big rivals Manchester United

Manchester United – 4

The 2012/13 league champions have kept hold of Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and David de Gea. Although many Manchester United fans will question how the 1st 3 are still at the club, and David de Gea probably wonders how he has not yet secured a move away.

Tottenham – 4

Harry Kane played just 4 minutes in the 2012/13 season. Jan Vertonghen, Hugo Lloris and Danny Rose are also still with the club.


Just 20 left – never to be repeated