Analysis – Arsenal vs Chelsea


TKTG takes a look at the best articles and analysis covering the Arsenal vs Chelsea match which ended in a 2-1 win for Chelsea.

Match Report

The Guardian report “ Juan Mata makes the difference as Chelsea edge out Arsenal” sums up the mood by most football fans – both teams didn’t deserve to win but Chelsea just had that little bit extra.


That ” little bit extra” according to Gary Neville is “belief”.

” It’s that unexplainable edge in sport which is impossible to coach and you can’t teach but which makes the crucial difference nonetheless. I don’t know whether it is the special togetherness that is forged in the dressing room after a cup win, that feeling of having achieved and battled against the odds together.  Or whether it is simply the confidence those wins give you, so that you feel as though you are standing 10 foot rather than six foot tall. Probably it is a combination of both.” 

On Arsenal he says ” Just one trophy could make all the difference to these players, to make them believe they can do it.”

While Chelsea win means that ” Saturday’s result is an excellent one but the big test will come when they play the Manchester clubs in October and November. We’ll know a little more then.”

Read why Gary Neville feels a lack of belief is all that separates the London rivals.

Tactical Analysis

Zonal marking looks at how this wasn’t an inspiring game – none of the playmakers were on top form, and neither side played good football.
For Arsenal, ZM feels there was a lack of width with Ramsey getting more central while Podolski attacked the goal rather than staying wide. While for Chelsea, Oscar proved that he is not only a creator but also well disciplined and with his positioning was able to trouble Arteta.
The problem for both teams was down the left side. Both Gibbs and Vermaelen love to attack and with Podolski not offering any defensive cover meant that Chelsea would tend to attack from this side. From Chelsea – Hazard was not offering any support to Ashley Cole which led to him beaten by both Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and space also opened up on the flank for Carl Jenkinson to cross. A lot of Arsenal’s early deliveries from that wing were low, cleared and greeted with groans from the home crowd – but it’s difficult to know what the crosser was supposed to do when regularly faced with Gervinho and Santi Cazorla up against John Terry, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic in the middle – aerial crosses are unlikely to be successful.
More problematic was Arsenal’s lack of urgency without the ball when 2-1 down. After the substitutions, the front four stayed high up the pitch when the ball was played past them, but the other six players stayed deep – Arsenal were neither pressing as a unit, nor staying deep and compact. Chelsea often played past the first wave of pressure than had plenty of space to keep the ball in midfield, and slowed the tempo effectively for much of the second half.

Chelsea’s two goals were very similar – coming from free-kicks, conceded by Vermaelen, played to the far post where Koscielny defended poorly. The obvious conclusion is that Arsenal aren’t defending set-pieces effectively, especially having conceded from a corner against Manchester City last weekend.

Overall the main pattern was both sides being vulnerable in the left-back zones – neither Cole nor Gibbs received enough protection from ahead, while Vermaelen’s fouls furthered the problem for Arsenal down that side.

Read the rest of Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea: both sides vulnerable down their left.

Fans View

Over at We Ain’t Got No History a Chelsea blog the match report reads ” This was a big game and Chelsea got the big result. The performance might still leave us with some lingering questions – where’s our creative midfield or consistent width, for instance –, but the team did what they needed to do. They exploited the opposition’s weakness (defending set-pieces) and did just about enough to pull off the win. Di Matteo prepared the team well for this game and picked the right approach.”

While 7amkickoff – An Arsenal blog by an American writes ”  Arsenal hosted Chelsea yesterday and contrary to popular belief, the Gunners controlled the majority of the game but they ended up on the losing end because of two very small moments in which the Blues were just slightly more efficient.”

Read the full Chelsea blog and the Arsenal blog on their websites.

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