A Cagey Affair
Jose Mourinho extended his unbeaten run against rival, Arsene Wenger to 10 matches after Arsenal and Chelsea played out a goalless draw at the Emirates on Monday, 23rd of December. The match failed to live up to its billing as a prospective exciting encounter as both teams couldn’t find a way in the very cagey affair.
Frank Lampard could’ve given Chelsea the lead in the after 32 minutes. The England international’s half-volley hit the underside of the bar leaving Arsenal goalkeeper, Szczesny temporarily helpless. Later on in the game, French striker Oliver Giroud wasted to chances that could’ve handed Wenger his first victory over Mourinho in 10 matches.
The result meant arsenal has surrendered their position at the top of the table to Merseyside club, Liverpool.
“We should have won it. They came here to defend and catch us on a break. We were a bit edgy at the start but we took control in the second half and should’ve won it. It was a game of very few chances and we couldn’t take ours. If you cannot win the game, don’t lose it”
“It was a tactical match. A match Arsenal wants to win and didn’t want to lose and Chelsea want to win but doesn’t want to lose. The goalkeeper was not in the game, we controlled the game defensively. It was important not to lose and be five points behind the leaders.
“We were not aggressive enough to attack defenders and go for goal. We want creative players who use the ball and kill opponents. But there are some matches where we have to take one step backwards and play with a different philosophy.”
|Aerial duels won||41.3%||58.7%|
|Shots on target||2||4|
|Shots on bar||0||1|
|Shots from inside the box||5||8|
|Shots from outside the box||2||5|
|Pass accuracy opp half||71.1%||63.5%|
|Pass accuracy own half||94.9%||89.0%|
A Point won or two points gained
Arsenal wanted this game more than Chelsea at least to maintain their momentum at the top of the table. Arsenal with 61.4% of the possession definitely meant business. Jose Mourinho just like the way he set his team out to play against Manchester United made it difficult for the gunners as the match was indeed tactical.
Chelsea were smarter with their chances. With little possession, they managed to get 13 shots with 4 on target compared to Arsenal’s 7 shots/ 2 shots on target. Jose got what he wanted really. Either a win or a point – don’t lose it all.
The result of this match might be significant later on in the title race as the complete 3 points might have afforded the gunners breathing space at the top of the table. Apart from that, the psychological boost would’ve been enormous had it been Wenger’s men got one of their bitter London rivals and Mourinho. In contrast, Mourinho and his men will be quite happy with a point.
[Stats: TheFootballApp, Quotes: PremierLeague]