Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Arsenal FC Arshavin 12:28 PMAleks Vee
|Fernando Torres celebrates his goal. Source: ferrnandotorres|
Arsenal came back strong at the start of the second half, with Podolski setting up a nice attack in the box. Cazorla missed the near post, though he was only a few meters away from the net. Chelsea exploited their counters, and for good reason. Vermaelen brought down Torres, earning Di Matteo's side yet another free kick and another goal. Juan Mata's delivery went straight into the net, though it seemed questionable whether Koscielny's leg touched the ball before it went in. Podolski finally tested Petr Cech with a close-range header, but the keeper came through for the guests. As the game evened out again, Arsenal's attacks came in waves. Olivier Giroud, who came in for Podolski, tested the keeper and got a corner for the home team after his shot ricocheted off a defender and forced Cech to reach for the ball. A late attempt by Wenger's side was saved by the inside of the crossbar, though Gervinho was offside. Victor Moses found space but shot the ball over the bar. Arsenal's last hurrah soon followed. Cazorla's shot teased the upper left corner, while Giroud wasted his moment, dribbling away, shooting too late, and not following the ball's motion. Chelsea walked away with 16 points, and rightfully so. As ESPN commentators Ian Darke and Steve McManaman suggested, Di Matteo's side simply have more players to mix and match. John Terry played a great defensive game, especially late in the second half. Transfers like Hazard and Oscar are shaping the midfield, while Moses proved his abilities in the wing.
Arsenal came off of a 6-1 win over Coventry in the Capital One Cup to a loss that could have been prevented. While Di Matteo can certainly be credited for his tactics this season, the Blues were already pretty consistent before he came in. During Arsenal's 7 years without a trophy, Chelsea have won 8 trophys, including 4 FA Cups, 2 Premier League titles, and the coveted status of Champions of Europe.
If there was any irony to be found, it came from both sides. It was the first time this season that Chelsea scored from set pieces. Arsenal played a more organized game than the guests and even created more set pieces, but there's too big a gap in productivity between players like Cazorla and RVP. Whether or not that explains the 7-point gap between Arsenal and the Premier League leaders or Arsenal's first loss of the season is debatable. So far, it looks like Lukas Podolski and Gervinho will have to step up their game to help Wenger's side compete with the front-runners. They've certainly got the potential, but can the duo help their team win their first trophy in 7 years? We've got the rest of the season to find out.
Barclays Premier League - 6th Matchweek
Saturday, September 29, 7:45AM EST
Arsenal vs. Chelsea - 1:2 (1:1)
Arena: Emirates Stadium/Ashburton Grove (London)
Referee: Martin Atkinson (Leeds)
0:1 Fernando Torres (Asst. Juan Mata) (20')
1:1 Gervinho (Asst. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) (43')
1:2 Juan Mata (53')
Published on Get Real Premier.