The Blues drew 0-0 against the Gunners of Arsenal denying them a chance to extend their lead on 5 points against us over the Christmas period in the title race. Chelsea were set up strongly to defend against Arsenal’s fast wingers and attacking midfielders. Jose Mourinho admitted after the game he was more concerned about the result rather than a risky attacking football. After the conclusion, Chelsea sit 4th in the table a point behind Man City in 3rd and just 2 points of Liverpool in 1st place.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen (c), Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey; Walcott, Ozil, Rosicky; Giroud.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Lampard, Mikel, Ramires; Hazard, Torres, Willian.
The game started with Arsenal having much of the possession as was expected and the Blues defending well and the midfield trio of Lampard, Mikel and Ramires pressing high up which lead to Arsenal making mistakes on the ball. Mourinho’s starting 11 was set for a counter-attacking football trying to get a result in a match we couldn’t afford to lose points in the tight race for the Barclays premier league trophy.
Chances were not coming for the home side as Cahill and John Terry did incredibly well in closing out Giroud and co. to few chances to take the lead. But, also on the other side, Fernando Torres couldn’t get the better of Vermaleen and Koscieliny as we struggled to take a lead through counter.
The real chance to go in front came from Frank Lampard around the half hour mark put the midfielder hit the cross-bar unlikely after a brilliant run. Eden Hazard played a smart pass over the top of Vermaleen as he saw the Englishman advancing forward but, we were just unlucky there.
The game, which had struggled to get going for much of the first half, was beginning to spark into life as the clock ticked towards the break, and the home supporters were appealing for a penalty when Willian and Theo Walcott tangled inside our penalty area. Referee Mike Dean, however, waved the claim away.
The Brazilian was then involved in the action at the other end as we broke at pace following an Arsenal corner. Ivanovic climbed highest to head Walcott’s delivery away, and as the ball was worked out to Hazard he drove at the retreating defenders and slipped it in to the overlapping Willian whose strike was comfortable for Szczesny.
The 2nd half didn’t have much controversy and chances as the first except some scary chances presented to Giroud which Cech and John Terry did well to stop it from going in. The Blues played more defensively and didn’t look to threaten well on the counter-attack as Arsenal had more possession and Willian and Hazard didn’t present much more opportunities for Torres as he would have liked.
David Luiz, Oscar and Schurrle came on in the 2nd half but, couldn’t make much of an impact on the game. Schurrle came on first for Hazard in the 72nd and Oscar later followed in for Willian. David Luiz though came in the 86th minute for Fernando Torres which was a surprising defensive change from Mourinho.
The game ended with both sides unable to score goals and the Blues are just two points behind Liverpool who are leading until the weekend when they face Manchester City and we play Swansea at home. Thanks for reading and sound off your opinions below. follow on twitter (@FahmiCFC)