Arsenal completed their overseas pre-season tour with a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing today.
The Arsenal starting XI was: Ospina, Maitland-Niles, Mertesacker, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Bramall, Ozil, Iwobi, Lacazette.
That meant youngster Maitland-Niles in the back three and Bramall on the left hand side, and the game was being played on an atrocious looking pitch that cut up from the very first minute.
Maitland-Niles looked uncomfortable as part of the back three and a sloppy pass saw him present a chance to Willian which the Brazilian put just wide. Chelsea had a few other pops on goal, and a great run from deep by Ramsey saw him poke an Ozil pass wide.
Ospina fisted Pedro on the edge of our box, leaving the Chelsea player unable to continue and he was replaced by some bloke I’ve never heard of. What a magic.
The Colombian keeper then pulled off a fantastic double save from some bloke and some other bloke who got on the end of the rebound. Then Chelsea had a goal disallowed for offside, Mertesacker diverted a dangerous cross over the bar, and Antonio Conte’s side looked the more dangerous.
Indeed, that danger was converted into a goal in the 39th minute Willian curled a shot in off the bottom of the post to make it 1-0, and the lead was doubled by Batshuayi a minute later after Bramall conceded possession sloppily and the striker curled a shot just out of Ospina’s reach.
Ramsey forced Courtois into a good save at his near post after a good pass from Oxlade-Chamberlain, but Chelsea took the two goal lead into half-time.
There was confusion as the second half began when Arsenal tried to bring on Olivier Giroud, but because the French striker was not on the squad list the Chinese officials objected to the change. In the end, Giroud was allowed on along with a host of other changes including Koscielny, Elneny, Coquelin, Welbeck and Kolasinac.
However, the changes had little effect on the game, as Batshuayi extended the lead after just a few minutes of the second period, cracking home from the edge of the box after being set up by Alonso.
There were shouts for an Arsenal penalty but the referee deemed a foul on Welbeck to be right on the edge of the box, and despite an atrocious maneuver the ball ended up with Coquelin who fired just over.
Giroud shot when he should have crossed for Ozil, Alonso hit the wall with a free kick for Chelsea, and then I started wondering why I was spending my Saturday watching this pointless shite. Am I so addicted to Arsenal that I can’t find anything better to do? The only conclusion is that yes, yes I am.
Giroud pulled a shot from distance wide, then Chelsea made a load of changes bringing on a load of c*nts for some other c*nts. Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson came on for Arsenal as the game entered the final 20 minutes.
Why do so many footballers think the Shawshank Redemption is the greatest film of all time? I mean, it’s a pretty decent movie but that’s about it. Is it some kind of collective delusion?
Kolasinac got booked for a cynical foul then Arsenal brought on Emi Martinez for Ospina and Donyell Malen came on I think for Mesut Ozil. Someone called to the door then and I missed a few minutes and then I played with the dog for a bit. He has a toy called Rob Lobster which he insisted I try and take off him by chasing him around the garden like Homer Simpson chases the squirrel in that episode when he goes back to college.
Malen hit the post, Giroud looked uncharacteristically clumsy when set up by Koscielny, and in the end Chelsea won.
Ultimately though, it’s pre-season, thus: