Arsenal stepped up when they needed to today, as goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny gave us a 2-0 win over Chelsea at the Emirates. It means the gap to the top four is now just 3 points, and hopefully it’s a win that can kick-start our season.

There was a blow with what appeared to be a serious knee injury for Hector Bellerin, but we needed three points first and foremost and we got them.

Read the Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea match report and see the goal here

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Adrian
Adrian

One of the best performance of the season. Good attacking game in first 30 minutes and one of the best in defense. Both Boss and Papa were outstanding. Happy to see Kos back in form. Guendouzi gets lot of stick here but today I think he nullified Kante’s impact which is a big task (considering his age and so many negativity among Arsenal fans). Only problem is Bellering’s injury. Hope he is not out for too long

yen
yen

Hopefully Hector goes full Trent Alexander-Arnold this week. He was supposed to be out for a month after last week’s game, signed a new contract for Liverpool midweek and was suddenly almost ready for today’s fixture.

Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

Unfortunately Hectors injury looks like a torn ACL/MCL. I hope I’m wrong or we may need a specialist RB on loan.

yen
yen

Jenko, anyone? Thought I was kidding at first, but the more I think about, especially considering our other options, it’s not that much of a joke anymore…

Micky Tayrian
Micky Tayrian

Why not? I don’t remember much Jenks has done wrong?

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

I like Jenko but be realistic AMN is a much better option.

yen
yen

I’m not sure if that’s true. AMN is still too easily exposed going backwards (see WHU game as example) & if we revert to back three, the system is heavily reliant on wing backs attacking contribution as well.

I’d like to keep the back four system where we seem to have better balance & we don’t need to attack via wings that much. Because of that, and because I think Jenko might still be a better defender than AMN is, I would give a chance at RB.

Mpls
Mpls

Horses for courses- fit them to the task at hand!
If nothing else this could get The Corporal some more cup time. Although those are getting more serious now too.

David C
David C

Jenks and AMN over Lich, any day!

Wilsherewaswasted
Wilsherewaswasted

I remember watching Chambers get absolutely sliced open all day, I think it was against Newcastle a few seasons ago. The following week, Jenks was on loan and marking the same same guy who’d ripped Chambers apart. They prick didn’t get past Jenks all day. I think he’s solid in defence, not great on the ball. But defence is what we need there, really…

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Looked like he was holding the outside of his, knee. What ligament would that be?

Comment about MCL
Comment about MCL

MCL

Jbas
Jbas

Nope, LCL (lateral). But probably did a some internal knee ligament damage too (ACL or PCL)

abhimanyu1989
abhimanyu1989

Two of them in one season…Our luck stinks…really 🙁

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Lateral Collateral Ligament

Dr. Bendnter

Yankee Gooner
Yankee Gooner

I’m going “glass half full” and hoping that it’s a frayed meniscus which hurts like holy fire but heals up fast after surgery.

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

I like it when Ainsley prentends that he has been knock out by Alonso As if Khabib gave him a big blow on the hexagon.

Tim Brouwer
Tim Brouwer

I really hate Alonso!

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

You mean the waxwork looking, drink-driving murderer.

yen
yen

Hate him ever since he took out Hector with his elbow whilst scoring at Stamford Bridge couple seasons back. Still think that goal shouldn’t have stood.

Clockendrider
Clockendrider

Apparently though it was alright because “he wanted it more”.
That must be pundit code for “because hes a right cunt”.

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch

I was thinking Pedro otherwise. A grinning villain as if lifted straight from a Spagetti Western. Hopefully taken out at the end by Clint Eastwood.

DB's first touch
DB's first touch

awesome reference and so fitting too.

Yolo Toure
Yolo Toure

Pedro looks like the kinda fella who don’t wash his cock

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch

Now there’s an image.

Obama Young

He’s like if Dudley Doo-Right was evil.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Great performance from all. A shout out to Kos and papa for a solid display.
Here’s to never seeing Mustafi again.

papa don't preach
papa don't preach

Here here! Now time to send those mancs packing next week.

gooner1981
gooner1981

We’re getting our Bosscielny back. Excellent performance from the team, and from him specifically. Double pivot seems to be a way better option than a back 3. Gutted for Bellerin, hope AMN and Lichtsteiner can do a solid job there till the end of the season, if it is as serious as it looks. A mini-final won today, now let’s hope this pushes us onwards and upwards.

Rich
Rich

Maitland Niles to be given a run at right back now? I think I’d prefer to go with his athleticism over Lichtsteiner’s experience, losing Bellerin is a massive blow.

Aubameyang is never really involved in the play, but I thought his closing down and tracking back was very good today, and on another day could have bagged a brace, he’s an absolute menace off the ball, and ridiculously quick over the first few metres.

Serpent
Serpent

I’d use Jenks over Lichtsteiner as well.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Apart from the goals, my favourite event in the game was that tracking back and awesome tackle by Auba.

GunmanT-Rex
GunmanT-Rex

Even thou auba missed a chance and got involved less as the game went on, loved his tracking back and tackles, he did a couple of lovely sliding tackles

God is a Gooner
God is a Gooner

One on pedro in our box if i remember.. Quality performance from him. Deserved the Aubahead to go in!

GraeB
GraeB

Where have these performances been between Spuds and today?

Chippys chip
Chippys chip

These performances need to happen every single game ffs no matter where or who against.

Gooner Dave
Gooner Dave

Pretty much lost our defence in them four games. And when you build from the back that’s a massive problem!

Anne Noyd
Anne Noyd

I think it’s as simple as this injury-ravaged squad has been unable to play at a high level every 3 days. Welbeck and Holding’s youth/athleticism has been a huge miss. They’ve just had a week off and it showed.

Cagooner
Cagooner

I think a big part of it is the lineup. A more solid defense today, playing Rambo where he can be his best and more cover for Xachka. Get that right and low and behold the team plays better.

When in doubt, blame the manager!
When in doubt, blame the manager!

There is a losing mentality and a culture of mediocrity at our club which has been built over the past 10 years. The problem with the squad is psychological as much as it is tactical.

locksley444
locksley444

I think the most encouraging part for today is the work ethic of the team as a collective. Two big differences I see from last year are A.The defensive organization is much better. There were few runners in regular play that got into our box unmarked. Previously this would start causing panic. We moved really well side to side and defended their push on the wings. B. The improvement in individual performances. Kolasinac looks like a good defender more often than not, Xhaka the same but his mistake factor seems to still pop up from time to time. Aubameyang was working hard defensively early. If we make mistakes and lose games, its hard to see the positives but I feel they’re there. Collective effort in itself has improved. The execution is still a work in progress.

Greg in Seattle
Greg in Seattle

Today was good, but to say they we have been better organized than last year just indicates that you’ve not been watching games.

We need to see this as the start of a trend before we can claim any improvement.

Don’t like our inability to to control the ball for longer stretches, however.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

We play direct football now. The ball does not stop in midfield if you noticed. Once we’re past the oppoenet’s press, we try to fond direct routes to goal. mostly from the flanks. We’re not a possession team anymore like the Wenger days. Our approach requires pace and efficiency. And most importantly defensive solidarity since we don’t keep the ball for long and are more susceptible to attacks.
And that’s also why we struggle with teams who block our direct passing lanes, and we get confined to passing backwards or keeping possession in less advanced areas of the pitch.

DIRECT FOOTBALL.

locksley444
locksley444

I’ve watched most of the minutes of this season and I’ll say it again. We are definitely defending better as a team compared to last year. We are having issues adapting to the new play-style, and are suffering from individual mistakes and so our improvement isn’t obvious. I actually state what I feel has improved(fewer unmarked opposition players in our box etc), and you have nothing as a counterpoint except say “you’ve not been watching games”. What exactly has gotten worse?. If the execution has been letting us down, and our record is a little worse off, we should take heart from performances like today. I feel like any further back and forth is a waste of time,so have a good rest of your weekend!

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

32 goals against, same as Palace, would tend to undermine this view.

Andy
Andy

None of these things were seen at West Ham

Gunnerlocutor
Gunnerlocutor

Really great to see the best version of our captain again. Kos the Boss!

yen
yen

The fact that most of our great performances came at home against great opposition gives me hope in this process.

Big shout to Unai for preparing his side for what was a crucial game, almost as if it was a play-off one. Maybe we should trick him into thinking that Premier League is actually just a huge tournament? He’s a tournament specialist after all…

Chippys chip
Chippys chip

Yes. Every game is a cup final. Its not feckin rocket science!

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

Should we meet Chelsea in a big Europa League match this will give us confidence to know we can beat them

Pretend-tackling like Iwobi
Pretend-tackling like Iwobi

10 all round. But Lacazette and Ramsey should have stayed on for longer as we were dominating. We lost the impetus after their substitutions – Bellerin’s injury was left us with no options.

Dobby
Dobby

I guess, but they were probably knackered and Chelsea still didn’t look like scoring really

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Taking off two of our best players didn’t seem the wisest move to me or any of the fans around me. But, at least it helped to keep them injury free and Ramsey must have been knackered.

Hurensohn
Hurensohn

Papa was like Lionidis today. Love the roar!

laudgunner
laudgunner

CONSISTENCY please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Irrational Gunner

Great game today. But yes, Unai, please turn them loose away from home!!!

Tony Adams Nose
Tony Adams Nose

It is all about the midfield and defensive line ups. If Emery has two decent CBS, a good DM and full backs we are good because we can score against anyone with Auba and Lacca.
Our recent dip came from having only one CB left standing and then Mustafi falling all over the place. If we keep this pairing fit and someone can do a job at right back we can kick on.

I reached out to my Chavy mates this morning and………..crickets

berlingoon
berlingoon

So happy for Kosc. Was really frustraded by the amount of people who wrote him off completely already instead of giving him at least a few weeks to find his feet after 9 months out and in a completely different team He’s a superb player and I’d be more than happy to keep him for a few more seasons. Was already our best man against West Ham if you ask me. He’s getting better game by game.

Ollie123
Ollie123

Top performance today. Clearly great for the top 4 challenge, but actually how we set up today and the way we went about it gives me a lot of confidence for what will hopefully be bigger Europa games coming up in April and May.

Gutted for Hector, he’s so important to the way we play with 4 at the back. Hope it isn’t as bad as it looks!

Also.. Alonso lol.

Gunnerthesaurus
Gunnerthesaurus

Just a little shout out to Ramsey.

Nick
Nick

For being mediocre.

A Different George
A Different George

Seriously? You thought Ramsey was mediocre in the first half? I thought he was our best player; you should ask Jorginho how he feels about it.

martin
martin

He faded in the second half but was the best player in the first half. You must be so biased to call him mediocre

Ram
Ram

Worse that that.Ozil is mediocre.

Joseph S Furey

Emery held his nerve, fielded the line-up that I (at least) wanted to see, and we were as good as his word. Fiercely energetic, playing as one. Defence looked like they knew each other. Gutted for/about Hector, but otherwise chuffed to f**k

Gunnerer
Gunnerer

I’ve seen a 10 from the blogs after a long time. The boss deserves it all

Viva la Prof
Viva la Prof

He is a prick face that is an excellent observation.

Shank

you got the defensive marks wrong my friend……..
Bellerin (so sad bout his injury)…….10
Sokratis …….10
Kolasinac……10
Koscelny……..12.5

Ace Boogie
Ace Boogie

Great performance. Gutted for Hector we’ve missed him dearly. Fight and effort were amazing from everyone. Would have loved to have seen Ozil back in the frey, but that’s my own selfish desire from a player I love. COYG let’s continue with the effort and attitude from today!

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

2 negatives:
-Bellerins injury.
-The boooos when laca was subed.
Him and Ramsey were tired from the high press. They were Given instructions to press hard and chase the opp and track back, basically to use all energy. Their substitutions were preplanned with that in mind. Same tactic was also used vs spudz.
if fans can’t understand basic football, and do not want to cheer their team, then at least shut it with all the “boooooos”.
#Toxic

bergkamp_fan
bergkamp_fan

Aubahead!!! Magical

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

I don’t care what defensive personnel are available, please can we stick to 4 at the back now

Dobby
Dobby

I notice the #EmeryOut brigade is a little quieter this week.

A Different George
A Different George

I am in favour of giving Emery more time. But, we had a great record at home last season too (47 points; only Man City’s 50 was better) and that didn’t stop anyone from wanting Wenger out.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

And what was our home record vs top 6 last season?

A Different George
A Different George

To win the league, you need points–whether you get them against Liverpool or against Stoke. Last year, at home, we got enough points to challenge for the league. That is a fact, not a subjective evaluation. We were awful away, not even top half. We started this season much better away, but are regressing; I hope that will end and we return to our earlier away form.

I am thrilled by today’s result–but I don’t find it nearly as surprising nor as “corner-turning” as others seem to.

Irrational Gunner

If Emery really wants to change “the culture” at Arsenal, which seems obvious, then win more games away from home than Wenger. (Actually should not be that difficult considering last years and the previous years results.) That is the key to move up the ladder against our direct competition, and would endear him to the fans. (at least some of us). The race for fourth is far from over.

John C
John C

Yesterday’s result wasn’t a corner turner but an indication of the slow turning of a tanker and how Emery wants us to play. Our style of play won’t consistently change until there’s been a turn around of players whom can consistently play the way he wants.

There’s no way we could have played like this last season because we didn’t have the energy and displine in midfield provided by Torreira and Guendouzi. The changes are clear to see but the consistency isn’t there yet, that will take a bit of time.

Tony Adams Nose
Tony Adams Nose

I have to agree there my friend, I believe we just beat the worse of the top four teams so I’m not starting to put the top four finish flags out yet. I also believe there will be many twists and turns in this to come. Poo and spuds both scraped through by the skin of their teeth this weekend against Palace and Fulham with the spuds Ali getting hurt so its piling up for them also.
FA cup Friday next, what a joke.

goonero
goonero

Are we giving them a name other than “complete idiots”?

Patrik Ljungberg
Patrik Ljungberg

I have said it before. It is way too early to write off Emery yet.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

Anybody writing off Emery yet is nuts. We’re in the battle for fourth in January, which is not the case more often than not, weve had the longest unbeaten run for many a year, team working together and we are no longer pushovers. We outbattled chelsea today, went toe to toe with Liverpool and smashed the spuds already this season. We should be proud of that and for those with short memories this was a team who could beat the other big clubs for love nor money. He’s not succumbing to the ego’s and is putting the team ethic first. Yes there have been bad days -west ham, Anfield – but this is better, more resilient Arsenal and as a fan I’m proud. Support the team and manager.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

* Could not beat

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I agree on the Lacazette substitution, but hey, it worked I guess.

Pkub
Pkub

Great performance by the entire team, everyone worked hard and showed real passion. Nice to see that after last performance!
Wishing Bellerin a speedy recovery… So unfortunate and he only recovered from his previous injury.

On the other hand, I get thay everyone was frustrated with Laca coming off, I personally would of taken Auba, but you got to understand we don’t have a 3rd striker. Imagine one of them got injured, I think it shows how important they are to this team, therefore reasonable decision to take one of them off.

Happy Saturday y’all.

Arsenal Born
Arsenal Born

Aubahead kick!!! Brilliant

Aleksander Włodarz
Aleksander Włodarz

Looks they must’ve cut Oliver’s balls together with his hair ? but maybe it helped Arsenal keep the clean sheet in a spirited display ! greetings from mourning Poland

Nick
Nick

Great result today; however, citing energy as our number ten’s greatest quality says it all. Surely our number ten should, first and foremost, be creative and skillful, yet Ramsey’s hailed primarily for running around a lot. The constant references (on this site) to his energy and how hard he tries seem to be tacit admissions that he lacks the requisite quality to be our number ten.

Tuchel apparently told Rabiot, a much better player, in my opinion, than Ramsey, to train with the reserves as he continues to run down his contract. Ramsey has undergone a medical and agreed a deal with another club. What is a player who’s leaving us doing in the first team anyway? It beggars belief.

Bertieme
Bertieme

But Emery doesn’t use a number 10.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Praising someone for their energy levels doesn’t imply they are lacking in quality.

AFL
AFL

Maybe being loyal and professional at the same time is what he does.
With his “just’ running around a lot he made jorginho completely harmless and has neutralised chelsea’s driving force thus helping the team and the club where he became one of the worlds best midfielders. Özil couldn’t do the job that Ramsey did today and I am appreciating Ramsey even more for being disciplined and sacrificing himself for the team even though he knows he wont be playing for us comes the summer!
Thanks Rambo!

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

Rabiot has been a pain at PSG for years with more leaving stories than Vieira. Perhaps that club have just had enough of his bullshit. Ramsay has never given less than 100% and his attitude off the pitch has always been great.
Last week we saw what was missing and this week Ramsay, amongst others, joined the dots. Don’t see any mean8ngful comparison between the 2 situations beyond both players being at the end of their contracts.

American Gooner
American Gooner

Excellent performance well played one and all.

I am especially pleased no one got the red mist after a few really dodgy challenges from the Chelsea players. Always happy to see Barkley, Alonso, and Luiz on the losing end.

Very sad no one popped Alonso after he elbowed Hector in the first half and slap/grab/shoved AMN in the second. Papa looked like he was going to eat Pedro after knicked it off his toes, more next week, please.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Ref seemed very Chelsea biased – was far away from me but nasty Barkley challenge looked like a red to me.

A Different George
A Different George

I always give Anthony Taylor the benefit of the doubt: took nerve to give Moses a second yellow, for diving, in an FA Cup final.

Mpls
Mpls

He does to my eyes usually seem one of the fairest with our matches, but Chelsea did get away with some over the line behavior today. He did let Papa and Xhaka get away with a couple of grapplings, but the Chelsea stuff was more dirty and dangerous.

American Gooner
American Gooner

Watching on the broadcast I think the ref just about got it right. The thing that chafes me about those types of challenges are as follows: 1) they are cynical and bore our of frustration, and the more you kick a person the more likely they are to end up injured short and long term. 2) Professional who have dedicated themselves to playing week in and week out should know the difference between a going into 50/50 and going into challenges they will never win. 3) If you leave your feet you better win the ball otherwise your ass should be grass with both your own team-mates and your opponents, many an “accidental” contact results in game, season, and career-ending injuries.

And before people get up my hole, contact is absolutely part of the game and it should stay that way, tough tackles are great and make me smile, also if you are going to “professionally foul” someone you can do it without leaving your feet most of the time. Kicking people because your team is playing like sh*t is not okay.

Rick
Rick

Still pisses me off today. How tha f..k did that goal stand where Alonso knocked Bellerin unconcious a few years back stand. Kinda decided that game. Just needed to vent.

food for thought
food for thought

coming into the game i was very pessimistic, thinking this is a hopeless game. very pleased in the end. lots of players going down with injuries though. that’s a worry. this is the formation for us. 4 at the back, well committed. 3 in midfield- 2 DMs and 1 committed no-stupid-mistake xhaka to conduct play. hardworking ramsey setting the tone and aubalaca up top. this is the right tactics for us. especially the no-mustafi part.

food for thought
food for thought

bonus rating 10/10 for unai for not playing mustafi

Jack4343
Jack4343

Nothing to add other than to second the notion that Alonso is a prick-faced wankblaster.

Ezra Mansour
Ezra Mansour

Why do we hate marcos alonso? I mean im all on board for it, just say the word! But is there a particular reason why we dont like him? The twat that he is

A Different George
A Different George

The elbow to Bellerin’s head, that literally knocked him unconscious, referenced above.

Jack4343
Jack4343

And as Bellerin lay knocked out, the cunt commentator said it wasn’t a foul and that Alonso wanted it more. Can’t remember who it was but I do remember that he is a giant prick faced wank blaster.

Greg
Greg

Danny mills on the radio

Dobby
Dobby

He also killed someone

Tomek
Tomek

Pissed me off so much that Allan Partridge yanked off out best player with thirty minutes to go. A HArd thing to make sense of.

Cool Papa Bellerin
Cool Papa Bellerin

Around the 78th minute I said that if we were up by more than 2 goals in stoppage time, Xhaka should punch Pedro in the face. 2 minutes later they subbed Pedro off. Sarri must have gotten wind of the plan.

steady henry
steady henry

I want an option to rate your summary rating at the end – 10/10 for call Alonso a wankblaster!

George
George

Great win made all the better with a clean sheet. Could even have scored a couple more.

Only thing that could have made it sweeter, if Barkley could somehow have put a sliding tackle into that gobshite McManaman.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

Is it me or does scousers high pitches whining voices make them all sound like fucking mosquitoes?

John Lavery

No, that is what that gobshite McManaman sounds like, ditto for that other Liverpudlian, Carragher. It is a real pain listening to them. As far as Hector is concerned and as it looks really serious, I say bring back the Corporal!

Jack
Jack

Erm – where is Gunnersaurus’ 10/10 for his absolutely clinical penalty at half time? Slotted bottom left with aplomb leaving the 7 year old keeper gaping.

Sign him up

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

Fingers crossed for Hector. Really feel for him. This was exactly what we needed. A routine win against a competitor. Why we couldn’t do this against West Ham I don’t know but proud of the performance today and I hope we approach every gane with that commitment from here on.

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

*every game

Highberry
Highberry

Good things happen when you start your best players that work the full 90. Torreira and Ramsey must start. Koscielny makes such a difference and now that he seems match fit we will be much better from the back. Great win to build confidence after a poor few weeks.

goonshow
goonshow

To the many fair-weather, scabrous unmentionables who ranted that ‘Kos is finished’, Kos is a has-been, Kos must go… after WHU – I hope you choke a long slow painful death on that humble pie.
But then, your sort wouldn’t have the balls to take the bite, but rather creep back into the slime-encrusted holes from which you emerged in the first place.

santori
santori

Great performance today as a team.

Of course we’ve seen this before (against Spurts) so the real issue is replicating this against the likes of BHA, Soton, West Ham.

Pointless winning these sort of redemptive matches and then let it all slip away again against lesser likes.

BUT the players did well today playing with belief and rescuing a chance at Top 4 for the season

1) Leno – Did decent. They didn’t have more than one shot on target (The Alonso one that thankfully hit the post) but he came out to claim the ball as much as he could.

2) Bellerin – Had a good game down the right holding the ball for us and working it up field. One particularly sublime ball to Lacazette down the line that found its way in the end to Auba who conspired to get his feet wrong. Pity the injury which is a big blow for us.

3) Sokratis – Back 4 today with Unai risking it slightly for us to flood midfield and press high. Sokratis was solid today with some (thankfully) well challenged meaty sliding tackles. If this is the pair we are going to play as central in a back 4, I suggest we keep them going for a while but I think we may have to rotate bc of fitness. Still a well won clean sheet and a good job by BOTH Cbacks today. Great assist as well for our second.

4) Koscielny – MOTM today for me. Literarily laid his manhood on the line with that block on Barkley’s shot. And what a sublime piece of skill only Messi could dream of with that wonderful shoulder for the goal. He read the weakness in the Chelsea central defense and twice exploited it, one point blank header at Kepa and the other the goal. BUT he was there throughout today to mop up, clear the ball or head it to safety. He’s been steadily gaining match sharpness the old war horse. The only issue would be durability but the experience at the back helped today. Clean sheet!

5) Kolasinac – Some iffy moments first 20 minutes of the first half when he failed to track Pedro and a couple of times he was too tight in field leaving them plenty of space to exploit. BUT he grew into the game and started to really add some no nonsense tackling to shut them out on the left plus going forward, created a number of very good chances, including the cross to Auba for the audacious back kick.

6) Granit – Base of a midfield diamond which really gave Chelsea no room to manouvre much. Kept discipline and kept us going from deep today. Put in some excellent deliveries together with Torreira. We really suffocated them in midfield today. Solid today. The thing about midfield today as well is we were for most parts diligent tracking the runners coming in from deep and kept switched on throughout. As I have mentioned before, our poor performances in defense is not solely due to the back line. The midfield needs to offer a screen and today we were just that. Everytime a Chelsea player was in front of the box, someone came out quick to close distance and there was a back up nearby to prevent quick one twos.

7) Torreira – Closer to his nippy best. Got fouled several times but ignored by that cretin Taylor. But like Granit, help put some quality balls in for us and all midfielders pressed hard through to end of the game. When Torreira went down to cramps, indication of the work put in. Can we put this sort of effort every match is the question.

8) Guendouzi – Also great energy from the young man. Has a maturity to his play receiving fouls and protecting our possession but also in general always trying to play forward as quickly as possible.

9) Ramsey – A close second for MOTM. Placed on apex by Emery to harass and he did just that giving them no time on the ball. Particularly first half, he was instrumental in a number of turn overs high up field and they just did not know what to do with him as he popped up all over the front line. Pity we are going to lose him.

10) Auba – Better today. Still conspired to miss 2 or 3 superb chances but he worked hard tracking back today. Came back a number of times to cover and win important tackles (one heart in mouth one he got thankfully right in the box). But also fashioned himself a great opportunity when he stole the ball off of Azpicueleta. Needs to work on offering us a better outlet, second half would have preferred to have kept Laca.

11) Laca – I’m loving the Laca this season and it was a pity we hauled him off. Again great industry, intelligent positioning and superb feet to fashion the goal. But also in second half he brought the ball out from defense, nutmegged Giorginio. Unai put two up top to press their Cbacks with an additional threat of Ramsey running on to any lose balls. We worked them today into mistakes and had more shots on target despite 37% possession. They came out a little flat second half but we had taken the wind out of them already. This is what I mean by us being sharper with our opportunities and less forgiving. We imposed our will on them today and demoralised them with our efficiency in front of goal and our industry off the ball.

12) AMN – Came on ostensibly to sustain energy in midfield but was destined to cover the unfortunate Bellerin very soon thereafter. And I thought he was discipline and did a good job. He’s very fit and physically extremely strong. Did not try to get forward too much but then we did not have impetus to do so defending the lead.

13) Iwobi – Out on the left to help Kolasinac. More a battle today sometimes in and amongst Chelsea bodies but he has the strength and skill to hold the ball for us. Still we lack players who can dribble and hold as in some ways evident by our lack of control on the game. Something to work on in midfield as we ceded way too much possession even if we were in the lead. Again probably why the sort of players rumoured to us in market in Dennis and Carrasco are the sort who can hold the ball at feet.

14) Elneny – When Unai sends Elneny in ahead of Ozil it says something. Of course we did not have to chase a game and were more in protection mode. The Egyptian is a limited player but offers plenty of energy and hard work. Deployed in a 5 in midfield on the apex to chase the deeper lying Chelsea players, he did decent even if some passes were poor.

Gaffer – back to his best. Got the tactics right today. Very bold decision to go 4 at the back bc we still had many iffy moments but the diamond in midfield help suffocate Chelsea did its job shielding the back. Also two up top with the industry of Ramsey supporting really proved a handful for David Luiz and cohorts.

Still this is not a prescribe for all other matches. We will have sustainable issues for the older Cbacks and not every team will come at us and open space for us. Many of the teams we face will offer a different challenge as they sit deep and close down our passing lines. BUT a good performance today and the right calls by the gaffer to eek out a VERY critical 3 points.

The main trick now is to follow this up with further wins and build on it. NO point winning and making statements like we did against Spurts and then throw it away thereafter.

MeSoHornsey
MeSoHornsey

Wow.

Matt P
Matt P

Laca was a 9 for me, really good. That goal was class, made it look easy which it definitely wasn’t.

Sue

Everyone was superb… worked so hard.. that was needed after the last few weeks. Only thing I do wonder though is what has Laca got to do to play the whole 90 minutes??
Hearing the crowd singing for Giroud after he came on – so classy of the fans 👌

John Lavery

I miss Big Ollie, I was very sorry that we lost him, I know that it was the best for Ollie as he wanted to play in the WC but I still miss him.

Stephen
Stephen

Shout out to Auba for the surgical back heel tackles.

Mother
Mother

Buoyed by that result but also with the performance – we looked excellent all over the pitch.

Emery made mention that with the hectic festive period (something he’s not used to) he asked less of the team physically because they were burnt out. We certainly suffered a few times because of this whereas today was Emeryball at its finest. Next season he should be more prepared.

Special shoutout to the few supposed Arsenal fans booing the Lacazette substitution; always angry about something! Idiots.