Monday, May 20, 2024

Report: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea

Result: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
Competition: Friendly
Date: 1 August 2021
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Leno, Chambers (Bellerin, 70), Holding (White, 45), Mari (Kolasinac, 70), Tierney (Tavares, 70), Partey (Xhaka, 40), Elneny (Lokonga, 70), Smith Rowe (Willock, 70), Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette (Nketiah, 70)

Arsenal’s penultimate friendly of pre-season ended with a  2-1 defeat to Chelsea in front of 20,000 fans at the Emirates.

First Half

Kai Havertz gave the visitors the lead on 26 minutes finishing off a counter-attack with an emphatic finish after Pablo Mari was left exposed. Moments later, a second break by the Blues should have seen Werner double the lead but the German toe-poked into the side-netting.

In response, Smith Rowe lashed a low drive against the post and two Arsenal penalty claims were waved away by referee Andre Marriner.

More worrying than the lack of attacking rhythm was the injury that forced Thomas Partey to limp off before the break. The Ghanaian had looked very strong in midfield before an ankle knock took its toll.

The Gunners might have fallen further behind when Ziyech’s effort also rebound off the post.

Second Half

Thomas Tuchel made a host of changes at the break – even Danny Drinkwater came on – while Mikel Arteta handed a debut to Ben White.

Our new centre-back, who replaced Holding, was quick to make a decisive intervention denying Ziyech after the Moroccan had nicked a through ball past Leno.

At the other end, Pepe had a shot deflected just wide and Mendy got down low to parry a Lacazette free-kick for a corner.

The Gunners continued to look ragged at the back and were thankful that Chelsea’s finishing was poor. Baba Rahman skied over on 65 minutes and Leno got lucky after making a poor pass to Xhaka that saw the Swiss dispossessed in the box.

While Xhaka did draw us level with a header from a corner on 69 minutes, our problems at the back continued. Within two minutes of coming on, Hector Bellerin gave the ball to Tammy Abraham who calmly slotted past Leno.

The end-to-end action continued. Tavares put in a brilliant cross that Auba should have converted and Willock, teed up by Pepe, crashed an effort against the bar which, had goal-line technology been in operation, would have been ruled a goal.

Sarr and Abraham had further opportunities to extend the Blues’ lead before Auba missed another sitter after Nketiah flicked him in on goal.

The two sides will meet again at the Emirates in three weeks time, judging by this showing, Arteta has a fair bit of work to do.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Some thoughts 1. Maybe a derby game in pre season wasn’t the best idea. Hope partey is ok asap because if he plays like that all season i will be delighted, he was outstanding. 2. Weird to see the lineup that is virtually the exact same as how we finished the season. I know there is time left in the window, but we really need to move on our outgoings. We are not going to move forward as a club with this lineup, sorry. And we need signings so bad. 3. We need a new CM even if xhaka stays.… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

Leno and Holding fill me with such confidence. Top 8 likely top 6 a possibility. So many average/good players but not good enough for a team that wants to compete at the top end.
Leno, holding, bellerin, Mari, Xhaka, Willock, nketia, elneny, chambers, Willian and I’m afraid Lacazette and Aubamayang are on way down in their careers. In a nutshell we are competing with villa, Everton, wolves.


I dont see any improvement to the team. Actually, all our defenders keep getting worse. If Partey cant stay healthy, dont see us getting into top 8

Teta's cult of personality


Based on the translation results, I won’t repeat what your name means. Are you learning about swear words for the first time or something?🤨


Willock? He has barely begun his career, and just starting to deliver on his potential.


Mate Villa are better than us. Did you see Emi Buendia debut??? go watch it and watch that Villa team without Grealish so much movement and creativity even without Grealish we are absolutely rubbish and thats putting it nicely

P1553d off

So go fuck off and support them. What’s with Arsenal fans thinking ‘ill prove I’m a true fan by shitting on my club because i see what no one else can.’


Eh so we can’t criticize the team at all then? The man’s got a point. It’s only pre season but you can already see the slow labored build up play, risky passing sequences in our own half, not defending as a unit – same old mistakes that landed us 8th last term. And Arteta’s still insisting on this tactic when we still don’t have enough ball carriers in the team to pull it off. I don’t see much changing from now till the end of the transfer window. Out of Willian, Bellerin, Xhaka, Kolasinac, and maybe Cedric who needs to… Read more »


And put in Eddie Nketiah on that list. We’ll have him as well. Sure he’s been sharp pre season but it’s time to give Balogun a chance.

Teta's cult of personality

Good for them, I guess this means you’ll be a frequent traveller to Villa Park this season then. Just make sure your car tyres don’t get slashed after derby day.

All the best🙂


I have come to realize anytime they call out our team for poor performance and lack of progress you all get on the defensive. Let’s be honest Arteta can’t take the team forward.

Teta's cult of personality

Let’s be honest Arteta can’t take the team forward.

Bro, I actually agree. It’s just that if someone is going to making statements like @STAN-CALLUM did, then they really are better off supporting Villa. As turgid as Arteta’s tactics are, I still enjoy seeing the talent on display from many of our younger players.

Walter White

Please keep Joe Willock

Naked Cygan

We are most likely the worst team to ever attempt to play from the back. San Marino can do a better job stringing a couple of passes.




Watching chelski’s first was painful. We tried to attack and pres but like last season, without ideas, fruitless and toothless. Then Chelsea made it simple with a counter 2vs1.

The Kolkata Gooner

Leno is terrible on the ball, takes too long to pass, and almost always makes the wrong decision. And when he kicks it out it normally goes out of play. If we are going to play out from the back, we need Leno to improve or this will continue I’m afraid.


Partey injury way more worrying than the result, fingers crossed it’s nothing serious

Kampala gooner


Bleeding gums murphy

Only watched second half and they could have had 6

Julian Gheiler

Doesn’t matter, we scored a legitimate goal to equalize

Bleeding gums murphy

Score line reads 1-2. Suck it up gentlemen, we ain’t good enough. Our standard of player has sunk so low. We will be lucky to finish above villa me thinks.

The half

You a villa fan. Crying that Grealish will leave?

Bleeding gums murphy

No, been going over the Arsenal since 1971 age 7. Seen some wonderful players in that time. Just my honest opinion, some beautiful young players in saka smith Rowe tierney martinelli and fingers crossed lo Kongo and Tavares. Just far to many journeymen footballers who will never win a premier league.


Pepe was likely offside.


Their #51 played him onside, it was a goal.


I know we’re not allowed to look into friendlies too much but Arsenal’s squad is still so so poor. They have a lot of work to do before the season starts, it’s worrying if The Arsenal go into the new season with a weak and wonky team like this.

Positives: Tavares looks a great signing, and Willock looked sharp.


We also just have a bad manager. We’re bad in the same ways we were bad last year – he doesn’t appear to have learned much of anything. But at least we’ve got £80m worth of RCBs!


So if you think our players are such poor quality, and yet this manager was able to finish the season with the third best record in PL after clearing the toxic dead weight in January. That would strike me as being an incredible achievement. Not something that could be done by some crappy manager. I think the jury is still out on this one, but think he handled the most unprecedented situation in League history ok. And turned results around quite well. And signs seem to be encouraging overall to me. But really I just hope he can get us… Read more »




Did you watch the team play last season? They weren’t very good. Incredibly slow, struggled to create scoring chances, never dominated games. Pretty solid at the back. Last season was weird, it felt like a lot of teams fell off a cliff in the second half of the season. I certainly think our personnel pulled the manager’s chestnuts out of the fire far more often than the other way around, especially Saka, Pepe, ESR, Odegaard and Tierney when he played. I hope they’re good, but I consider the second half of last season a fluke more than anything. The league… Read more »

Teta's cult of personality

Mate…Emery in his 1st season was trying to play out the back with a back-line of Cech, Mustafi, Sokratis, Lichsteiner and Kolasinac in some games. In that 2018-19 season, our best defenders on the ball were Bellerin and Holding. If you think Arteta has it harder than that, then I was some of that awesome sauce you’ve been having.

Crash Fistfight

Not that I disagree with the point, but wasn’t Leno signed at the same time as Lichtsteiner?


You are 100% correct. Arteta has to cut his teeth somewhere else.

Hakuna Matata

From my limited experience teams that perform poorly preseason actually start the season better. Those that bamboozle teams during preseason find it hard 2 get going once the season gets underway

Bleeding gums murphy

You’re a funny guy 😂😂

Hakuna Matata

Asante (thanks). Wasnt shooting 4 humor though. It’s just my observation based on no data at all

Bleeding gums murphy

I hear you my friend


Hopefully you are right. We won the preseason trophy last year.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Hope we don’t start the season with last year’s players bar BW…


Entertaining friendly. Bit of a basketball game. Defensively and tactically arsenal were a shambles. Lacazette looks like he ages 10 years every season. Auba still can’t hit a barn door (although at least he looked interested) and our most important players are made of glass. Bellerin and Leno doing their best to reduce their transfer value. Also, we will never beat a good team with Elneny in our midfield. Ever. He is simply not good enough to be operating at this level. Enough with this ‘he’s solid’ bollocks. He is crap and shouldn’t be anywhere near a club like Arsenal.… Read more »

canon fodder

I heard that your nickname is ‘Mr Positive’

Jeremy DG

Only saying what I see. Not much to be positive about last season and no real evidence to suggest our fortunes are magically about to change


Check the line up for the OT match last season!

Jeremy DG

At the time I’m not convinced Utd could be a labelled a decent team. Even if you could, it’s one game against a backdrop of many. Nothing against Mo, I just don’t want our midfield to be so one dimensional


Why are you ruling out Elneny alone? At first glance you’ll say it’s his fault but there’s so many more questions to that: 1. Why did Leno pass to him when clearly two Chelsea players are in vicinity? 2. Why are we still playing out from the back like that? That’s entirely up to the manager. Just watch our training sessions it’s all about build up play from the back still. 3. On point 2 why are we still only approaching games with this one tactic? We only have a few players who can keep the ball under pressure, it’s… Read more »


I really don’t want to be putting too much significance on friendlies but Auba has been blunt and prolifigate all through these pre-season games.
Yeah, this was a friendly but apparently, some Chelsea players didn’t get the memo. I hope this is not a bad injury to Partey (that would be tragic).
Pepe seems to be improving his game, all he needs now is consistency.
Enjoyable game all in all…

Man Manny

Auba is missing sitters.
I am getting worried.

Morrissey Fan #1

I watched some highlights from 2 seasons back and the decline is unreal. I haven’t seen anything that drastic in 30 odd years.


Nearly 40 years ago. Bill James demonstrated that baseball players as a group reach their peak performance at age 27 +-1. The data was compelling. Individuals may have their career year after 27 and even into their 30s, but the trend line is down from 27. Now this caused all sorts of contract decisions into question and players over time increased their training in order to push start of the decline out further and to flatten the line a bit. also at that time James created new ways to think about player value. It is relatively easy to do this… Read more »


Hopefully that’s just form…..needs to bundle one in off his knee

Hakuna Matata

So what I’m hearing is if this was a competitive game, it would have been a draw! No need 4 us 2 get twisted in knots then. Up the arse

Teta's cult of personality

Up the arse

No thank you😯


Where was Willian? I paid good money and expected to see our star


Where was Balagun & Azeez?


He was out with Eboue.


Saw him warming up in 1st half. He was being sure to stay close to Ben White so as not to get booed..


In Dubai apparently… 😆


Thought Nketiah and Willock both looked lively when they came on and involved in good build up. Don’t often say that so hopefully they can push their game further if we keep them around. That Willock goal was well over and their RWB was playing Pepe yards onside.

Tavares and Sambo both looked promising as did No10, Pepe, and Partey. Still some work to do on key positions though.

Skinny Ricky

Sambi, definitely not ‘Sambo’.


Pretty good going forward and pretty dreadful in defence. We really should have sorted the issues with passing out of the back by now. If we don’t have the quality It’s time for Arteta to swollow his pride and do what’s right for the team or bring in the players that can play the game he want’s.

That means an end to Leno, Elneny and Bellerin.


We signed a 50m ball playing CB. I expect that should go some way to solving the issue of playing out of the back. Except this is a preseason friendly and he’s only had a day with the club so go figure you don’t see the results yet.


It’s the same players who keeps making the same mistakes. White is a replacement for Luiz so the problem remains the same. Leno is not good enough for the game we wan’t to play and goalkeeper is really important in the setup of playing out of the back.


To be able to effectively pass the ball out of defence you need a goalkeeper capable of starting the process..Leno has never been a goalkeeper who looks comfortable or capable in this role…Martinez was!!…So it beggars belief that Arteta decided to sell him…As someone who lives in Bournemouth and has watched Ramsdale…I would point out that he’s also not a great proponent of this either…meaning that Arsenal need to look elsewhere if they are to continue with this choice of play. Bellerin’s only positive attribute as a right back was his speed.As we saw with Kyle Walker in the Euros… Read more »


Yeah….Leno has the yips with the ball at his feet. That transmits to the rest of the players. If we are gonna spend big on a new keeper, he HAS to be good with his feet (like the Villa keeper 🙄)

Hakuna Matata

Haven’t we beaten the martinez drum to death already? No need 2 cry over spilt milk


You do if the milk hasn’t been cleaned up and is still leaving a stink.


Arteta will swallow a cyanide pill before he does his pride.

Granit(e) hard!

Well, what can I say, this team dosen’t exactly fill fans with confidence, optimism or excitement for the season to start?…yeah I know, its a pre season friendly with a whole bunch of substitution but Chelsea were in the same boat and they seemed more focused than we were. We looked and played like a bang average mid table team and friendly or not, for me, this is quite worrying


Well at least Arsenal woman showed all is not lost today, and gave us something to hold on to.
The men’s team, there seems familiar signs that we just arnt there in defence, midfield and attack. Nothing to lose our minds over … yet.

Crash Fistfight

They just changed their manager.


every single time I see bellerin play football I’m literally , quite literally, amazed that he made it into professional football , he’s obviously physically and tactically so poor but even down to the techniques he uses to kick the ball just look stupid, the fact we are still watching him , kolasinac, nketiah , holding , elneny and Co just proves that nothing will change , unless something radical happens in next few weeks and by that I mean sell 7 or 8 and get 3 or 4 in ( gk, rb, dm/cm , am) and the right ones… Read more »

Dave Cee

And a striker!


….and cue the excuses…..


Why does Partey get injured during important games. All through pre season no injury the first real test INJURED. Also we don’t have quality in midfield. Lokonga needs to be eased in he can’t be expected to fill Xhaka or Partey void so early he looks out of pace with the speed of PL opposition. Some of out other players were also way too casual for my liking. We are not ready at all for the season and we looked incredibly disorganized with no creativity. WE NEED PLAYERS ASAP. RB CAM CDM GK… Leno is covered in mistakes. We need… Read more »


Partey got done by Loftus (Bloody swine)….maybe a derby isn’t the best fixture pre-season….man like Loftus have no sense of the word ‘friendly’

Teta's cult of personality

What a bone-headed tackle.

Loftus-Cheek is probably desperate to make an impression on the Chelsea boss. How many loans has he been on already?

Billy bob

I wonder whether inter Milan would be interested in cash, PEA and Bellerin for their striker Martinez? I kinda get the impression PEA needs a change of scenery and like Tim said in his article he probably regrets signing a new contract with us, as much as we are probably regretting the move!!!


I wish I could see willock play. All those goals at nc and nearly s ores today. Why would one want to get ride of hm?


Many first team players out today. If I’m Arteta I make a list of who has some serious question marks based on performance not just today but throughout the games so far.
Leno, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Elneny, Aubameyang (looks sharper but not finishing) and Holding if he wants to play a highline. Then what’s the plan for young coalition of Nketiah, Willock, AMN, Nelson, Lokonga and Martinelli. These are the things that may see where we go. For me, a few can look at the manager an say they deserve a look in.


The team is pedestrian just like last season. We don’t move the ball fast enough and there is no zip in our passing. Several times we got cought due to this. Also Leno doesn’t seem to have learned from his mistakes. He made similar error in passing to Xhaka toward the end of last season which led to an own goal (it was away don’t remember the opponent).

Arteta needs to change his style of play. We are still playing like last season…


This team has a novice at the wheel……. For the sake of Arsenal I hope that I am wrong. I really hope that I am wrong.


Fair result, even taking into account the goal that never was. Worryingly we look more shaky at the back than last season and Elneny is doing his best to concede at every opportunity.

On the plus side, Taveres looks like a great signing and I hope he gets plenty of football this season.

Paul Roberts

Haven’t watched the game but by the report above it reads to me like we should have won it it the second half at a canter?? “fair bit of work to do”?

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x