Arsenal vs Chelsea: Half-time report
Written by Chris on April 18, 2009 19:01
It was predictable to have such a high-tempo first half at Wembley between two top Premiership sides and indeed, the first 45 minutes didn’t disappoint expectations. Both sides were visibly nervous at the start as it is usually the case on big matches and it was Fabianski who showed the first signs of that when he came out of his goal in the third minute to head clear but it was Drogba who got to the ball first but luckily, Gibbs was there to clear off the line.
With the Arsenal enjoying plenty of the ball, the lead was taken just inside the first quarter of the half. Adebayor does well to pick Gibbs on the left who crosses for Walcott who goes with his left foot and after a deflection off Ashley Cole’s right hand, the ball ends in the back of the net for the joy of all the Arsenal supporters at Wembley stadium.
Following that, we continued to enjoy possession although Chelsea did go close when Florent Malouda fired one across the face of goal but luckily for Fabianski who should have saved it, the ball went just wide. Minutes later, Diaby does well to shrug off Ballack’s challenge, plays it back to Van Persie but the Dutchman can only scuff his effort for Arsenal’s last chance of the half.
Chelsea stepped it up a gear after that and in the 33rd minute they were level. A Frank Lampard pass picks Malouda on the left with the Frenchman doing well to get past Eboue and fire a shot which Fabianski, again, should have dealt with. This time, unfortunately, it’s 1-1.
Chelsea continued to increase the pressure and in the 38th minute it was Anelka who went close after winning the ball off Diaby’s feet, but his effort hits the post. It was a terrible mistake by Diaby, who gave the ball away in such a dangerous position. The Frenchman, Denilson and Fabianski all gave away the ball cheaply during this half but we were lucky to escape.
Chelsea may have had more goal opportunities and maybe possession but I strongly believe this one is not over yet, far from that, especially when you considering that Arshavin and Nasri are on the bench and ready to help. Van Persie and Adebayor have been anonymous up front but Walcott, just like Wednesday, was very active and scored. Diaby, making his return in the starting line-up has been disapponting and so was Fabianski who looks very, very nervous. At the back, Gibbs is again enjoying a great match but Eboue, on the other wing, can do more to block Malouda’s efforts.
At half time, it’s Arsenal one, Chelsea one.