Chelsea vs Arsenal, 3-5: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on October 29, 2011 20:30
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick as the Gunners battled their way past Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge.
I think many will agree with me when I say that this was our best game since that memorable win against Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium as we registered a top result, away from home and we keep our formidable winning run going ahead of the mid-week Champions League game.
After the first couple of minutes I’m more than sure many expected the Blues to go on and score many goals this afternoon and although in all fairness they did find the back of the net three times, the final result is what we should care about at the end of the day and the final result reads three for the Blues, FIVE for our beloved Arsenal.
To be only three points from Chelsea after the game, to be so close to the Top Four and to see our players keep their cool after taking an important lead late into the second half means that we can finally put behind us the terrible start to the season and look forward with optimism.
Make no mistake, as Aaron Ramsey correctly said after the game there are still problems in the defensive department that have to be fixed but the midfield and offensive department are looking stronger and stronger in every game and I lick my lips at the prospect of seeing Jack Wilshere join this formidable squad when he returns from injury.
As for individual performances, it is easy to highlight Robin’s fantastic hat-trick or Laurent Koscielny’s umpteenth solid performance or Theo’s brilliant game with which he temporary shut my mouth but I would like to remember this win for the dance of Andre Santos, one who showed that heart is bigger than anything as after a very disappointing first half in which he was beaten for pace and beaten in one against one, he came back in the second half and gave 101%, chasing everything and fighting against anything that was thrown at him.
To conclude, Arsene said that the Chelsea game was the real test to show that we have finally turned the corner and turn it we did. But, it is important not to get carried away as the season is only four months old and of course, there are many, many more games coming up.
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Match Video Highlights
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Szczesny: 6 – Made a number of good blocks when set-pieces had to be defended but for the third consecutive game in a row he inexplicably left his goal, this time resulting in a yellow card and was slow to react when Juan Mata scored the third.
Mertesacker: 6 – Questions will be asked on his positioning when we conceded the first two goals but the German grew in confidence in the second half, like many of our players after all as he made a number of good interceptions.
Koscielny: 9 – Phenomenal. I think his only mistake of the game came in the 47th minute when he carelessly gave the ball away but apart from that, Laurent enjoyed yet another majestic performance in our defensive department. Please don’t ask me to list the minutes in which he made a tackle, or a block or an interception as they would take the whole article.
Djourou: 5,5 – Horrible, horrible start to the game as Ashley Cole was twice left alone in the first three minutes of game with Johan making more mistakes with his positioning as the game progressed. Better, in the second half, but the right-wing desperately needs a solution as we wait for Bacary’s return.
Santos: 6,5 – Like Johan, Andre had a very disappointing first half as he was way too easily beaten in one-on-ones. But, he was flawless, perfect, fantastic in the second half as he scored one and made sure to put the “no entry” sign on the left.
Ramsey: 8 – The one who started the move ended with Gervinho’s terrible miss and produced a fantastic pass for the Ivorian when we equalised. More of the same in the second half and brilliant the way he went past Ashley Cole in the 60th minute.
Song: 6,5 – Good game by the Cameroon International as he dropped deep when we were under pressure in the first half and of course the one to deliver the perfect pass for Andre Santos early in the second half.
Arteta: 7 – Very, very good game by Mikel who produced a number of top-class passes for the offensive players such as the delicious chip for Robin on minute 17. I still feel that he is sometimes way too small when on the ball, especially with his first touch, but he’s improving, adapting well to the way we play.
Gervinho: 7 – Fought hard, should have scored in the 11th minute then turned provider when we equalised. The Ivorian will be criticised for not taking advantage of Theo’s fantastic pass in the first half but showed mental strength as he bounced back immediately after and never gave up as he was a nuisance to the Chelsea defence.
Walcott: 8,5 – Just brilliant the way he sprinted past Ashley Cole in the aforementioned move going on to produce the perfect pass for Gervinho, who missed. Another brilliant pass one minute later with Robin’s first touch letting him down and a special goal to give us the lead in the 55th minute. This is the Theo we love, this is the Theo we want, but in every game please.
van Persie: 9 – A hat-trick is a hat-trick and if my memory serves me right, Robin hit a brace the last time we won at Stamford Bridge. He wanted more today and after missing two chances in the first half(minute 12 and minute 17), the Dutchman grew in confidence and enjoyed a fantastic game as he goes top of the Top Scorers table.
Jenkinson, Rosicky, Vermaelen: No Vote – Not much time on the pitch for the reserves although I was impressed by the sharpness of Tomas who can surely be an asset when Aaron will get some rest and by the tackle Thomas made in tandem with Laurent, two who will again surely team up in central defence now that the Belgian is fit.