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Can you ever imagine an Arsenal without Arsene ? – by Gautam Sudev
January 17, 2018

 Arsenal vs Chelsea Match review

With the smell of New Year fireworks still afresh in the London air, Arsenal welcomed the Blues for another fiery encounter.

“Red and Blue they don’t mix, they clash”

Arsenal couldn’t afford to drop points given their position and the fight for a champions league finish. But they had to settle for a point after a scintillating second half performance.


Arsenal had begun their 2017 calendar year with a scorpion kick, whereas it is a sting that cripples our moods this New Year. Arsenal – Chelsea fixtures in recent times have witnessed the tides change after years of sour experience. As fans, we now look forward to the London derby with a fair amount of confidence.
Arsenal had to respond after succumbing to an ignorant action by Mike Dean last week. And the first half was sure to that claim, the dynamic front three pestered the Chelsea stopper often forcing him to do great saves. The Achilles’s heel in our game has always been the defence, and with Koscielny down, we were sure to invite unwarranted visitors in our area. The only thing shambolic more than our defending at times was Morata’s finishing. New year gifts maybe!
Wilshere came up with the all important first goal and many thought that would be it. His first goal in many a year in the Premier League. And he sure loved it, even the junior gunners joined the celebration with Xhaka. Wilshere has to built on these string of performance if he wants to be on the plane to Russia.
What followed was absolute end to end stuff football. Hazard with all his impeccable talent had to overcook a 50-50 challenge to get his name on the scoreline from the spot. Maitland Niles who had a terrific game until then, was taken on by Zapacosta and he ended up giving the assist for Alonso to take the champions to a lead.
How many times have we seen this! Square peg in a round hole, AMN has done a terrific job at wingback position but he isn’t a defender by trade and he will make mistakes. Against Salah Vs Liverpool and against Zappacosta. Instances that could have had massive repercussions on the PL table.
Arsenal with all their problems at the back and same old issues have genuinely strengthened up mentally, when the going gets tough they just rally together and never take No for an answer. There were games in which Arsenal nicked a result with sheer persistence. And yesterday was no different, Bellerin brought parity to the game with a class first time effort. And it was justice that he had a say on the outcome of the game.
The game had signs of cheer spread all over the attacking front, Mesut Ozil taking a shot from long range, Lacazatte making the keepers work, Sanchez showing revived enthusiasm and the continued influence of Wilshere on the game. Yet it remains same old, same old at the back. And this point epitomized just after Bellerin’s equalizer, where we were supposed to be managing the game properly, Morata was 1v1 against Cech and the subsequent Zapacosta shot came thundering off the woodwork.
And as Antony Taylor blew whistle, you could see Sanchez falling on the ground and punching the ground like a dejected wrestler. Both sides could have won it , and equally deserved the three points as they were visibly furious with themselves.
Yes, it was a thrilling game for the neutrals. One of the many this season at the Emirates, but it ain’t satisfying for us. Dull and drab isn’t the Arsenal way, but we sure could use a bit of that if we are planning to go up the table. The contract situation has to be taken care with immediate urgency, seeing Ozil and Wilshere leave would be the last sight every gooner would want to see this new year.
With the winter transfer window open and storms of departure pelting against the bricks of Emirates, all that gives warmth is the spirit; the spirit of persistence, the spirit of fight. Long may it last, far may it take us.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and does not reflect the official position of Arsenal Kerala. At AKSC, we believe in encouraging diversity of opinion and are committed to lending a voice to all sections of fans. If you do not agree with the views expressed here and feel compelled to respond through comments on the website or social media, we request that your criticism be fair, polite, on-point and not directed at the author or fellow members who share the same opinion. Thank you. COYG !

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