Chelsea carried on their winning tradition against Arsenal with a clinical 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Yesterday’s victory made it 4 wins in a row for Chelsea against Arsenal in the Premier League but they were made to work hard for the three points.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men were put under plenty of pressure by the away side in the second half but goals from Didier Drogba and Alex were ultimately enough to seal the win for Chelsea. Here’s 5 things we learnt from Chelsea’s performance against the Gunners.
1. Arsenal must be sick of the sight of Drogba
Didier Drogba’s opening goal saw him continue his incredible run of scoring against Arsenal. Yesterday’s strike made it 13 goals in as many games against the Gunners and he didn’t even need to be at his best to do it.
He just needed to be good when it mattered- and that was in front of goal. His delightful flick from Ashley Cole’s cross is what sets Drogba apart from his Arsenal counterparts. He took his chance when it was presented to him while Marouane Chamakh failed to even trouble Petr Cech despite having a couple of excellent opportunities to do so.
2. Ramires was excellent
Ramires came in for criticism following his performance last week against Manchester City and initially it looked like it could have been more of the same for the Brazilian. He was caught in possession once or twice as he took some time to settle into the rhythm of the game but once he did, he was a force in Chelsea’s midfield.
He played a number of good passes, most notably a perfectly-weighted through ball for Ashley Cole to set up Didier Drogba for Chelsea’s opener. He was strong and decisive in the challenge, denying Marouane Chamakh a shot at goal with a well timed tackle in the penalty area.
With Frank Lampard and Yossi Benayoun out of the side with injury, Ramires is faced with the prospect of an extended run in the Chelsea team and his performance against Arsenal is something he can gain a lot of confidence from.
3. Drogba still shouldn’t be taking corners
Last weekend against Manchester City, I mentioned that Drogba shouldn’t be taking Chelsea’s corners and yesterday only made me more certain that this should be the case.
He routinely failed to clear the first man at the near post from his corners and his presence in the box was sorely missed. He is a massive physical presence in the box and against the league’s lightest and shortest team, he could have been a huge threat getting on the end of a corner kick rather than taking them.
4. Chelsea were resolute in defence
In the second half, Arsenal really tested Chelsea’s defence with a sustained period of heavy pressure but Chelsea stood firm and denied Arsenal a route back into the game. John Obi Mikel was outstanding in Chelsea’s midfield, breaking up Arsenal’s play with precision and enthusiasm and using the ball invariably well when he won it.
John Terry and Alex were imperious at the heart of Chelsea’s defence, dealing with Arsenal’s threat with relative ease. To cap things off, Alex scored a thunderous free-kick from 25 yards out to seal the points for Chelsea.
5. It may be Chelsea’s title to lose
It may be early in the season but it seems that the title could be Chelsea’s to lose. Chelsea have been positively miserly so far in defence in addition to being hugely prolific in front of goal.
With fellow title challengers Manchester United struggling, Chelsea could make the job of chasing pack hugely difficult by continuing to win. They currently sit at the top of the table with 18 points from 7 games, 4 points clear of Manchester City in 2nd and 5 clear of Manchester United in 3rd. Arsenal are 2 points further back from United in 4th and are already playing catch-up at such an early stage in the season.
What did you think about Chelsea’s win against Arsenal?