Back in Business – Arsenal v Chelsea Ratings

No Mesut in the starting line-up. Could the team raise their performance without him after last week’s dismal showing in Stratford? You Betcha.

First Half

It was Blitzkrieg in that opening period of the game. The only disappointment was having only Laca’s wonderful strike to show for it.  We retreated a little just after the goal as if the team couldn’t quite believe it was actually winning in a first half. Pedro’s dink over the keeper was the only real moment of extreme danger, though.

We still had the better chances in the remainder of the first half including a bullet header from Kos straight at the keeper’s face. When almost exactly the same chance came again, Kos decided to use something he’d practised in training, a  no-look header (© fgg).  Fooling the Arrizabalaga that he was going to power a header again, he deftly deflected the ball off his shoulder, cushioning it into the far corner. The keeper stood as if he’d watched a magic trick. It gave us some vital breathing space before half time.

Getty Images

Second Half

Chelsea huffed and puffed but failed to really get up a decent head of steam against Arsenal’s well-organised defensive structure.

Kos even took one in the orchestra stalls blocking a pile-driver. You can see the after effects here.

OG came on from the bench and got more respect in a few minutes than he ever did while playing for the Club.

A third goal looked possible on a couple of occasions but wasn’t to be.


A different team performance altogether from our recent away efforts. Everything worked perfectly on the day, so a time to bask in beating our West London rivals.

One shot on target from the chavs in the whole 90. Emery using Ramsey to cut the supply lines to Hazard was a masterstroke. A superb defensive tactical display from the Arsenal and a clean sheet to boot. Not often we say that.


Ratings (extra point for everyone for beating the chavs)

Leno – one shot on target from Alonso, saved comfortably, competent elsewhere … 8

Bellerin – such a shame just as he was regaining form and importance … 8

Koscielny – majestic in defence and cunningly brilliant for his goal … 9

Sokratis – shame he couldn’t find the net with his first half header, solid throughout …8

Kolasinac – almost looked an accomplished defender in addition to being a wardrobe on wheels … 7

Torreira – still not sure if he knows 100% what his role in the side is but he worked really hard throughout, tiring a little in the second half … 8

Xhaka – only the odd sloppy pass but generally a rock in midfield … 8

Guendouzi – perpetual motion, which sometimes make him look like a schoolboy chasing the ball over the field, ten out of ten for youthful exuberance … 8

Ramsey – excellent in that first period where we could have run away with it – the pressure’s off for Aaron, so hopefully he can have a massive positive effect on the rest of our season … 8

Lacazette – magnificent finish at the near post the like of which we have seen before from him – tireless and willing … 8

Aubameyang – A couple of belting chances not snaffled up in the first half, though the bicycle kick was unlucky … 7


Maitland-Niles – a couple of really important challenges – with Hector out, it’s time for him to push on … 8

ElNeny – tidy, and helped in the second half rearguard display … 7

Iwobi – didn’t see much of the ball up top but helped out in his own half … 7


Emery – does this make up for the West Ham debacle? – yeah , go on then, one game at a time … 9

Wagner – out thought, outplayed, lovely … 5



Additionally we have an FGG assessment of yesterday……..

Without a doubt, my favourite performance of the season.

Obviously we all enjoyed the Spurs game at home, but we’ve just beaten Chelsea without our goalkeeper making a single significant save. Tactically we were absolutely outstanding and you could see that Emery had looked at the opposition and had decided that stopping Jorginho was the way to stop that team hurting us. Ramsey dominated him for 60 minutes and then Elneny came on and stood next to him for the last half hour. We allowed them space out wide knowing that they could couldn’t hurt us with crosses, and the performances of our CB’s was a joy to watch. If we had more players who cared about the job they do as Sokratis then we would win the league. He may not be the best player, but he was absolutely immense today and you can see he cares about defending. We haven’t had a player like that for a while. Everything the Greek lacks in technical ability though, the guy stood next to him absolutely makes up for it. Koscielny oozed class and gave a defensive masterclass in positioning and guile. What a performance.

I’m not going to pretend this makes up for the last few performances, but I can see that with the right players, Emery has the tactical nous to take us forward. We just need the right players to implement what he’s asking.

Absolutely loved that 2nd half and watching the last 15 minutes knowing that Chelsea had zero chance of scoring was a rare treat. Let’s hope it continues.

Interesting to listen to Keown’s comments after the game. He seems really frustrated that Ramsey played so well today but won’t be with the team moving forward. I’ve also seen a lot of comments from Merson recently about Arsenal letting players go on the cheap. Whilst we all agree that certain things have been awful behind the scenes, I don’t understand the total negativity that comes from these people.

Personally, I believe that getting rid of players like Ramsey and Özil will see the club move forward. Emery has his own ideas about the squad and if he believes that the £350k we pay Özil and the probable £200k+ we would’ve had to pay Ramsey can result in us signing 2 or 3 players then I’m with him. Don’t get me wrong, the club could’ve handled the contract situations of Wilshere, Ox, Ramsey, Özil and Sanchez so much better than they have, but in reality, I look at that list of players and wonder how many of them really would be moving our club forward right now. Four of them have been out injured for the last month ffs, how often was that a problem for Wenger’s teams!?

Comments from FGG


33 Responses to Back in Business – Arsenal v Chelsea Ratings

  1. chas says:

    Thanks for the use of your comments, FGG.

    I was thinking about injuries and wondered how much effect these extra conditioning and strength coaches had actually made. The players wear monitors and all sorts but how much difference does it make when a simple non-contact injury like Hector’s can happen completely out of the blue.

  2. LBG says:

    Thanks Chas. Glad you had something good to bask in at home.
    FGG Thank you for the smooth liquidity of your comments; the perfect accompaniment to follow contented sleep.

  3. chas says:

    Talking of injuries, Kos’s goal meant so much more because of his long, fighting road back from his ruptured achilles.
    Hopefully this is all now behind him. I can’t imagine him feeling he could ever celebrate like this again 6 months ago.

  4. LB says:

    I can sense how much you enjoyed writing that Chas and I certainly enjoyed reading it, aways love a technical view from Slim and today was a more in depth treat than usual.

    Thanks guys.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Excellent match reporting. thank you.

    Perhaps I expect too much but allowing Chavs 60+% possession when we are at home smacks of negativity. One may say that Emery decided this was the best method to assist our defence but I would rather we gave at least some support to PEA during the second half.

    That said, I was delighted and surprised to see how easily we beat the Champs of 2017/18.

    I fear for Bellerin. We looked so much better with him to balance the attack and a couple of his passes were superb. Is there any news of the extent of his injury?

  6. Rasp says:

    Thank you to the intrepid match reporteers. The only negative to take from the game was Hector’s injury … everything else was very encouraging. The opta stats showed that we covered more ground yesterday than ever before in the EPL … that is testament to work of the strength and conditioning coaches and the motivational skill of the manager. On top of that I thought the tactics were spot on … they must have been we won. We may have had less possession, but the possession we had was meaningful and incisive. We made their possession meaningless by choking them in midfield … on top of that we played great football … what’s not to like?

  7. VP of Oz says:

    another biased and stupid pre-game commentary from an ex liverpool spuds player – Jamie Redknapp thinks only two Arsenal players would get in Chelsea’s starting line-up

    so thats 2 nil to the Arsenal

  8. VP of Oz says:

    great reading chas and FGG
    many thanks

  9. VP of Oz says:

    from the Mirror –
    Emery said after the game: “We have to wait until tomorrow, it’s his knee. The first prediction is it can be an important injury.

    “I hope not, but first impressions are not positive.”

    Emery has ruled out bringing in a replacement, even if scans show Bellerin will be a long-term absentee.

    He added: “We have Ainsley, playing with good ‘pieces’. He played well today and can help us playing at right-back or right winger.

    “Also Lichsteiner is another player who can play there. We have the players. I don’t forget Jenkinson who has played some matches and can be used if we need him.”

  10. LBG says:

    You certainly are a hard taskmaster. In truth the second half of the second half was much about getting the ball back from a team almost as adept as the top three at keeping it! Needs must is what I say, especially given our known fragility at holding a lead this season. Don’t care personally if Dick has the nous to “find a way”, especially against a scrummy team like the Chavs.

  11. VP of Oz says:

    Mesuts instagram –

    Congratulations to the whole team tonight 🙌🏼 Well played, Gunners 👍🏼 Wishing a speedy recovery to @hectorbellerin 🙏🏼 #YaGunnersYa #COYG @Arsenal @premierleague

    Miss to see you at pitch mesut!!!

    @sohan_08 Sure brother

    @mrdtafc didn’t play , still congratulates the team 💪🏽❤️

    ozil i love you so much plese dont out from arsenal you are a king

  12. VP of Oz says:

    The spuds have lost more games than us and without Kane I wouldnt be surprised that they drop a lot of points in the next few games.

    I am now confidently predicting a top 4 finish and expect manure to join us with chavs 5th and spuds 6th

    last week I wouldve predicted something else but alas football is a fickle world

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    Have to be brief, but really excellent posts. Thanks Chas and FGG

    Biggest plus for me is that perhaps Emery has found a winning formula that allows both Laca AND Auba to play together

  14. fred1266 says:

    Did we play 4312 yesterday, yea I agree torreira doesn’t look himself ref wasn’t kind to him either

  15. Rasp says:

    I’ve just seen another statistic from the game to ponder … tackles won ..Arsenal 33, chelsea 13.

  16. chas says:

  17. LBG says:

    The days of innocent fun! That said wouldn’t mind a chance to swing a marrow at Bo Jo

  18. LB says:

    I am still buzzing from yesterday and I can’t get over the brilliance of Emery’s tactics, has any one read anything that analyses them in depth.

    From looking like we were devoid of any meaningful tactics against West Ham, Emery managed to have the metal fortitude to completely change the team’s set up.

    Look how differently Torriera and Guendouzi were deployed, both much wider than usual and both in front of their respective full back, positions they doggedly stuck to for 90 minutes and it worked a treat.

    The second half I think is the first time we got a glimpse of what Emery’s bus looks like — and it is big and very sturdy.

    And all that little lot only scratches the tactical surface.

    Ramsey was outstanding, it makes me wonder why on earth Emery hasn’t played him there before? Now to me he was playing at times as the number 9 with Auba and Laca on either side and then other times Rambo would drop back and the A and L would move closer together and the formation would become 442.

    It worked so well is there anyone else who can give more insight into yesterday’s tactics, GIE is usually good as is FGG but anyone?

  19. RA says:

    Very good post-match Posts. Thanks Guys.

    It still rankles with me, especially after watching a terrific performance from Rambo that he is on his way out of Arsenal. — For nothing!

    The statistics cannot always be taken just at face value. Take the one that shows the chavs only had one shot on goal in the whole game.

    That does not reflect the number of Chav shots that would have resulted in goals if Kozzer had not hurled his body in front of those shots — especially the ball buster from Barklay. These would have been included as ‘intercepts’ and that does not reflect the importance of Kozzers fantastic performance.

    He was my Man of the Match — who speaks with a very high squeak.

  20. RA says:

    When we went on that lengthy run without losing, we specialised in high pressing and we were so full of energy we swarmed all over the opposition and deserved to win, or get a comfortable draw.

    Then we started to revert to late Wenger tactics and started to play tap-tap cross pitch passing at a snail’s pace, in our own area, playing three ball with the GK who eventually kicked up field where possession was lost, and unsurprisingly we started to lose again.

    Yesterday we were back at the wonderful pressing game – altho we ran out of steam for a while – and the result could easily have been 5 : 1 — if all obvious chances, for both sides, were put away. {what happened to Auba’s magic boots?}

    Why did we stop the pressing that was so successful? Why did we start passing in such a dangerous and confined area, (aka our own penalty area) with Cech or Leno giving supporters heart failure by trying to pass into their own nets.

    Why does Unai gurn so entertainingly? Where is GB to enthral us with his ‘Man at the Game’ report like Charybdis used to? What is the meaning Life?

  21. LB says:

    So many questions, so little time……..

  22. Rasp says:

    I think you’ve done a pretty good job yourself there LB …. I wonder if it’s a question of time? A plan like that must take several days to work on, it may not be possible if you’re playing every 3 days.

  23. fred1266 says:

    Chambers having a good game today

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    Callum Chambers looks a different player in CM. He’s one of Fulham’s better players whenever I see him playing in that position. Having a blinder here against the Spuds.

  25. Aaron says:

    Enjoy coming to read in the mornings, especially after beating a $ scumming team. Thanks Chavs and FGG for the write up, pics and emotive feelings re-lived.
    Only bummer is Bellerin being out with long term injury. Can’t really believe it, but many NFL players have non-contact injuries, so stuff happens, but then again, dang!
    AMN needs to step up.
    Now, to the matter at hand, let’s blast manure!!

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    Non contact injuries happen in all sports, but they seem to be a way of life at Arsenal over the last 15 years. It feels like we’ve had far more than most other teams but maybe that’s not the case. This season alone we’ve had 3 major absentees with Holding, Welbeck and now Bellerin. We are due some better luck with injuries that’s for sure.

    Speaking of injuries, I think Dele Alli has just done a hamstring. If Spurs don’t win this there season could be in tatters in a months time without Kane, Son and possibly Alli….

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    Remember when Spurs paid £20m for Vincent Janssen!? Has anyone seen him since…???

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Oh, that’s cruel for Fulham.

    Once again Spurs score after 90 mins 😦

  29. Aaron says:

    Want the Arsenal to take this win and move forward with a trifecta of victories: manure, spuds than $hi*tty.

    can the spuds gat any luckier? they just keep winning no matter who is up top, darn.

    Also, hope Emry can get someone in the transfer window.

  30. LBG says:

    I don’t know how much you have been watching Liverpool games, but I reckon their allocation of luck has been used up in the first 20 games. A Premier League winner needs loads of luck but I reckon they are in for a fall.

  31. chas says:

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    6.11 😀

  33. chas says:

    NEW filler POST

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