The fact that the team was involved in yet another ‘game of the season’ tells us a lot. Like the Liverpool game, in December, it would have been a great watch for a neutral. However, I’m far from a neutral.
During the first half, it looked like we had all the creativity thanks to The Conductor, Özil. But sadly, it looked like we were all creativity and no firepower, again.
Games like this make me miss previous players like Podolski. Players that do not have great technical ability but can still hit the back of the net. It also shows how much Giroud is needed. I can’t wait till he is back from injury. Giroud wouldn’t make the World’s Most Technical Players List but the team obviously missed him when it was time for you to make a substitution.
You can tell Cech is no longer in his glory days but his great double save at the beginning of the second-half kept the team in the game. When I looked at the clock at the 53rd minute, I assumed the game would end as a goalless draw. Thankfully the British Bulldog wasn’t having any of it. The amount of times Wilshere made sure he was in the correct position showed that he’s back to his best. And being in the correct position is how he scored the first goal. After Özil and Holding’s teamwork put the ball in the box, Wilshere was there to snap it up as it bounced off Chambers. I, like so many other Arsenal fans, couldn’t be happier for him.
After Wilshere’s goal, the team kicked into fire-mode and it looked like a second goal was coming. Unfortunately, it did. But it was not the kind of goal the boys in red were looking for. I knew as soon as we conceded the softest penalty in the world (after conceding what should have been a non-penalty against West Brom last week) that the tables had turned. Hazard shot and Cech dived the wrong way, again.
Chelsea’s second goal could have been defended. As much as Maitland-Niles lost in the one-on-one situation with Zappacosta, Holding and Cech could have done better. When Alonso scored Chelsea’s second goal, I thought it might be game over. It wouldn’t be the first time that Chelsea was not the better team and still won.
Thankfully after being up 1-0 then going down to 1-2, the fight from Wilshere, Maitland-Niles, Sánchez and Özil was enough to make the team have the right attitude and go for the equalizer. What a shot from Héctor Bellerín. However, after all that effort, the defenders let us down and the team nearly conceded again. Thank God, Morata missed another chance. His miss, followed by Zappacosta’s miss, in the 92nd minute, was the best late Christmas present I could have ever been given…sorry family.
The resilience that the team showed during this game was great to see. If we show that same resilience, with a tighter ship at the back, when we play Chelsea in the next two games this month, we’ll kick them out of the Carabao Cup.
P.S. I heard you’ve been looking to buy Aubameyang from Dortmund in the transfer window. I’m not getting excited but buying him as a replacement for Sánchez would be great business.