Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal – Could Have Been 1,000

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This was the day the history books were mercilessly torn to shreds. Not only did Chelsea rain on Arsene Wenger’s parade, his thousandth game in charge of Arsenal, the Blues whipped up a typhoon to emphatically record their biggest victory under Jose Mourinho’s stewardship.

Match report

We were excellent throughout. Our back four were solid as usual, with Michael Owen, on his live TV duties, highlighting Cesar Azpilicueta for distinguished praise as the Spaniard was deservedly nominated Man of the Match, an accolade in which many a player in blue would have advanced cases for.

Oscar was assertive and bright in midfield, the Brazilian rewarded for his mercurial excellence with a brace. Nemanja Matic and David Luiz were dominant, as were Chelsea from the start. Samuel Eto’o continued his goal-scoring streak of late with a wonderful fourth minute effort which preceded strikes from Andre Schurrle, two from Oscar and one of great significance from Mohamed Salah.

There was a case of mistaken identity as we extended our lead at the Premier League summit to seven points (before Liverpool and Manchester City played). The misconception that Arsenal were genuine title contenders was horribly exposed by our brutally efficient attacking play.

Arsenal were insipid and unorganized as Laurent Koscienly and Per Mertesacker made a mockery of their supposed status as the best centre-half pairing in the top-flight as they struggled to contend with the intelligent movement of our offensive three behind the striker. Our first venture into the opposition half brought the opening goal.

Moments after Cech had crucially saved Olivier Giroud’s tamely struck effort, we sprung forward in numbers. Oscar slid the ball into Schurrle, who timed his pass to Eto’o to perfection, his finish matching its superb build-up, curling beyond Wojciech Szczesny and into the bottom left-hand corner.

He had scored after four minutes here on Tuesday evening and repeated the feat before having to be replaced with a hamstring problem. Fernando Torres assumed the Cameroonian’s duties.

Matic was alert, dispossessing the disinclined Santi Cazorla and playing in the on-rushing Schurrle. As Koscienly continued to perilously back-track, the German aimed for the bottom left-hand corner, finding it with a drilled effort. We were two goals up after six minutes and threatening to run riot – which we duly did.

The majestic Oscar robbed Cazorla, the Spaniard once again falling victim to our wonderful enthusiasm, before Eden Hazard exchanged passes with Torres on the edge of the box and shot towards the top corner, only for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to intervene in an ill-advised manner. Kieran Gibbs comically departed and Hazard, as expected, ambled up to the spot to dispatch the subsequent penalty.

Either side of Oscar’s lofted close-range finish before the interval, we failed to sustain the scintillating offensive play we had showcased in the first 41 minutes of this surprising one-sided London derby; I had anticipated Arsenal to mount a much more sterner challenge than they eventually did.

Oscar, without any labour, added to the humiliating score-line, intercepting Tomas Rosicky’s horribly wayward pass and directing his strike beyond Szczesny’s unimpressive dive. Arsenal were significantly contributing to their own downfall, with their costly, and frequent, lapses of concentration.

But Wenger’s men were the better side for the first 15 minutes of the second-half, performing gallantly following the introductions of Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Flamini for Koscienly, who had produced an uncommonly poor display, and Chamberlain respectively.

Mourinho prowled on the touch-line, urging his team to go for the jugular and boost our goal-difference, a stat which could prove pivotal in May. The Portuguese’s demands were duly met as he celebrated Salah’s first Chelsea goal.

Matic, in his own half, picked out Salah’s beautifully-timed run with an excellent long-range delivery. The Egyptian, who replaced Oscar after 67 minutes, finished clinically, his accomplished strike eluding Szczesny.

It could have been more. Torres, after a mazy run, saw his effort blocked before Szczesny excellently thwarted David Luiz. Arsenal have their Polish keeper to thank – we would have run up a cricket score were it not for him. It could have been 1,000.

Oscar’s emergence from performance lull

Oscar emerged, as Stamford Bridge basked in the spring sunshine, from his recent winter slump. He had shown signs of doing so on Tuesday evening against Galatasaray, but here he announced his return to superb form.

The Brazilian was everywhere, spearheading our attacking moves by coming deep to collect the ball. He kept moves and possession ticking over, resulting in our dominance.

Line-ups

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Matic, Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard, Eto’o.

Subs: Schwarzer, Kalas, Mikel, Lampard, Salah, Ba, Torres.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscienly, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.

Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Flamini, Kallstrom, Sanago, Gnabry.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/matthewthecoolguy




There are 6 comments

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  1. GrocerJack

    We cover off a lot on the Podding Shed, but it is mostly howling laughter as you might imagine. But a fantastic performance from Chelsea which forced the Arsenal capitulation. There is talk of Gibbs red card being rescinded and a yellow issue to OC, but this would be wrong in my view. The shot may have been going wide but OC did not know this and he carried out his actions with the intent to stop a goal, take the punishment and no doubt hope we’d miss the penalty. It’s a red card offence full stop.

    Kudos to the whole team though, including Torres for being a thorn in their side, even though we need a striker not Anelka V2.0. One thing for me is that the Matic/Luiz partnership would always be my first choice ahead of Matic/Rambo, Mikel, Lamps combo’s. Matic provides the Ballack-esque stability , whereas Luiz adds a creative flair as well as defensive nous. Ramires is a runner but of late he has been a little hot tempered and is far more a red card liability than Luiz (a fact often overlooked by other fans and the media) . I love Mikel but it does seem he’s fallen down the pecking order, and Jose is also using Lampard judiciously as many of us suggested in a senior Giggs type role, starting occasional games, benched in others to preserve his capabilities and fitness.

    This is the kind of squad management we haven’t seen since Mourinho left in 2007. It also shows to me why he is currently one of the best coaches in the world. This ‘work in progress’ squad is almost certainly guaranteed a top 3 place, our defence has regressed to it’s previous mean of….errr…..meanness. We sold a top player with absolutely no adverse impact to us, and we bought very wisely in the window (Salah’s finish was precision beauty). And no doubt in the summer we will bolster the strike force by letting Ba go, Eto’o as well and getting Lukaku back maybe alongside Costa. I have a feeling Courtois will be given reassurances as Jose ruthlessly builds for the future.

    I would love the title, but it would exceed my expectations (which Jose has helped to manage), but a 2nd or 3rd will still be progress to my mind and at this moment, provided RA doesn’t have any plugs pulled by the new Hitler (Putin) or a mad moment where he dices to axe Jose and replace him with a Canadian hockey team coach or some such Avram like con man, then I am very excited by next season indeed.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Bizarrely, it’s the mistake in giving the red card to Gibbs that could see it being overturned. He’ll get it rescinded as it was obviously awarded to the wrong man and it will be passed on to AOC, who in turn has decent grounds for appeal as ultimately he hasn’t denied a goal (what the red card was awarded for). Be interesting to see how it pans out.

      I hope he gets off, if only because it will fuel Arsenal’s sense of raging injustice further if they should have kept all 11 on the pitch (while studiously ignoring that they were 2-0 down and being royally humped at the time)…

    • limetreebower

      Combined with Ahmed’s fine report, I’m not sure there’s much to add. I’d dispute (Ahmed) that the Arse have anything at all to thank Szczesny for: he could have done a lot better on the second and fifth goals, and really only made one proper save that I can remember, if you can count Luiz whacking the ball at his chest from ten feet away as a “save”. And I might also dispute Tony’s enthusiasm for Luiz’s performance on the day. I love Crazy David like my own brother, but he really is alarmingly bonkers sometimes, and he spent quite a lot of that game haring [no pun intended] around leaving spaces behind and around him. Watch the build up to Giroud’s early chance again and you’ll see it begins with Luiz charging dementedly towards someone and leaving a massive hole. I don’t think he does the pressing/closing down thing anything like as well as Matic or Ramires.

      Mind you, he does make a difference going forward. The plus side of combining him and Matic is that they’re both capable of some fabulous long-range passing. Sort of like those diagonal long balls Frank used to be so brilliant at producing, except less … diagonal.

      The description of Torres as Anelka 2.0 is startlingly apt. Hadn’t occurred to me, but so right now you mention it. Even the straight-backed but slightly stunned-looking demeanour is the same.

      If we manage to nick the title (and I’m certain it’ll only happen if City blow it) it would be José’s most impressive achievement in England, I reckon. Look at where we were last year, with all the disorganisation resulting from having a temporary manager loathed by most of the fans, and then take into account the fact that we sent a goal-every-other-game striker out on loan, dropped someone routinely considered one of the best players in his position in the world, and subsequently *made a profit* in the January window while selling our best player from the previous year … It’s remarkable. I can only think of two or three players who aren’t performing significantly better than they did last season, and — perhaps even more impressively — a number of people in the team seem to have gone from the “really quite good anyway” bracket to the next level up. I’m not just thinking about Hazard turning from Brilliant Winger to Near-Unstoppable Megastar, or even Dave moving up from Very Good Right Back to Player Of The Season If It Wasn’t For Hazard. Look at Cahill, who’s beginning to play like Ricky Carvalho. Or JT, who’s started playing like … well … JT. Schürrle and Willian are both transformed even in six months. It’s amazing.

      Of course we’ll probably now have thirty shots on goal against Palace, see every single one blocked by someone’s bum and end up losing 1-0 to a header from a corner in the 87th minute. But this season is *still* wonderful.

  2. WorkingClassPost

    What most impressed me was the second half when we had a tricky ballancing act to perform.

    It was important not to completely destroy Arse when they have still got a job to do against Mancity, yet we also needed to maintain our momentum and a few more goals were expected.

    Plenty of urging from Jose and the introduction of Salah seemed to keep us on the boil,

    No match this week so we should be fresh and sharp for Saturday.

  3. HannahMoore2014

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    countries that stream world cup online. You can use UnoTelly to remove the
    geoblock and stream World Cup 2014 in your country free worldcup.unotelly.com


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