Arsenal came in as the favorites to this match, but Chelsea, with an efficient, patient an intelligent display gave Arsene Wenger’s men their first loss of the season, as Fernando Torres found his scoring touch once again, Juan Mata scored the winner, both aided by the help of a terrible Laurent Koscielny.
Anyone who was supposed to play a key part for Arsenal on the day, especially Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski, didn’t show up in the level needed of them. For Chelsea, who played a cautios and contained game, it was about team defense, with Ramires and Mikel playing better than usual, helping contain Gervinho, Podolski and Cazrola, who was lost between the forest of Chelsea players when they were defending.
On the other side, for Chelsea, it was about making the most of two set pieces, endning up in the same way. First it was Koscielny doing a terrible job of covering Fernando Torres, and the Spaniard finally found the net with one quick and clever flick. He nearly won a penalty a couple of minutes later , but the referee did a good job by not allowing his fall, and later also booking David Luiz for diving.
Gervinho did find the net, despite a bad, selfish display from the Ivorian forward, finding himself all alone in the Chelsea box for the only time during the match. The rest was him trying to take on two and three players on the wings, without much success.
Another free kick, another Chelsea goal in the 53rd minute. Mata hardly touched the ball effectively all match, but he was the one who brought the goal. His spinning free kick into the box was left alone by everyone for Mannone to handle, but Koscielny decided to save the day by himself, but arrived at the ball too late, and his slight touch fooled Mannone, aiding Chelsea scoring the eventual winner.
The rest was about Olivier Giroud coming on and missing two big chances. One was a brilliant Petr Cech save, the other was Giroud simply showing his inablity to convert anything since becoming an Arsenal player. One of the few instances of slick passing from the Arsenal players resulted in Giroud getting a one on one with Cech in the final 5 mintues of the match. He got by Cech, but was too slow with his turn and simply too bad with his accuracy, missing the target by a bit.
Chelsea held on to the ball and made the most of the garbage time, as Arsenal missed out on a big chance to prove their worthy title challengers. One loss, even at home, to a direct rival, doesn’t take a team out of the title race, but it certainly raises doubts about their ability to contend with the big boys. Chelsea? Unimpressive, again, but they have so much talent in their front four to escape with 3 points, even when they play badly.