How Chelsea Nullified Arsenal – And Arteta’s Brilliant Reaction
After suffering European setback at Sporting Lisbon, Arsenal needed to rebound quickly in the Premier League with an emphatic home victory against managerless Crystal Palace and that is exactly what they accomplished with Declan Rice and Leandro Trossard scoring late goals for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta praisedd the reaction of his players following their victory, calling their performance ‘brilliant. But what did this term entail?
How Chelsea nullified Arsenal
Arsenal have been solid defensively against Chelsea but haven’t looked capable of breaking them down. That doesn’t mean their effort has been lacking, however; but their passing may not be adequate enough to create opportunities against this Chelsea side.
The Gunners may not have been at their best but still showed plenty of fight to bring themselves back into the match. Aubameyang missed two golden opportunities before having one of his shots disallowed due to offside, yet still managed to be involved as Arsenal managed to draw level 13 minutes before time via Declan Rice’s header.
Arsenal staged an impressive comeback, appearing to be on their way down, yet now appear within touching distance of finishing in the top four. Winning titles takes both hard work and courage – something this Arsenal side certainly possess in abundance, evidenced by their success at Stamford Bridge despite initial reality checks from elsewhere in their league.
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Declan Rice’s goal
Arsenal had been on an unprecedented winning streak, so their recent big-game results had to come as some kind of wakeup call – and thankfully this happened with a 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Emirates instead of an upset loss.
Rice made the game-winning strike with his sublime finish from Samir Nasri’s pass, turning the tide of battle and creating the turning point in this encounter. Rice has been an outstanding performer since signing a long-term contract; yet this was truly his most impressive display yet.
Carragher notes that Rice’s goal was so impressive due to his awareness in moving into space and using his physique effectively, an outstanding way of equalising for Arsenal fans who loved it. Furthermore, it demonstrated his maturity beyond his years – signifying that he will become one of their key players; just needs to work on his timing in the box more; has all of the ability but will depend on which position he occupies.
Mauricio Pochettino’s approach
Once Philip Billing scored an alarming opening goal for Arsenal, their chances seemed doomed. Yet after several ‘freak’ incidents occurred that helped them recover and remain five points ahead of Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table.
Match after match demonstrated this Gunners side’s newly developed winning mentality. Jesus shone as an embodiment of that improvement with impressive displays that included outmuscling Marcos Senesi and producing an exquisite first touch which allowed him to spin into space, avoid Jefferson Lerma, and sneak past Marcus Tavernier before firing in the winner for Arsenal.
Arsenal supporters had long lamented a lack of creativity within their team, something Argentine Reina has changed by giving fans something exciting to celebrate in his tenure as manager.
Mikel Arteta’s ‘brilliant’ reaction
Mikel Arteta of Arsenal was recently asked about his antics from the touchline following Luke Shaw’s foul on Bukayo Saka and subsequent chase after the fourth official, demanding they book him. Arteta did not apologise in his response.
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“My reaction is natural; you must respond accordingly,” he stated. ‘The referee will consider this feedback; fourth official will review and we must move forward from there.”
After falling 2-0 behind in a lively second-half performance, Arsenal managed to salvage a point thanks to Aaron Ramsdale’s saves, Gabriel’s resilient defence, and VAR; although this victory came at great cost.
Carragher gave Mauricio Pochettino and his team high marks for being adaptable. He noted how they used a box midfield instead of using a conventional No 9 to combat Arsenal’s creativity, then switched to more direct tactics in the second half with success.