An Awful Cup Exit
By Gary Watton
January 24 2018
Chelsea suffered more cup misery at the hands of Arsenic, courtesy of a dreadful display. True, there were elements of luck attached to Arsenil's two goals, and yes the English champions did dominate the first half, but ultimately they never asked many questions of David Ospina. In fact, the home goalkeeper didn't have a save to make, although he almost saved Hazard's early opener. For a few minutes, it looked like Wembley was beckoning. The Gooners were woeful, but a couple of comic deflections contrived to produce an equaliser against the run of play.
After the interval, the hosts awoke from their lethargy whilst the visitors descended into a slumber instead. When Xhaka netted the decisive goal, there was still ample time for a riposte, but the comatose Blues posed little goal threat. They clearly have issues at penetrating a packed defence and they are much too reliant on Hazard. Willian went off injured in the first half, which was a blow, but his corners were an abomination. His team seemed intent on short corners and near post corners, thereby largely nullifying Bakayoko, Christensen, and Rudiger. Arsenic by contrast launched their corners long and profited from one such high ball that led to their equaliser. The ploy of playing the ball out to Moses on the edge of the box was ludicrous. Moses, who had another ineffective outing against Arsenil, has only one league goal in the last twelve months, and he doesn't have a track record of firing accurate shots from the edge of the penalty area. It really should have been Moses playing the corner out to Willian on the edge of the area, but why apply logic? It was reminiscent of Glenn Hoddle using our tallest player David Lee to take corners back in 1996.
Poor clueless Chelsea will have to soldier on against Newcastle United in the FA Cup on Sunday. At least we can't lose to Arsenil in that competition.
Arsenal 2 CHELSEA 1; half time: 1-1
CHELSEA goal scorer: Hazard
CHELSEA: Caballero; Azpilicueta; Christensen; Moses; Rudiger; Bakayoko; Kante; Willian; Pedro; Alonso; Hazard. Used substitutes: Barkley; Batshuayi; Zappacosta
CHELSEA leading scorers:
Rudiger threepqs: qs: