Sunday, November 30, 2008
Player analysis and ratings vs Chelsea
By 1970’s Gooner
Arsenal won this game mostly due to Chelsea’s failings rather than Arsenal’s positive and beautiful game.
Fabregas did not dictate play as he normally does and Adebayor did not really connect with van Persie to create goal threats.
Added to this was the apparent lack of width with Denilson and Nasri unable to offer any penetration on their respective side of the pitch.
The relative absence of Arsenal’s full backs from the attacking areas of the pitch meant that Arsenal were not really dominating play nor creating any real chances.
So it took a mistake by Almunia to throw that ball out to Nasri and the ensuing own goal by the otherwise faultless Djourou to gift them their goal. Other than that Chelsea did not create enough and ended up not having another shot on target!
Part of the reason was Song’s influence on the game. He is a much better defensive midfielder than Denilson and I hope Wenger keeps him there now. But a major reason was Ballack’s and Deco’s awful display. They could not create enough nor were they dangerous when going forward to support Anelka.
Another reason was Chelsea’s inability to bring someone from the bench to change the way they played. If Drogba had been available then it could have been a different story, like last season..
But credit must go to the lads. They showed real character to come back form one nil down and turn the game in the space of three minutes.
On both occasions Adebayor had a hand in it or shall I say a header. For the first he kept the move going with a header to Fabregas, I think, who played it to Denilson and then on to van Persie who came from an off side position to score emphatically with his right foot.
For the second, again Adebayor won the header in the area, van Persie turned and shot in one movement under Lampard’s feet and beyond Cech’s outstretched hand.
Let’s hope that on this occasion we do capitalise on the morale boost that this great victory may bring and for all of our sake WIN the next game.
Did not have a shot to save but still managed to hand them their first goal. 5
We need him in the team. He brings maturity and common sense defending. Did not venture forward much, probably on orders. 7
Back to his best. Combative and full of running but he also did not go forward much. Showed a lot of determination in the latter stages of the match to win the ball and keep the opponents out of our area. 8
He is showing real character in putting these fantastic performances for a team he criticised and taking all the flak that followed it. He is now a much better captain than when he was the official captain! 8
Was unfortunate to score that own goal. He was out of position and stretched his foot out to stop it. Still he had an otherwise marvelous game, commanding in the air and standing firm when Chelsea pressed for the equaliser. 7
Did not pull the strings as per usual but still had a hand in the goals. He needs to improve more if we are to sustain a winning run. 7
I really think that he should replace Denilson in central midfield. Kept his position, put in the tackles and protected his defence quite well. 8
He is not at his best recently. He is not creating any width for the team as he tends to come infield rather than go past his man. He is also not tracking back as much as he should, sometimes exposing Clichy. 5
He was not at his best today playing out of position. But you cannot fault him for his work rate. Made the assist for van Persie’s first goal. 6
One of his best games for Arsenal. It was not only his two well taken goals but his overall performance which was top class. He fell back to help the midfield, kept possession well and combined well with Fabregas and co. 9
Looked rusty but still provided that strength and presence that Arsenal have been lacking lately. Arsenal look a much better team with the focal point that he provides. 7.
Man of the Match: Robin van Persie