Arsenal defeated London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates to bridge the gap between them and the top 4 sides
French forward Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he turned sharply in the box and shot emphatically past a hapless Arrizabalaga. Laurent Koscielny, then somewhat, fortunately, shouldered in a cross from fellow centre back Sokratis in the 39th minute to hand Arsenal a 2 goal lead going into the halftime break. Arsenal were unable to add to their lead in the second half but did enough to keep Chelsea at bay and claim all 3 points. The Blues were unable to create any kind of clear openings and registered just 1 shot on target throughout the game.
The victory meant that Arsenal ended gameweek 23 on 44 points, just 1 behind Chelsea who are 4th. Sarri’s men have looked particularly vulnerable in recent weeks and have lost 2 out of their last 3 games. Speaking about the game, former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho revealed why Chelsea have been struggling lately,
“They [Arsenal] had the right approach. Not just mentally, they were really aggressive, they were there to win the first duel and that normally means a lot in the development of the game. So tactically, spot on. I don’t think Chelsea is an easy team to play against but I think it’s an easy team to analyse. You analyse Chelsea quite easily. You know their principles, the fundamental situations.”
Mourinho explained how, if any team could pressurize Jorginho and not give him enough time, they could pose great difficulties for Chelsea,
“You create great difficulties to Chelsea to build in the first phase, and then if you close their left side with David and Marcos Alonso, it’ll be difficult for them. Arsenal managed to create them great difficulties.”
Mourinho also spoke on N’Golo Kante, who is being played out of position by Maurizio Sarri,
“I think he can play everywhere, I think he has the qualities to play box-to-box like Maurizio is trying with him.”
Maurizio Sarri’s men need to find their form back quickly if they are to finish in the top 4. Things are getting very complicated as Manchester United’s resurgence in the last few weeks has seen them jump right into contention for a top 4 finish.
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