Winner Winner London Is Blue Dinner!
Chelsea bounced back from a loss by beating Arsenal 1-2 at the Emirates in a tough game. It was a game of 30 minutes and 60 minutes as Lampard stuck with a 3-4-3 initially with Kepa starting in goal, Rudiger, Zouma, and Tomori starting as the back three Emerson and Azpilicueta on the wings, Kovacic, and Kante the midfield 2 while Willian and Mount supported Tammy up front.
From kick-off it was evident that Arteta and his team had planned for this as they nullified our wingbacks and dominated the midfield. The early domination saw Arsenal take the lead in the 13th minute after Aubameyang went unmarked by Emerson and headed the ball into the net. The pressure kept mounting on Chelsea as Ozil had free space to create chances but Arsenal could not capitalise. Enough was enough for Lampard and he made a change in the 34th minute with Jorginho coming on for Emerson. Chelsea switched to a 4-3-3 with Azpilicueta playing left back and Tomori playing right back. The extra man in midfield changed the game in Chelsea’s favour as we got hold of the ball and began to control the game. Jorginho dictated play brilliantly as Ozil’s impact was nullified but Chelsea still could not score.
The 2nd half started in similar fashion with Chelsea dominating the play but it felt like another game in which Chelsea would fail to score against a bottom 10 side and lose 1-0. Arsenal were defending with their lives and the yellow cards were stacking up on both sides. Guendouzi should have been sent off but was let go after he dragged back Tammy. Jorginho was should have been given a 2nd yellow for dragging back Guendouzi but luckily he was also forgiven. Lampard made his 2nd sub by bringing Lamptey on for Tomori in the 59th minute. Tariq Lamptey a pacey right back from the academy injected some threat going forward as Chelsea continued to take the game to Arsenal. Hudson-Odoi for Kovacic was the final change and CHO made impact as well as he drove forward with the ball and took on players drawing fouls. The luck for Chelsea came in the 83rd minute as Mount free kick was missed by Leno and Jorginho was unmarked at the back post to tuck the ball into the net. 1-1 for Chelsea and momentum in favour of the blues. The winning goal came 4 minutes later as a counter attack began with Tammy who drove from the penalty area. Tammy passed into Willian who cut back for Tammy to hold up the ball and finish through the legs of Leno to make it 1-2. Chelsea saw out the game as we got a big win at the Emirates after a very long time and ended the year with 3 points.
Player wise Kepa was solid, Tomori, Rudiger, and Zouma had shaky moments but defended well. Azpilicueta again showed he is our most reliable full back at the moment while Emerson was a consequence of a formation change. Kovacic, and Kante were solid once again while Jorginho changed the game when he came on as he dictated play and shouted across the pitch. Willian ran his lungs out for 90 minutes and got an assist and another good performance after a poor one against Southampton. Mount was again solid and ran around the midfield adding an assist to his name. Tammy showed his developed hold up play once again and got a goal to reach 12 for the season. Lamptey, and CHO both provided threats from the bench.
For Arsenal it was a good 30 minutes of attacking football and a good 50 minutes of defending as they showed more resilience than they have this season. Arteta is slowly building something but it is too soon for any real expectations. Arsenal’s best finish this decade has been 2nd but its been 3 seasons since they have finished in the top four and finishing outside the Europa League seems a real possibility this season. A poor 30 minutes but a good 60 minutes as Chelsea finish the decade in 4th and still 4 points ahead of 5th. Lampard continues to learn game by game and his tactical change was another smart move. Chelsea began the decade as Champions under Ancelotti and went on to win the title 2 more times in the last 9 years with Mourinho and Conte, won the Champions League in 2012 and two Europa League’s as well in 2013 and 2019. Hopefully Lampard adds many more trophies in the coming decade. Next up for Chelsea is visit to Brighton on New Years day as we look to begin 2020 with a win. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!