Arsenal FC v Chelsea FC –
Final Score/Result: Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea
Man Of The Match: Juan Mata
Both the sides made a lot of the changes to their starting line-ups ahead of this game, but Chelsea’s better squad depth meant that the Blues were able to put out a much stronger side than Arsenal. This was Arsenal’s second consecutive defeat in a Cup competition after their loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and now they will face Liverpool in their next game. It is crucial period of the season for the Gunners, one which can have a last impact on their hopes of winning silverware this time around.
The away side started brightly in the game and in the 25th minute Cesar Azpilicueta provided them the lead with his persistence and determination in joining the attack and getting to the ball ahead of Fabianski. The goal was due to Jenkinson’s mistake as the right back’s weak header back to his goalkeeper was intercepted by Azpilicueta. It was reminiscent of the goal conceded by Manchester City in the match against Chelsea in the league last weekend.
The early goal put the home side on the back foot and they never really recovered from it. Arsenal failed to create too many openings and worryingly for Arsene Wenger, his side managed to have only one shot on target in the whole match. Wenger brought on the likes of Ozil and Giroud in the second half, but the duo failed to make any significant impact and Chelsea closed out the game.
In the 66th minute of the match the away side doubled their lead through a wonderful strike from Juan Mata from the edge of the box. The Spaniard maintained his amazing scoring record against the Gunners as he was set up by a header from Willian. Mata’s shot had too much pace for Fabianski to react as the ball flew into the right hand corner of the net.
Chelsea are certainly looking the most dangerous side in the league at the moment and the strength and depth in all the departments is intimidating. For Arsenal, this early exit from the League Cup, which was seen as their best opportunity to end their trophy drought will come as huge blow, but they will have to quickly recover from this defeat ahead of the important upcoming fixtures.
Arsene Wenger was disappointed with the result and pointed out how some of his player’s lack of experience was exploited by the opponent. He felt that the first goal, which was a result of a poor error from Jenkinson, was crucial and his side struggled to recover from that.
“We played at a very good pace, what happened is that we were a bit naive in some situations because some players lack experience.
“The first goal is a corner for us, then a goal for them, but overall we did well.
“We played with a good attitude, determination and pace, overall it was a tight game that was decided by one or two opportunities on Chelsea’s side. They exploited our mistakes.
“I think it was a very tight game, but we made it difficult for ourselves by giving the first goal away.
“They defended well and could counter-attack, we had a good spell in the second half and the first time they came out they scored. It was a great goal but overall it was a tight game.” – The Arsenal manager said.
But Wenger is still positive about the League and hopes that his players can provide a quick response to this defeat against Liverpool on Saturday.
“Our most important game is on Saturday. We are in a strong position in the league and I want to take advantage of that.” – He added.
Jose Mourinho, who extended his wonderful record against Arsene Wenger with this win, opted out of the press conference and Steve Holland attended it in his place. Holland was happy with his side’s performance and how they managed to crucial victories in space of three days.
“I think it’s been a satisfying three days. You’re not just talking about a team. The objective at Chelsea is always to compete in all four competitions.
“Given we had to play the game tonight, which I know Jose has documented was far from ideal with one day between the matches, it gave us no choice really but to use the full squad.
“Every player in the squad deserves great credit for their performances in the three days.” – The Chelsea assistant coach said.
Arsenal v Chelsea – Statistics
Juan Mata produced a wonderful performance for Chelsea in the midfield. The Spaniard has once again sent out a strong message to Jose Mourinho, who has provided him limited opportunities in the league this season. Juan Mata is perhaps the new Didier Drogba for Arsenal as he seemingly always manages to score against the Gunners, and incredibly nearly every goal against them has been a wonder strike. Mata also made 54 passes in the match at a success rate of 96% along with three key passes
Statistic courtesy whoscored.com