EPL Season 2016/2017
Bright from the start
Wenger chose to use the same XI that featured for him in the last Premier League match – a stark difference from the team that played Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup. Antonio Conte on the other hand gave a starting berth to Cesc Fabregas who was impressive in the midweek while there was no room in the starting XI for Marcos Alonso.
Arsenal started the game brightly and had the better of the early exchanges. They took the lead after 11 minutes through Alexis Sanchez when the Chilean took full advantage of a grave mistake by Gary Cahill. And the Gunners gave no time for Chelsea to think when Theo Walcott doubled the lead within a couple of minutes when Walcott score easily past Thibaut Courtois after a lovely run and pick from Hector Bellerin.
No respite for the Blues!
Arsenal dominated the possession and the Blues were under pressure even after conceding two goals. For all the positive work by Arsenal, Chelsea were guilty of running ragged at the back. The absence of John Terry was clearly felt as Cahill struggled to lead the defense.
Adding to their misery, Chelsea went further behind when a fantastic counter-attack by Arsenal ended with a lovely goal by Mesut Ozil. With all due regards, the German had the goal on a silver platter with him left unmarked. Conte was left furious as all the goals resulted from poor defending.
Change of formation by the Blues didn’t work either
Conte decided to change the formation by opting to go for a back three and replacing Fabregas by Marcos Alonso. But it added to more confusion at the back without any luck up-front – although it offered the visitors more width.
Walcott could have made it 4-0 but for a fine save from Courtois. The Belgian stopper was also put to work by Olivier Giroud who was a late substitute for the Gunners. The result was never in doubt for the hosts who had a dominant first-half performance to thank for the full points.
The derby win must have been a relief for Wenger who was at the receiving end quite a few times in this fixture. For Chelsea, the harsh realities of their squad frailties is coming to the fore after consecutive losses in the Premier League. They now have to hope for a turnaround as some difficult encounters lay in the wait from round eight.
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Arsenal team composition:
Arsenal Positions 4-2-3-1
- 33 P. Čech
- 18 Nacho Monreal
- 6 L. Koscielny
- 20 S. Mustafi
- 24 Bellerín
- 11 M. Özil 40'
- 19 Santi Cazorla
- 34 F. Coquelin 32' Substituted
- 14 T. Walcott 14'
- 7 A. Sánchez Substituted 11'79'
- 17 A. Iwobi Substituted 69'
- 29 G. Xhaka Substituted for F. Coquelin 32'
- 3 K. Gibbs Substituted for A. Iwobi 69'
- 12 O. Giroud Substituted for A. Sánchez 79'
- 9 Lucas Pérez
- 13 D. Ospina
- 15 A. Oxlade-Chamberlain
- 16 R. Holding
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