FA Premiership, April 21st: Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea
Sunday morning, day-of-rest greetings to you, splendid perusers.
Although we didn’t play at our highest level, and Chelsea showed all the willingness to make a game of it as I’d have expected from League One opposition, a draw isn’t catostrophic.
The game itself was oddly subdued. The reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge was one of the finest advertisements for the excitement and drama that makes our league the best in Europe. At The Emirates, you’d have been forgiven for assuming it was a mid-table, end-of-the-season clash with nothing of any importance riding on it. Arsenal controlled matters for the vast majority of the game, but lacked any sort of incisive edge or spark in the final third. Chelsea barely registered an attack of any note, leaving Szczseny to spectate. With their minds quite obviously on the mammoth task that awaits them in Barcelona, Di Matteo made several changes from midweek, and they looked happy to park the bus.
Arsenal came closest to shattering the tedium through van Persie and the exceptional, Laurent Koscielny – both striking the woodwork with Cech beaten. However, the three point we needed didn’t come in the end, and whilst it’s a long way from being disastrous, it does allow Newcastle the opportunity to come level on points with us, should the win their game in hand. The major plus-point in the race for Champions League spots was Spurs continuing their hilarious capitulation at QPR with another defeat. In all likelihood, the race to finish 3rd is between us and The Toon.
I am disappointed the boys couldn’t get into that final gear that would of seen three points instead of one; Chelsea were there for the taking if we had really, really wanted it. However, as long as we head into the final three games with matters still entirely in our own hands, the only important results are the ones to come.
There was bad news on the injury front. Theo was replaced by Gervinho on the hour mark yesterday, and he’s picked up a hamstring injury that will see him join Arteta, Wilshere and Mertesacker on the sidelines for the rest of the season. His absence won’t be as noticeable as Arteta’s, but with our attacking options already at the bare minimum, it’s not come at a good time. It should almost certainly mean a few more starts for Oxlade-Chamberlain to impress us.
When quizzed about the injury, Wenger said:
“It looks like a serious hamstring,” said Wenger.
“First we assessed the hamstring, he wanted to go on and stay on the pitch, and I think he should have gone off straight away because the second time it was a real hamstring [injury].
“I think now for him it will be tough to come back before the end of the season. It is usually 21 days [minimum].”
“He should be OK to play for England, but I don’t think he will be ready to play for us.”
It was good to see Diaby back yesterday. He looked good when he came on. I’ve always been a fan of the leggy, looks-kinda-like-Patrick Frenchman. At his very best, he can be an exceptional cog in our midfield. But -and his career is littered with ‘buts’ – it all depends on the plethora of injuries he’s sustained, and wether or not he’s actually made a full recovery. I hope so. I hope for a similar resolution to what’s happened with Robin. Abou Diaby fit for an entire season would only be a great benefit to us.
That’s all for today folks.
Thanks for reading, you beatutiful bastards. What did you think of the game? The comments are below, and they are eargerly awaiting your thoughts.
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