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Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard displaying the silverware successfully gained from the new owners’ huge investment

Arsenal managed to keep their relatively slim title dream alive with a one sided 3-1 victory over a pitiful Chelsea side on a mild Tuesday evening at the Emirates. After a poor run of three draws and a defeat, Mikel Arteta’s side knew that it was three points or bust in terms of the title and three points is what they got. The West Londoners came into the game in even worse form, languishing in 12th place off the back of five defeats in all competitions since Frank Lampard returned to the club on an interim basis. Following last week’s brutal demolition at the hands of title rivals, Manchester City, Arteta tinkered with his side for the visit of Chelsea. A first premier league start was handed to Polish international, Jakub Kiwior in place of the much-maligned Rob Holding. Jorginho started against his former side and our other January signing, Leandro Trossard, came in for Gabriel Martinelli. 

Arsenal began brightly and nearly took the lead after five minutes. A long ball from Jorginho was flicked on by Jesús, wreaking havoc in the Chelsea box. Azpilicueta’s weak headed back pass was latched onto by Granit Xhaka who prodded the ball straight at Kepa. But on 18 minutes we were ahead. Zinchenko found Jesús who turned and found Xhaka on the left-hand side. The Swiss pinged a lovely switch to Martin Ødegaard who was steaming into the box, and our Norwegian skipper thundered it in off the bar. 1-0. A deserved lead.

We continued to pin back the Blues. However, Ramsdale had to be alert when Ben Chilwell found himself in on goal following a cross field pass from Ngolo Kante, but Ramsdale palmed away well from his international colleague. Within moments we had significant breathing space, and the second goal came from the exact same source as the first. Once again, we found Xhaka on the flanks following more neat build up play on the left and he played an almost identical pass into Ødegaard who once again converted the opportunity. He bounced the ball into the ground and Kepa was floundering as the ball settled into his bottom left corner. That’s now fourteen Premier League goals for our Capitano, who has gone up several levels this campaign. As have so many of his teammates, but Ødegaard’s improvement has been particularly impressive. He now has double the number of goals that he managed last campaign and there are still four more games to add to his tally. His finishing has been world class at times. 

And it was about to get even better for the home side. Benjamin White played in a diagonal cross with his wrong foot, Gabriel Jesus was able to chest it down and find Xhaka, who scrambled a shot which bounced back to the Brazilian who gleefully smashed home through the legs of Kepa for 3-0. Yet more awful defending from Chelsea but Arsenal didn’t care. They were absolutely cruising, and more goals looked imminent. 

Arsenal began the second half in the same vein as the first and had several chances to add to their lead. Gabriel thought he had added a fourth following a corner, but his header was scrambled off the line by his international compatriot, Thiago Silva. Xhaka was next to go close as his effort was turned around the post by Kepa following a fast break. Kepa saved well again from Saka following a low drive. Somehow it was still only 3. The Chelsea goalkeeper was single-handedly keeping the scoreline respectable. And somehow it was Chelsea who found the next goal. Kovacic’s through ball found its way to Noni Madueke. Meanwhile Zinchenko had gone to sleep at the back post as the England youth international poked in a consolation for the visitors. Another home game goes by without a clean sheet. 

Worryingly, Gabriel was forced off with what appeared to be a groin strain. Hardly what we need ahead of a crucial trip to St James’ Park on Sunday, although Gabriel went straight to the bench as opposed to down the tunnel so hopefully that points to a precautionary measure rather than anything more serious. The Brazilian has been Mr Dependable this season, and I don’t think many of us would fancy our chances up in the Northeast without him. 

Other than that, the game concluded without much incident. The lack of goals in the second half was disappointing but ultimately this was a night where the result took priority above all else. We now sit on 78 points, 2 points above Citeh who have 2 games in hand. But they will have to win them first. We now have just 4 games left and we will have to win them all. We are relying on others to do us favours but at the very least we need to consolidate second place which we can effectively achieve with a win at Newcastle. Will we be crowned champions in 25 days’ time? Right now it looks unlikely but stranger things have happened…..

35 Drinks to “Gunners Down Bleak Blues”

  1. 1
    ClockEndRider says:

    Nice report, 21 CG. Glad to see wee saw the same game, not least as we were right next to one another!
    Good atmosphere in the ground last night with no moaning or whining about a markedly less energetic and purposeful second half. Gabriel looked as though he was struggling for quite a while before he actually went off so I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to be missing in Sunday, which will pose an interesting problem for the manager. Kiwior, I thought, looked excellent. Would also rest Saka for Reiss Nelson.

  2. 2
    Ollie says:

    Cheers 21CG. It’s good to be winning again.
    Agree with you there CER. I was surprised Gabriel stayed on for as long as he did, as he went to ground about three times. Also on Saka.
    And while when Chelsea scored (very annoying, I really wanted a clean sheet, and Ramsdale’s first half save at 1-0 must not be underrated, it was an absolutely superb piece of positioning, anticipation and timing), despite some trying to peddle a narrative of momentum shift, I never felt we were under threat.

  3. 3
    TTG says:

    I was able to watch the whole affair on Sky and found it enjoyable and relatively free from tension although we make far too many defensive mistakes which spoils the overall record of an excellent team. We’ve conceded at home Southampton, Bournemouth , Leeds and even Chelsea who can’t score against anybody
    We played excellent football early on and were too organised and committed for a Chelsea side whose first half performance was shameful.
    I liked Kiwior , I thought Xhaka had a fine game and Jesus unsettled them with his running I feel in one sense like our season is over but it very much isn’t if Citeh hit a wall. There is quite a lot of development that I sense Arteta wants to undertake and next season we may see a number of further changes. But the first half was highly enjoyable and it was good to see us outcless Chelsea so effortlessly.

  4. 4
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks 21CG, nice report of a game that was an easy win against the worst Chelsea side I have seen since their formation in the early 2000s. I must admit I find their struggles hilarious and long may they continue.

    On to a sterner test at the newly formed House of Saud Toon, i expect they will soon be just as repulsive but they are definitely more organized just now. Going to be even tougher if Gabriel doesn’t make it but at least our forward line is functioning well. 4-3 anyone?

    I hope you are feeling better TTG, as you say the first half was a rare pleasure and I wish I could have enjoyed it with a single malt but it was 4AM and my liver isn’t what it was.

  5. 5
    TTG says:

    Thanks Matt
    Age is a terrible thing !

  6. 6
    North Bank Ned says:

    A fine report, 21CG. As you say, the result was the thing, yet the way we purred in the first half was an enjoyable bonus. Interesting that the word MØ8 chose to describe the second half was ‘messy’. We lost some control but the mob from the Bus Stop still failed to threaten with any consistency. As OM notes, this must be the worst Chelsea team since Abramovich showed up with his millions. Poch will have a job on his hands to sort it out even if Broehly gets out of his way and lets him get on with it.

    Kudos to the caption writer above, too.

    TTG@3: An astute observation about changes to come. I am sure Arteta sees how the team is running out of steam for a second consecutive season and will be looking to address that with greater squad depth and quality. I was struck by a quote in the Lewis Ambrose column on Arseblog after the City game about how Pep used specific players against certain top opponents. The implication was that his ‘strongest’ First XI comprised 14 or 15 players acquired to that end. However, it also provides the bonus of letting him rotate throughout the season without any drop in overall quality, and so keep everyone fresh. I would expect Arteta to be looking to replicate that sort of squad depth.

    Hope you are convalescing well.

  7. 7
    bt8 says:

    Fine match report, 21cg. It feels much better to be in the winning column again. Good thing we held on to our lead, and let’s all pray to our various deities that Gabriel recovers fast.

  8. 8
    Sancho Panza says:

    I read or heard somewhere that the thought was that Gabriel was dropping to the floor to disrupt the flow of the game in the second half. I guess we’ll find out how fit he is soon.

  9. 9
    bt8 says:

    The BBC website certainly seems excited about the appointment of Fat Sam at Dirty Leeds with the first three stories accompanied each one by an 8” x 10” color glossy photograph of the corpulent one. It’s more than enough to make me want to see them relegated in a few weeks’ time.

  10. 10
    OsakaMatt says:

    I watched a video of the man himself explaining that there was no one ahead of him in terms of football knowledge, not Pep, Klopp or Arteta. That would be Mr Arteta to you I thought to myself but on a positive note he did manage not to spit out his gum on the interview room floor. Baby steps I know but still progress for the deluded one.

  11. 11
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@10: 🙂

    The senior special one.

  12. 12
    Las says:

    Cheers 21CG! A very fine report from the bus stop in Fulham.
    I’m just thankful that we started winning again. I don’t give a damn for tbe funacially doped Oilers so in my world we are the best by miles. And I hope we could give a good kick or two to the Barcodes before they become the same cyborg than Citeh.

  13. 13
    TTG says:

    One of the depressing things about modern football is the correlation between financial strength and onfield success.
    Is it any wonder that a team that has won three out of four titles looks even stronger when it signs the best striker in Europe ! Though Newcastle haven’t spent anything like the riches available to them the addition of Isak , Trippier and Botman has made the team much stronger .
    The only team disproving this are our friends the Chavs who despite extraordinary outlay produced the sort of display so well described by21CG .
    The mismanagement at Chelsea is jaw dropping. Todd Boehly is setting new benchmarks in how not to manage a Premier League football team.
    I was disappointed that an idiot found it necessary to fire a laser pen at Mudryk . If truth be told he is probably hugely disappointed by the move to Chelsea and although it is unlikely he coukd have advanced our cause as much as Trossard he became the centre of a tug of war that Biehly wanted to win to reassure Chav fans that he can amass more firepower than Arsenal .
    Lots of the media as well as Chav and Arsenal fans reacted to the deal as if it illustrated greater ambition at the Bus Stop. What it actually did was to illustrate a lack of maturity and understanding of how football works.
    Not all the shiniest toys have to be in your cupboard before you win the Premier League . I would expect Boehly’s backers to put him under massive scrutiny before next season. What he has achieved this season ranks with the the very poorest efforts at running a football club that I’ve ever seen. It’s great to see the arrogance and ignorance of their fans so exposed and one can only hope the problems continue into next season

  14. 14
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Excellent stuff 21CG. Succint, and spot on in your assessments.

    Like Ned, i must doff my cap to the caption writer.

    TTG sums up Boehly’s efforts well, although, strangely, without a single use of the word ‘cockwart’. I can only blame his health struggles for this oversight! I hope you continue improving and that Arsenal give you plenty more to cheer about in the nex few games, even if the goal difference column means they can afford a loss and a draw in their final five games and still emerge as champions.

  15. 15
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    ‘They’ being the almost unmentionable excrescence that it is City.

    What a cunch of bunts.

  16. 16
    Trev says:

    I see Spister Mooner is alive and kicking !

  17. 17
    bt8 says:

    Re: Boehly. I think his two biggest mistakes were not listening to, and then getting rid of Tuchel. It has all been downhill from then, and shows no signs of correcting course. If he had any worse timing in announcing managerial changes the Chavs really might be in the Championship (aka the second division) next season. It has been hilarious to watch it unfold though. 😆😆😆😁😬😆😬

  18. 18
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@13: The difference between City, Newcastle and the Chavs is that the owners of the first two hired good managers (the best in Pep’s case) and let them build their teams; the owners’ involvement went no further than opening their cheque books. The owners of the third appointed one of their own, Todd Boehly, as interim sporting director. What could possibly go wrong with having a sporting director with no operational experience in professional football? Boehly relinquished the title in January and now oversees the Sporting Department of Chelsea Global (yes, that is a thing), which will run the transfer and other football operations of Chelsea and all the other clubs Boehly and Clearwater Capital intend to acquire under its multi-club strategy — as if the present isn’t dystopian enough at the Bus Stop.

  19. 19
    Trev says:

    Chelsea Global my Arsenal !

    Chelsea aren’t even the second best team in West London yet 🤣

  20. 20
    bathgooner says:

    Nice work by 21CG who has not only produced a fine report but found the image and coined the caption himself.

    Hope you are on the mend, TTG. Festina lente, magister.

    The Torygraph has a story on Boehly who apparently gave a speech at the Milken Institute Global Conference shortly after his team’s 3-1 drubbing (that scoreline flatters them, it REALLY should have been more!); https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2023/05/04/todd-boehly-chelsea-transfers-figure-it-out/ (£).

    He said ” the club’s owners “are going to figure it out” and create a team of winners” and that “the new owners have “learned a lot” in their first year since buying the club!”

    “The ownership group are confident of future success as they continue to learn about the “global” nature of top level football – there is a market for top players in every country in the world! – and each one of these markets is different! I think there is a lot we have learned about the different markets and the global nature of it all! The fans are demanding. They want to win. We want to win. We very much believe that we are going to figure it out!”.

    Anyone got popcorn?

  21. 21
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@17: My 2-cents is that Boehly has a vision of what multi-club ownership and the business of professional football will look like (that may indeed be visionary; who knows?) but which is at odds with the way every elite manager/coach now sees their job, which is a relentless focus on winning silverware with his team built to his specs and playing his way. Tuchel could have had the current Chelsea squad in the top six, but he wanted the total control over the team that the Beohly vision doesn’t allow. Tuchel is notorious for not suffering fools lightly, so it is not surprising that there was a parting of the ways. Beohly will have the same issues with every potential top coach, which may be why the Poch negotiations are taking so long.

  22. 22
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@20: I think that is what is known in the private equity world as a ‘pivot’.

    Double kudos to 21CG for the image and the caption.

  23. 23
    bt8 says:

    Chelsea are now 12th in the league table of 20 clubs, and 6th lowest of the 7 London clubs. Mathematically possible to finish 7th of 7, however.

  24. 24
    bt8 says:

    Brighton dominated the second half against Manchester United today and will be a very tough opponent, as will Newcastle.

  25. 25
    bt8 says:

    Great picture at the bottom of this article as a Napoli fan cries in a London bar where he watched his side clinch the scudetto.


  26. 26
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    21CG did the caption! More great work!

  27. 27
    OsakaMatt says:

    That late Brighton penalty denying Manure a clean sheet was also very handy for my Fantasy League tussle at the top.
    This week will I believe see the draw for the first round of the first
    ever HolicsRopeyLeague Cup. I wonder if it will be televisuallised live
    on Grandstand?

  28. 28
    bt8 says:

    The first round of the first ever.

    Can you feel the tension rising?

  29. 29
    OsakaMatt says:

    My fingernails are bitten to the quick bt8

    Maybe, I should have rounded up a couple of celebs for the draw

  30. 30
    OsakaMatt says:


    Want to draw the prestigious balls of the GoonerholicsRopeyLeague Cup Regulars?
    Just send £500 to the GoonerholicsForeverDrinkingFund and you can be
    famous all over again!!!!!

  31. 31
    ClockEndRider says:

    I hope there won’t be an hours worth of UEFA CL draw-style stilted conversation and video tributes before the Ropey League draw……
    In other news, I’m quite upbeat about Sunday. Having re watched the Chelsea game, I thought we were far more secure second half than it appeared at the time in the ground, where the atmosphere was a little nervy at times. Don’t know if C100 felt the same?
    Then again that was against a side with fewer teeth than a pangolin.

  32. 32
    Bathgooner says:

    CER, it was only after the Chavs fluked their goal that the Clock End Upper got edgy – not surprising given our throwing away two goal leads in two of our last three matches. There were a couple of late episodes when if the Chavs had scored, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing us clinging on to a single goal lead for the last few minutes – however at no point did it feel that we were actually hanging on for dear life.

    On the forthcoming challenge at St James’, I don’t think Tuesday’s game provides a reliable metric. The first hour and the ultimate win does at least reassure us that we have not had the melt down that some have claimed and we can travel to Newcastle in good heart. But the challenge is far greater and, if he plays, we will get a better measure of Kiwior as a prospect, well though he aquitted himself on Tuesday. He deserved the praise he got after Tuesday but comparisons with Saliba were somewhat hyperbolic though I’d be happy to see him start at St James’. There’s good news on Gabriel which is a huge relief.

  33. 33
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Fun review 21CG. Watched the match recorded, knowing the result, and that allowed for a calmer viewing where one can focus on the details.

    Our opponents were abject, so it’s a bit difficult to accurately assess to what degree this dominating performance was a sign of our return from the April doldrums. Even though Kiwior-Gabriel combination looked good — and closer in spirit to the Saliba-Gabriel solidity though not the panache — the few times Chelsea easily got behind the defense were telling.

    Ødegaard & Xhaka combined well for the first two goals, with Jesus playing a key role by his positioning and passing from just in front of the defense but behind the midfield, making it impossible to mark him.

    Should have probably scored a goal or two more earlier in the second half to establish the complete control that we wanted. It’s one of those areas that the squad will need to work on before the next season.

    Get well soon TTG!

  34. 34
    Doctor Faustus says:

    And congratulations to Napoli for winning the Scudetto after 33 years — first time since the halcyon days of Maradona. The city went mental as expected https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/65489039 .

  35. 35
    scruzgooner says: