For the third week running Arsenal talisman Robin van Persie put in another inspired performance and scored an unforgettable hat-trick at Stamford Bridge to grab all three points for the gunners. But in saying this, it is also great to say that the team played brilliantly as a hole and to say that the Dutchman dragged us to victory certainly doesn’t do justice to the performances of the rest of the team. It was definitely the best performance from the gunners this season.
For many, this game was the indication that Arsenal had finally put their torrid season start behind them and the gunners answered in some style. After putting together a nice statistic of seven wins in eight games before this match, the big question was whether they could improve another statistic where the gunners have only registered one win in their last ten away matches. I may be optimistic in saying this, but following this performance I would definitely like to think Arsenal have ‘turned the corner’.
Offensively, the gunners always looked threatening particularly on the counter-attack. I must say I was doubtful about the quality of young Ramsey, but seeing this kind of performance is definitely leading me to believe that he is improving with every game. It was also great to see Arteta give a vastly improved performance also, unlocking the Chelsea defence with the pin-point through balls we have come to expect from the experienced Spaniard. On top of this throw in our menacing wingers and of course our talisman and captain fantastic, who were all in top form tonight, and you could only lick your lips at the possibilities.
Another aspect I want to touch on is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Of course you have bad performers on the night, but to see the likes of Santos, Mertesacker and even Djourou significantly bounce back after admittedly very average first halves was a great sight to see. Of the bunch it was definitely Santos who impressed the most. After being done by Sturridge on numerous occasions in the first-half, he stepped-up his performance and in the second-half he looked a new player after looking exceptional on both attack and defence.
While there are definitely still areas in defence to rectify, this performance by the gunners was a great menacing offensive performance. We look forward now to the mid-week match against Marseille in the Champions League. No doubt our current winning run and new found confidence will greatly help us in what looks to be a tough upcoming match.
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on Chelsea’s third goal…
I was very unhappy but overall I must say I can only praise my team. We didn’t look disappointed on the pitch and we kept going. We knew that we needed a win here and we kept going to win the game. Overall I feel that they had a good team performance and they have shown great spirit. When you go 2-1 down just before half time it’s difficult but we came out in the second half with a complete desire to go forward.
In the second half I felt we were much better defensively than in the first half. We gave too many chances away in the first half – it’s certainly down to the fact that Chelsea have a lot going forward. But we always looked dangerous through the whole game and I hope the team strengthens its belief with a performance like that to focus on getting stronger and stronger.
on Robin van Persie…
He is of course on fire and he takes advantage through his class. We attack a lot and we create chances overall of course. The intelligence of his movement around the box and the accuracy of his finishing is exceptional.
on Laurent Koscielny’s performance…
I think he was outstanding. He was the one at the back in the first half who looked strong. But I felt in the first half we gave them too much room at the back and in midfield and in the second half we got much tighter. We kept being dangerous going forward but we were less in trouble defensively.
on encouraging the team to slow down at the end…
You know how it is on the bench when you are 4-3 up with two minutes to do – you do not necessarily encourage your team to be crazy. But this is the brand of our team and our Club. Sometimes you get rewarded for it and sometimes you pay for it.
on previous Chelsea teams being so open…
I have to think about that. I think one year we won here 3-2 when Kanu scored two goals and we were 2-1 down. It depends on the games because up until now Chelsea didn’t look completely open at all. They looked very secure defensively in the games they have played up until now. It is our quality today that opened them up and we kept throwing absolutely everything forward.
on what has changed for his team…
What has changed is that we got half of the team in on August 31 and we had to qualify for the Champions League. We had to rebuild a complete unity in the way we want to play football. Every win makes you stronger as well.
So now the players get used to the way we play so we get stronger but we have to remain humble, keep focus and work very hard together. There is still some ground to make up to come into a stronger position in the league and teams in front of us do not drop many points. But that quality we have shown today should make us more confident.
on Aaron Ramsey…
What people forget about players like Wojciech, Ramsey and Wilshere are all 19-20 years old. They are top quality and it is normal that they improve from game to game and from year to year.
on a strong run of form…
It’s the best habit in my job. We are more consistent now and we have to keep that going now. Tuesday night will be another test where we will have to focus and produce that quality again, that’s what is at stake.
on a big statement…
We played some games like Liverpool and Manchester United when we played with ten men. But we did not have the team at that time – I feel as though we are much stronger now.
Djourou Mertesacker Koscielny Santos
Walcott Van Persie (c) Gervinho
Wojciech Szczesny | 6.0: It has been the third game in a row the Pole has wildly left his goal to intercept a through ball and this time was lucky not to see red. Made good saves when needed but has to address his erratic behaviour.
Johan Djourou | 5.5: Was found wanting on numerous occasions early in the first-half after gifting way too much room to Ashley Cole on the flank. His positioning is suspect and although it improved in the second half many will want a more suitable replacement for the ever reliable Bacary Sagna at right-back
PerMertesacker | 6.0: Was found wanting in positioning for Chelsea’s first two goal, which is unusual for someone who usually has excellent positioning. Grew in confidence in the second half though and made a number of great blocks and interceptions.
Laurent Koscielny | 8.5: The Frenchman has become a beast. Has put in another exceptional performance at the back for the gunners and was the only defender to look solid all game. Wenger will have a selection headache when Vermaelen returns to full fitness.
Andre Santos | 6.5: The way he bounced back after a terrible first half was great to see. Scored a terrific goal and effectively shut down the left flank after a great number of excellently times tackles.
Alex Song | 6.5: The Cameroon midfielder did what was required of him in screening the back-four. Looked solid and also provided the pin-point pass for Santos to level the game at 2-2.
Mikel Arteta | 7.0: Great game by the Spaniard showing us his usual range of tidy distribution with some pin-point through balls thrown in the mix. It is good to see he is still improving.
Aaron Ramsey | 8.0: Young Ramsey looked a complete player in this performance. Great distribution, got into dangerous positions and delivered great through balls which lead to goals for the gunners. Excellent performance.
Theo Walcott | 8.5: Menacing. Everything went right for the winger in this match. Took on his defender, delivered great final balls that deserved to be put in the back of the net and showed great determination to grab his goal. Hopefully he can do this on a consistent basis.
Gervinho | 7.5: Should have scored early after Theo set him up on a tee but bounced back brilliantly. He cleverly assisted Robin for his first and looked dangerous down the flank taking on defenders and getting to the bi-line on numerous occasions.
Robin van Persie | 9.0: Captain fantastic strikes again! Although he missed a couple of chances early and failed to control a couple of delightful chips from both Ramsey and Arteta the Durchman rallied to score three magnificent goals. Great captain’s performance.
- Notable Substitutions