Arsenal v Chelsea
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: December 23, 2013 8:00 PM BST
There was talk of tonight’s game being cancelled due to poor weather conditions, but the teams came out to play despite the torrential rain and high winds. With Jack out due to suspension and Koscielny still injured, the team mostly picked itself. The only question really was whether Walcott would get into the starting eleven.
Walcott did start on the right, but he was fairly anonymous for a lot of the first half. The whole game was pretty tentative to start with, both teams clearly not willing to commit too many men forward for risk of conceding.
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Despite there being not a lot of action, you could tell it was a tense game. There were some tough tackles flying in from both sides, Arsenal possibly seeing the worst of it. Mike Dean kept his cards in his pockets though, which was especially surprising when Mikel went in studs up on Arteta leaving the Spaniard writhing around in pain. There were cries for a red card, but not even a foul was given.
In the same move Özil showed quick feet to make his way into the box, he laid the ball off to Walcott who had his feet swept from under him by Willian. Surely a penalty? Nope. Nothing given by Mike Dean.
Down the other end Willian was looking like Chelsea’s most dangerous player, putting a number of good crosses in and having a shot saved by Szczesny after a suicidal Ramsey pass allowed a Chelsea break. Their best chance came from Lampard though, when his shot struck the crossbar after a great pass by Hazard.
The game was very tactical, with both teams trying to outsmart the other. There were some misplaced passes from both teams early on, but the game started to come to life a little more as the game went on. Nonetheless we went into half time at 0-0.
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen(c) Gibbs
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