Per Mertesacker has been given his marching orders less than 20 minutes into the Arsenal v Chelsea game, deemed to be the last man after sliding in on Diego Costa and failing to get the ball.
We always seem to self destruct against Chelsea, and we’ve imploded once again against the faltering Premier League champions.
It was a bright start from both sides, with half chances created at either end. We weren’t looking sharp enough off the ball though, and were soon punished for it.
We obviously didn’t want to underestimate Chelsea, but we were giving them far too much respect on the ball. We were backing off and not applying pressure, which meant the likes of Cesc Fabregas were able to consistently find time and space to attempt those killer balls.
One such ball over the top found its way to Diego Costa, who was always going to have the beating of Per Mertesacker in a foot race. The German stuck out a leg and failed to make contact with the ball, and from there he knew there was only one outcome.
The contact was minimal (if there was any), but Costa was obviously going to make the most of it – as would most strikers to be fair. Mark Clattenburg instantly gave the foul, and after a short pause gave him a red card.
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You could argue it was a bit of a harsh decision, as the contact was minimal and Laurent Koscielny could potentially have got on the cover. You can see why the referee made the decision he did though, and it was really a problem of our own making.
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Shortly after, Chelsea went ahead through Costa – who else? And we really struggled to get back into the game. There were a few good runs from Theo Walcott and one great chance for Mathieu Flamini – although what he was doing in Chelsea’s box yet again nobody knows – but over all Chelsea looked disappointingly comfortable. Implosion yet again, why do we always do it against them?