Theo Walcott has been criticised for his role in Chelsea’s opening goal after Arsenal lost 3-1 to the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s side went ahead through a Marcos Alonso’s header, a goal Arsene Wenger felt ought to have been denied due to a foul on Hector Bellerin.
Bellerin had already challenged Diego Costa in the build-up, his header coming back off the bar before picking himself up to try and cover Alonso.
Walcott, meanwhile, ought to have been tracking Alonso’s run but let his man go with the Spaniard steaming in to open the scoring
Speaking after the game television pundit Graeme Souness highlighted Walcott as being culpable for the goal, and also felt Bellerin was not fouled.
“At this point in the game Arsenal were possibly shading it,” he told Sky Sports.
- [Match Highlights] Arsenal Östersunds FK – All The Goals And Best Bits
- [Player Ratings] Arsenal 1-2 Östersunds FK – Gunners Flop But Qualify In Europa League
- [Confirmed Lineups] Arsenal v Ostersunds FK – Ozil Dropped But Wilshere Starts
“Games at the highest level are decided by a piece of brilliance or someone not doing their jobs at a vital time.
“Theo Walcott saw the danger but decided to do nothing about it. And that game from that goal swung completely in Chelsea’s favour.”
While there is an argument that the goal should have been chalked off, Walcott will surely not be pleased with his failure to track back effectively particularly if you contrast his performance with Eden Hazard who worked tirelessly throughout the game.
However, Walcott was not the only Arsenal player to let the team down on Saturday with very few players emerging from the clash with any credit.