Arsenal hosted Chelsea during the weekend for their Premier League fixture. A win was necessary against the 13th place Chelsea, but the Gunners let the opportunity slip early from their hands. Per Mertesacker’s poor challenge and Costa’s theatrics caused Arsenal to go down to ten men. Not only did they lose the match 1-0 but they lost their first place in the league to Leicester City and are now third in the table with City second.
Below are the five major factors that didn’t work in Arsenal’s favour:
- Mertesacker’s ill-timed tackle and Costa’s well-timed theatrics
To start with, Per Mertesacker’s poor challenge gave Chelsea’s striker Diego Costa the opportunity to portray it as a foul. Although Per was only trying to prevent a goal, the tackle didn’t go down as planned and led to the German being sent off in the 18th minute of the match.
- Wenger’s decision to take Giroud off.
His sending off forced Arsene Wenger to change his tactics from an offensive one to a more defensive stance when he brought on Gabriel Paulista for Olivier Giroud. This was a poor decision by Wenger who could have chosen Joel Campbell instead of the Frenchman who was clearly disappointed to be taken off, and might have helped Arsenal with a goal or two.
- Ramsey’s poor performance
Aaron Ramsey was a clear disappointment against the Blues with poorly timed passes, and inability to retain possession. The Welshman gave the ball away too much and clearly lacked the pace and strength to push past Chelsea’s defence. Another poor substitution decision by Wenger when he chose to take Walcott off for Chamberlain. Ramsey should have been taken off the pitch for his poor performance, as presence of both Walcott and Chamberlain on the pitch would’ve have been a much better attacking strategy.
- Timings and Choices of Substitution
Bringing Sanchez and Chamberlain, improved Arsenal’s chances of scoring a goal but that wasn’t done soon enough to give them a chance to settle. In the last ten minutes there was too much urgency and being a man down clearly didn’t help them at all. The timings and the choices of players to be taken off the pitch were nothing but poor decisions.
- Ozil, just a name on the pitch
Mesut Ozil, was nothing but a name present on the pitch. Much to Gunners’ hope of getting any consolation out of the game if not a win, the only player that looked adamant on changing the scoreline was Alexis Sanchez. However, the Chile international’s efforts weren’t enough to save Arsenal from a defeat.