It was all you would have expected from two talented teams in transition. It was hectic and illogical. Seamless and insane.
The twists and turns of the first meeting between Chelsea and Arsenal under their new managers made for fantastic theater. The second Premier League game of their new era was the football equivalent of a rollercoaster. And thanks to a Marcos Alonso winner in the 81st minute, the victory ended in Chelsea.
The blues won 2-0 and threw it away at halftime. But Alonso sneaked into the penalty area from the left and decided with a clear parade of his left foot for the London derby.
Eden Hazard, again on the bench in the second half, was as brilliant as ever. It was his jump past an uninterested Alexandre Lacazette who made the decision possible.
The 90 minutes featured games within games, storylines over the storylines. They were anything but linear. Damn, the first of two halves alone had enough action to fill four.
But the end result reflected the initial trend, and undoubtedly the most glaring: Arsenal, as it had been when Arsene Wenger's reign went out, was surprisingly vulnerable on the back
An early warning sign
Not even five minutes later , Chelsea, quite generous, sent smoke as an advance notice: Arsenal had a problem.
Jorginho took possession in space within the Arsenal half
Arsenal had no pressure on the ball or covered in the 25 yards between Keeper and Back Four. There was no plan to deal with this room except a shabby offside trap. In terms of football, it committed a defensive suicide. The back four were separated and wanted to be taken apart.
Jorginho, probably the second best playmaker in the world, barely missed Barkley on that occasion. He would not miss it again.
Jorginho's Sorcery, Arsenal's Wee
Soon after, Arsenal's defense was torn apart again. Willian dragged Hector Bellerin away from his post. Shkodran Mustafi could not slip. Henrikh Mkhitaryan could not cover. And Jorginho played a peach-like punch for Marcos Alonso to set up goal # 1:
Chelsea recognized the flaw in the Arsenal plan and had the orchestrator to exploit it. The gunners have never really adapted. They never left Chelsea's threat behind. Her midfield was one step slower, her back line exposed.
David Luiz beat the back line again after 12 minutes. N & # 39; Golo Kante could not stand the chance, but his unbeaten diagonal run was another omen. Eight minutes later, when the defenders pushed for the center line, Alvaro Morata struck the crossbar and brought Chelsea 2: 0:
Arsenal's comeback, Chelsea's problems
But the Gunners had their chances all the time. Chelsea sometimes looked worn too. Mesut Ozil threw an early volley. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed an absolute sitter:
Mkhitaryan did it too. Random creation was not Arsenal's problem. For Maurizio Sarris system to work on the defensive, it must work high on the field. The pressure was not consistent enough that Arsenal routinely found opportunities between Chelsea's midfield and defense or between the posts. His forays drew Jorginho everywhere, leaving wide open spaces for cuts.
Alex Iwobi converted to a penalty before half-time. With a back-kick from the center-back, Kanté failed to pursue the Nigerian winger:
Chelsea, who had two goals in the lead after half an hour, seemed almost to shy away. Arsenal transformed the opportunities it had previously wasted.
The opening 45 minutes were emblematic of the adjustments that both sides make to their new managers. Still is not a refined defense unit. Arsenal's Unai Emery realized at halftime that he had to fire.
Arsenal's mid-term adjustment does not pay off
At half-time, Emery Lucas Torreira, a ball winner, brought Granit Xhaka a ball. The Gunners tried to close the shop. And to a degree, they did. The second 45 minutes were certainly much less of a racetrack.
But Emery's fundamental problem is that his defenders are simply not very good. Mustafi can be bad. Sokratis, signed by Borussia Dortmund this summer, is nothing special. Bellerin is stagnant. The defensive midfielders in front of them are inexperienced.
They were also slower in suppressing Chelsea's attack.
A certain kind of two halves in Arsenal – Chelsea.
Widely open first half favored Arsenal as they fired Chelsea's flanks and became free to cut at will. The second half Emery chose it back and Chelsea controlled the game, doing enough to win. pic.twitter.com/Mpb54rpsK1
– Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) August 18, 2018
The bottom line was that Arsenal's holes were gaping than Chelsea's. The Blues, under a manager who had taken over the lead just last month, looked closer to a finished product than the Gunners who have had their boss since May.
Alonso's winner was deserved. And Arsenal will return to London with zero points from his first two Premier League games.
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