Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal: 5 Reasons Why Maurizio Sarri got the better of Unai Emery's side
Chelsea welcomed Arsenal at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday for the Premier League’s second blockbuster weekend in succession. The two clubs had met 52 times in total in the Premier League and with 19 wins, Arsenal had the upper edge till now, while Chelsea had won 17. 16 of these games had ended in draws. History suggested that the tie is heavily favoured to the home side, with both clubs enjoying 12 wins at home.
Unai Emery’s first game was a learning experience for him, as his team adjusted to his tactics. Against City, Arsenal had 9 shots, 3 on target, and 42% possession. They attempted 401 passes with 79% accuracy and committed 11 fouls. Unfortunately, City were too strong and won 2-0 comfortably.
In contrast, Sarri, after losing the Community Shield, bounced back well against Huddersfield, winning 3-0. Chelsea had 13 shots, 4 of which were on target and had 63% possession. Sarri ball seems to have grown into the team as Chelsea played 658 passes with an accuracy of 88%. With both clubs coming into the game in contrasting fortune, this set up a mouthwatering tie to look forward to.
Sarri started with Morata leading the line with Willian and Pedro either side of him. Kante, Jorginho and Barkley made up Chelsea’s fiery new-look midfield. The back four comprised of Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz and Alonso. New signing Kepa Arrizabalaga continued in goal. Interestingly, Hazard started from the bench, along with Giroud and another new signing Kovacic.
Unai Emery made two changes from the team that lost to City in the opening weekend. Monreal came in for Mainland-Niles and Iwobi came in for Ramsey.
Arsenal looked lively for the first few minutes, but Chelsea gradually got their grip in the game. They took the lead through Pedro is the 9th minute. Arsenal were wasteful in front of goal and were punished by Morata in the 20th minute when the Spaniard doubled the lead.
Arsenal would go on to miss more chances but fought back with a goal from Mkhitaryan in the 37th minute. Iwobi then got the scores level by putting the ball in the net in the 41st minute. The first half ended 2-2. In the second half, both teams rallied for a goal. Ultimately, it was Hazard’s trickery which found Alonso to score the winner in the 81st minute.
As Chelsea got the better of Arsenal, we look at 5 reasons why Sarri triumphed over Emery the first time they have met in the Premier League.
#5 Arsenal were poor in front of goal
When Chelsea were just a goal up, Aubameyang had a glorious opportunity to even the scores and missed it. Chelsea immediately went ahead and doubled the lead. It was Mkhitaryan’s turn next as he too missed a sitter. Aubameyang missed another clear chance again before the end of the first half.
Even though Iwobi scored one, he missed another easy opportunity later on. Had it not been for some poor performance in front of the goal Arsenal could have scored at least 3 more goals. Even though they lost the game, Arsenal showed the world that Chelsea were pretty vulnerable at the back. However, Emery’s side's misses in front of goal were Sarri’s gains on the night. Arsenal had 15 shots with 6 of them on target. Chelsea had 24 shots, with 11 of them on target.