Chelsea vs Arsenal (3-2): Four Talking points
Gameweek 2 saw the marquee clash of two London powerhouses, locking horns with each other. Chelsea and Arsenal, both in their own way are seeing a period of transition with the new style of football under Maurizio Sarri at the former and the latter embarks on a quest of a new identity in post-Wenger era with Unai Emery.
The game started with Chelsea thoroughly outplaying Arsenal and dominating for a large portion of the first half with Pedro's opening ninth minute strike and Alvaro Morata's first strike of the new season under the 20th minute. Soon after, Gunners made a stellar comeback with two quick goals under four minutes with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi, helping Arsenal level the score 2-2 at halftime.
Maurizio Sarri made double substitutions at the 60th minute as Mateo Kovacic, the loanee from Real Madrid made his first appearance for Chelsea by replacing Ross Barkley. Also, Eden Hazard replaced Willian as the Belgian continues to march on his quest to full fitness. The change came at the right time as the pair had a positive impact on the game as Chelsea looked more potent in possession for the first time in second half and again it was the Eden Hazard who set up Marcos Alonso's winner.
The win sees Chelsea bag a perfect six points from their first two fixtures of the premier league but the side look far from the finished article. Arsenal posed plenty of questions to the Blues defence which generally struggled and there is no doubt that Sarri will look to address the issues which saw Chelsea blow up a two-goal lead within five minutes. Four talking points:
#1 Triple Spanish Delight
Chelsea's three Spanish scorers on the day incidentally, are the players not universally loved by the Chelsea fanbase. Alvaro Morata's first season at Chelsea failed to inspire as the striker showed flashes of brilliance but his poor finishing and less than impressive second half of the season saw him draw ire of many Chelsea fans. With the new season underway, the Spaniard will no doubt be delighted (or relieved) as he goes off the mark for the season in a clutch early season fixture.
Plenty of eyebrows were raised as Pedro signed a 1-year contract extension in the summer. But the ex-Barcelona winger has so far justified Chelsea's faith in him as he scored his second goal of the season in as many matches. Marcos Alonso enjoyed his time under Antonio Conte as the undisputed starter at Left Wingback position but it was speculated that the lanky defender might lose his place to Emerson Palmieri. However, it looks like he might have kept his place in the starting eleven safe for the foreseeable future after scoring the winner against Arsenal.