Arsenal's bid for an undefeated season, and a chance to close the gap between themselves and league leaders Chelsea, came to a sickening thud this morning as our lads lost a 2-0 match that could have done in a lot of different directions. Here's a quick overview of the day's events:
Minute 10: On a quite lovely throughball from Calum Chambers, Alexis Sanchez looked to have a chance at goal, only for Chelsea goalie Thibaut Courtois to charge into the ball's path and clatter him. Though it looked similar to the play that got Wojciech Szczesny a red card in Wednesday's flarefest against Galatasaray, Martin Atkinson ruled no foul (something he'd do a lot during the day, it turns out), and Courtois eventually got up from what looked to be a pretty clear cut concussion.
Minute 21: Gary Cahill went studs-up, two-footed, fully red-cardable kung fu style on Alexis Sanchez, but only received a yellow for his offense. This got Arsene Wenger riled up -- Wenger charged out of his technical area, into Jose Mourinho's, as he attempted to discuss things with Atkinson. Mourinho and Wenger pushed each other (Wenger probably pushed first, but Mourinho was in his way), and there was some jawing, and Mourinho pulled on Wenger's tie, and the rivalry just got ratcheted up a level with a sequence that was eminently GIFable. Atkinson told the managers to behave, but didn't send either of them to the stands.
Minute 24: Chelsea's med staff determined that, yes, Courtois was indeed concussed, and signalled for Petr Cech and his concussion-preventing helmet to swap out for Courtois, who was then taken to a hospital. (Maybe the FA needs to re-review its policy, even though it did that post-Lloris.
Minute 27: Here's where things really started to suck. Eden Hazard went on a pretty little run through the Arsenal defense, and with no Mythical DM to block his path, it was left to Laurent Koscielny to make a terrible, red-cardable foul in front of goal. Atkinson doled out a yellow and pointed to the spot, and Hazard did the annoying thing (but it'd be cool if he was on our team) where he looks at the goalie rather than the ball as he slotted it coolly into the corner. Say what you will about Chelsea, but when it comes to penalties, Hazard's the exact opposite of Neymar, and that's a good thing.
Minutes 28 to 45 +3: Oscar commits 237 cardable fouls and yet is not carded.
Minute 63: A Jack Wilshere shot, one of Arsenal's
best only chances of the day, is batted away for a corner kick by Cesc Fabregas. Yes, batted, as in with his hand. Not called, naturally.
Minute 77: Fabregas launches a 50-yard pass to Diego Costa, who evades a pretty-terrible-today Koscielny, and chips in a game-winner over Szcz. Sadness abounds.
Minute 86: After another 70 or 80 second-half fouls, Oscar is finally booked.
Minute 90 + 1: Danny Welbeck, quieted for most of the game by the Chelsea bus, slides into Fabregas in similar fashion to Cahill on Sanchez earlier in the game, and similarly gets a yellow card.
So, Arsenal heads into the October interlull (ugh) nine points down the table from Chelsea, looking up at City, Southampton, United, Swansea, Spurs, and tied (both on points and goal differential) to West Ham. It's still early in the season and all, but damn it.