With a limited midfield before the game—probably the worst possible pair—Arsenal’s chances of winning were already low. Arsene Wenger tried by countering with a tactical switch, playing a 4-3-3, and for the first 5 minutes Arsenal looked bright, with pressure from Alexis and Mesut Özil creating a chance for Alex Iwobi, with his shot deflected wide.
But then, the fact that Arsenal have bad players in key positions came to the fore. Francis Coquelin couldn’t find Alex Iwobi from 10 yards, and Chelsea broke, with Arsenal confused as to who should go out to Victor Moses. Laurent Koscielny was slow to meet Pedro, and his cross was headed by Costa off the bar, with the follow-up put into the goal by Marcos Alonso with a headed shot a foot wide of Petr Cech who never moved. In going for the header, Alonso forearm smashed Hector Bellerin, who was concussed, but the foul wasn’t given, and idiot commentators seemed to think it was fine.
Chelsea were utterly dominant. Arsenal’s midfield was all over the place, unable to get a foothold in possession or out of possession, and hampered by having Gabriel at right back. Right back is such an important position for Arsenal going forward that it just isn’t acceptable that Gabriel is considered a viable option, for he is abysmal on the ball.
Arsenal came into the game, on the back of Mesut Özil, who carried Arsenal in the final fifteen minutes of the half. Gabriel should’ve scored from Oxlade-Chamberlain’s chip, and then Özil had a shot saved by Courtois.
The match, though, was finished as a contest by Eden Hazard’s sensational solo goal. Coquelin, though, was again at fault. He gave possession away in the midfield with a backheel, then ran alongside Hazard, and like Tuesday, didn’t foul his man, instead being shrugged off like a rag doll, the football equivalent of saying ‘retire bitch.’ Hazard then turned Koscielny inside-out, and finished past Cech.
The humiliation was complete on 85 minutes. Former Chelsea legend Petr Cech added another sterling contribution to his old team by passing straight to Cesc Fabregas, who chipped Cech from 20 yards.
Giroud added a consolation in the 90th minute, but it did nothing to change the desolation from an Arsenal point of view: out of the league title, likely in 5th place by the end of the weekend.
There were many players at fault today. No one in central midfield covered themselves in glory, Gabriel, Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi were all very bad, easily pulled out of position by the Chelsea players, and Alexis, when he did get on the ball, gave it away almost every time, but if today doesn’t convince you that this team is a complete and utter shambles, managed by someone who should no longer be in a job, I’m not sure what will.