We’re a little late on this, because, y’know, winning the FA Cup and all, but while other team sites have already concluded their season review stuff and have put last season behind them, we’re a little more deliberate here at the short fuse dot com.
We’re kicking off our season review series today with a look back at what we all consider to be our favorite/the best game of the season. There’s no real science behind it; we’re not looking at xG or optimal lineups/formations or anything like that. This is purely an exercise in looking at the game this year that made us the most happy. Which game is that, you ask?
ARSENAL 3-0 CHELSEA, 24 SEPTEMBER 2016
Remember September? After five games of the season, Arsenal were flying pretty high - 10 points from those five games, and comfortably in fourth place, with Manchester City, unbeaten and widely touted to never drop a point, in first place. This post is not about how much things change over a season, though, it’s about where Arsenal were when London rivals Chelsea came to the Emirates. Apart from an opening day loss to Liverpool, Arsenal were playing really well, but Chelsea was widely regarded as the first real test of the season.
And they passed, with flying colors. They came out flying, and set the tempo of the game at approximately a million miles an hour. Alexis opened the scoring in the 10th minute, pouncing on a Gary Cahill mistake right in front of the Chelsea penalty area and dinking the ball home with ease.
That goal was followed, moments later, by this six-pass goal from Theo Walcott:
And five minutes before the half, Özil completed the scoring with this.
And that, in effect, was that - they didn’t score in the second half, but the result was no longer in doubt, as Arsenal never once let Chelsea even remotely think they were in the game. This game basically made Chelsea rethink their entire setup and playing style, and the changes they made after this blowout are ones they rode all the way to the Premier League title in May. You’re welcome, Chelsea.
Arsenal in this game showed a ruthlessness that would, of course, desert them in the winter, but for one glorious September afternoon, Arsenal were the most rampant team in England.
So that’s our game of the season, but what’s yours? TO THE POLLS!
For you, what was the Arsenal game of the season?
This poll is closed
Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea, Sept 24, 2016
Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United, May 7, 2017
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea, FA Cup final, May 27, 2017
Arsenal 6-0 Ludogorets, Champions League, October 19, 2016
Other (please let us know in the comments)