Honours Even Between London And Manchester As The Home Teams Prevail

Posted: November 6, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , ,

860087-2017-11-05t143716z-1620845769-rc12892d45c0-rtrmadp-3-soccer-england-mci-ars

679602

Before the game in Manchester Sir Joe Agüero was given his well deserved award for being good at doing goals.

In fact, he is now the best City player ever at that particular art, having surpassed Eric Brook’s total of 177 when he scored against Napoli in the Champion’s League last week.

Over in the Arsenal camp, stubborn old man turned up at the Etihad with his team in tow obviously knowing full well that he wasn’t going to win this game. How else can the absence of record signing Alexandre Lacazette be explained? If Wenger had any belief that his team could win in Manchester, then why did he leave his goalscorers on the bench?

In fact, they were 2-0 down before we even saw Giroud and his fellow Frenchman warming up. Eventually, Coquelin was replaced by Lacazette in an admission that, not only did they need to score, but also that the back five hadn’t worked.

A goal from Kevin De Bruyne and a Sir Joe Agüero penalty did the damage before Wenger’s substitution did the trick for Arsenal and Alexandre Lacazette got one back. This made a game of it for around ten minutes or so before Gabriel Jésus, one of Pep Guardiola’s inspired substitutions, made it 3-1.

In the course of the game Guardiola also managed to give some minutes to Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan.

Eventually stubborn old man did send on Olivier Giroud and “Union” Jack Wilshere but Arsenal continued to be outclassed and ran out of ideas long before they had run out of time.

The result sees them drop below Liverpool into sixth place and leaves them, as expected since the start of the season, with a fight on their hands to get into the top four.

As for City, this result takes them eight points clear at the top, at least until Chelsea and Manchester United have had a discussion at Stamford Bridge later on.

 

630680

So attention now turned to London and the initial surprise was that José Mourinho appeared to send his team out to try and win the game.

It shouldn’t really have come as a surprise bearing in mind that a draw would have left United still seven points behind City and, at some stage, they would have to start trying to catch them.

After demanding more respect for drawing 0-0 at Liverpool and narrowly beating Spurs 1-0 at home maybe Mourinho decided that more respect would be gained if he actually managed to beat a top team away from home occasionally.

Anyway, they had a go in the first half and so did Chelsea, who had the better of the chances, but neither had anything to show for it by the end of 45 minutes.

United had Laurel and Har… Smalling and Jones together which did not auger well as there is usually one of three things happens when they are both on the pitch at Stamford Bridge, (and several other places actually); one of the two will get sent off, one of the two will give away a penalty or one of the two will score an own goal.

On this occasion it was the turn of Jones and his choice of the three was to score an own goal. Fortunately for United the referee spotted a push in the build-up and the goal was disallowed.

The second half was just as frenetic as the first and after eleven minutes, Morata was left completely unmarked in the eighteen yards box to head home an Azpilicueta cross.

As is often the case with Mourinho he was reactive rather than pro-active. It took a goal for Chelsea to wake him up to the fact that Mkhitaryan had been totally ineffective and he was eventually withdrawn for Martial while Fellaini replaced Jones.

It made little difference. United couldn’t keep the ball and Chelsea were by far the better team. In fact, Antonio Conte would be quite entitled to ask his players how they can put in a performance like this after their woeful displays against Burnley, Manchester City and Roma. It is also a question which may have occurred to José Mourinho.

United did put together a more concerted effort in the last five minutes of the game but it was far too little, far too late and they ended up with what they deserved, which was nothing.

We can now look forward to the intense boredom of the international injury window for the next fortnight. Oh joy of joys!

 

 

Advertisements

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s