A potentially historic weekend for Chelsea Football Club resulted in Community Shield failure as Arsene Wenger recorded his first career victory against Jose Mourinho. A powerful finish from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin ensured that Arsenal won their third-successive pre-season trophy, and condemned Chelsea to Wembley defeat following the ladies’ triumph a mere 24 hours earlier.
Here are three key points from the match:
1) Lethargy evident
2) Static movement
3) Clinical finishing absent
1) Having only returned to the United Kingdom from our pre-season tour of North America on Wednesday, preparations for a Wembley final were not ideal. Nevertheless, it is simple to present excuses. A lack of intensity was evident today, we were unable to impose our usual quick-tempo onto the game. Our advanced trio, of Ramires, Willian and Hazard failed to interchange positions and create space. On occasions, players appeared listless and consequently Arsenal were able to retrieve possession with ease, for an example Nemanja Matic being dispossessed in the opening seconds of the game. We were unable to rival the fitness levels of the Arsenal players, consequently we weren’t displaying our typical desire to press the ball. Perhaps, an additional week of pre-season preparations ensured that Arsenal were more competitive. I’m sure that such a sluggish performance shall warrant a defiant response from Jose Mourinho, accordingly I hope that we’ll perform with greater purpose and desire on Wednesday ensuring that we’re ready to begin the forthcoming BPL campaign with the sufficient intensity.
2) Cesc Fabregas’ greatest ability is his vision and offensive awareness to identify the runs of team-mates and execute the pass. Today he was unable to impact the game in his customary manner, our creative talents failed to impose their menacing abilities on the game which correspondingly negated Fabregas’ influence. In addition there were certain moments during the game in which Fabregas exhibited a lack of awareness, conceding possession. His options to release players were limited and perhaps if our attacking players would have displayed the sufficient movement, Fabregas would be able to effect the game in an auspicious fashion as oppose to today’s performance.
3) During the game we only managed to craft two genuine opportunities. Loic Remy’s greatest contribution in the first-half was his exquisite cross, which presented Ramires with a golden opportunity to equalise. The Brazilian, however, failed to convert the chance which infuriated the animated Jose Mourinho, and the entire Chelsea faithful. Eden Hazard’s performance was subdued, and rather untypical of his momentous 14/15 displays. During the ninety minutes, the Belgian was only presented with one clear opportunity following a precise pass from Fabregas. As Hazard stood one-on-one with former teammate and Chelsea great, Petr Cech, he appeared destined to score. Much to the dismay of Chelsea’s supporters, Hazard did not fulfil our expectations and our longing desire for a goal continued. On another day, when fitness would have been sharper and players more adept at taking their chances perhaps the opportunities crafted today would have resulted in two goals, yet as is the unpredictable nature of football the expectations did not materialise and Arsenal claimed victory at England’s home of football.