Arsenal Football Club may stand for a lot of things to a lot of people, but hopefully, in this upcoming season, they can stand for determination – because they certainly came across that way last night when they overcame the odds to defeat rivals Chelsea on penalties. We all know that reading into things at this stage of pre-season is a fool’s game, but at this point, we’re beyond the point of no return.
We spoke previously about how Arsenal and the Blues have very similar objectives heading into the new season, but for large parts of the game, it certainly didn’t seem that way. Maurizio Sarri’s men were working the ball well and controlled the tempo of the encounter for the most part, but Arsenal kept calm, took their time, and off the back of a tremendous performance from Petr Cech, they were able to slowly work their way back into the mix.
Antonio Rudiger nodded Chelsea in front with Alvaro Morata missing a crucial penalty, summing up his stay in English football thus far. Then, when all hope seemed lost, Alexandre Lacazette equalised with just over 15 seconds remaining to ensure that the game would go to penalties.
Cech once again wound up being the hero by saving Loftus-Cheek’s penalty, as the Englishmen continues to get to grips with domestic football once again after a few impressive performances at the World Cup. Alas, the bigger story here is very simple – Arsenal won against Chelsea when faced with great adversity, and they did it with a smile on their faces.
The general atmosphere seems to be a positive one at the Emirates right now, and whilst we may sound like a broken record, Unai Emery is the primary reason for that. He’s been slowly but surely putting the necessary pieces in place for this team to make a substantial run in all competitions this season, with some of his incoming transfers seeming inspired – which isn’t a word that can be used lightly, and we realise that.
They’re going to have to deal with some major issues against Manchester City and we all know that, but either way, it’s the performance that people need to focus on as opposed to the result. We understand that we’re kind of spinning that around here but when it comes to facing the champions, anything is a bonus.
What did you think of Arsenal’s display against Chelsea?