"You have to congratulate Chelsea but we didn't get a demonstration of football,We had 70 percent possession of the ball. We were not running after the ball. They did not dominate.We were always in an attacking position. We were always risking everything going forward and they were good on counter-attacks. We were a bit uncertain at the start, but when we got into it we were completely dominant."
Somebody should tell Arsene Wenger that the humble pie does not contain any cholesterol and is low on calories too. What is with that remark? One would accept an excuse that blames the absence of Van Persie, but what does Wenger do? He has a sly dig at Chelsea's style of football. If Arsene had truly paid attention to the match, then he will realise that Chelsea gave him and Arsenal some vital lessons in football.
Defense is Vital To Victory
Arsenal's defense was...let us say not so spectacular. The goals that Chelsea scored were both from the left side. For the first goal, JT's header was headed towards the left side of the goal and Drogba was there to tap it in. The goal could have been saved had Gael Clichy not moved from his defensive position.
The second goal too came from the left side. It was Drogba again who scored. Gael was at partially at fault again. So "Clichy" eh? Compare that with the Chelsea defense that withstood a long spell of Arsenal attack and were more than happy to absorb it.
Chelsea's defenders did not forget their defensive duties even when they ventured forward and while Ivanovic may have been caught off guard often the whole Chelsea defense was seldom found missing. Maybe Wenger should slap some post it notes on each defenders forehead asking them to remember to get back to defense.
Ready, AIM...AIM Please, Fire ! I told you to Aim...Dang!
When Chelsea scored both the goals, the ball went within the three posts. Such a lame point but so vital. Do you remember Arshavin's shot that was saved by Cech? More like it bounced off Cech's leg? A bit of aim and one can fancy that Arsenal would have one goal there.
And while we are talking about aiming let us not forget that bazookas fired by Cesc and Clichy that went nowhere near the goalpost. The only goalkeeper who could have caught that would be Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four.
Counter Attack is as Good as an Attack
Chelsea scored their second goal in a counter attack. Manchester United scored goals against Arsenal in counter attack. The pattern is evident and it is becoming a blueprint to defeat Arsenal.
If Arsenal does not take heed then Liverpool and even teams will use the same formula to dent Arsenal's ambitions. Wenger needs to realize now at least that a counter attack is as effective as an attack and it is something that he needs to prepare for and is also a good strategy to use and something.
So the next time they decide to "risk everything going forward" they should consider the dire consequence and come prepared.
Obsession with Possession is Not Good
Sure they had 70 percent of the possession. Fancy passing, fast running, position swapping, pinball precision, etc etc, but where was the all decisive goal? Didn't the players see the clock winding down or the scoreboard that showed that they were two goals down? They were simply not able to convert their opportunities into meaningful threat thereby costing them the game.
And never expect a team that is defensively good and has established a good lead over you to risk giving up that lead and open up because they want possession of the ball. They need not and often will not run after the ball after all the onus is on you to score. It may be better to win beautiful than to win ugly, But it is also beautiful to win ugly than to lose stupid.
Those are just few of the lessons that Wenger could have absorbed if he had chose to learn from the game rather than complain. But sadly it seems Arsene is too busy day dreaming and giving excuses than fix the needs of the team, which is truly sad because the team is just a few tinkering away from being a "beautiful football playing genuine contenders."