Arsenal slumped to their second successive defeat in the Premier League, losing to rivals Chelsea, 2-0, in an exciting encounter at Stamford Bridge. It was an encounter which saw some quality football being played, but the Gunners were guilty of some poor finishing, which cost them.
Laurent Koscielny had a wonderful chance to give Arsenal the lead, just 50 seconds into the match, but he headed over, and Didier Drogba made them pay by giving the lead for Chelsea in the first half. The Gunners dominated possession in the early minutes of the second half, but could not produce the equaliser.
Marouane Chamakh had a gilt-edged chance in the second half, but could not make full use of it. Nicolas Anelka also wasted a golden opportunity to seal the game when he missed the net after rounding Lukasz Fabianski. But Alex did Arsenal no such favours, and his brilliant goal from a free kick ensured that Chelsea bagged all three points from the encounter.
I am giving my opinion on how the Arsenal players performed today in the defeat to Chelsea. Even though they did lose, they did show the right attitude and things should improve once Thomas Vermaelen, Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie return for the Gunners.
Arsenal Player Ratings
He looked shaky early on in the match, but gained confidence as the match progressed. A good game for the Pole, who made some smart saves. His distribution was decent today, and he was not at fault for both the goals.
Worked tirelessly for the sake of the team, but his crossing was not up to the mark, though he helped in Arsenal's attacking play. Had a decent game, and did not make any glaring error.
Missed a golden opportunity in the first minute of the game to give Arsenal the lead. Had to battle hard with Didier Drogba, and was muscled out at times. Needs time to adjust to the physicality of the league. He did win some aerial battles with the Ivorian, and with experience, he could be a real asset for the Gunners.
Surprisingly, he was named as the captain of the Arsenal team against Chelsea. He had an average game, and Chelsea exploited his lack of pace. He was fortunate that his error to let Anelka nick the ball away from him in the second half did not prove too costly.
Tried his best to shackle Florent Malouda, and blocked a number of Chelsea crosses from the left wing. However, he found Ashley Cole's overlapping runs tough to deal with. Also, did not contribute much to the attack, which meant Ashley Cole had a relatively easy game.
Made a couple of useful tackles to break up the attacks. It was debatable whether Song was fouled in the build up to the first goal. There was improvement in his passing, but he still needs to develop his attacking play. Overall, a decent game for the Cameroon International.
Was not overawed by the occasion and showed a lot of composure when he did get the ball. Tried his best to influence the game. Spread play quite well and deserves a pat on the back for his efforts.
Diaby played just behind Chamakh, and though he had a decent game, he could not influence the proceedings of the game. He could not provide the incisive passes that is required, and it does seem he is better suited playing deep in midfield.
Nasri played on the right wing today, and was not at his best today. It does seem like he is more comfortable in the centre. He often drifted into the centre, offering little width to Arsenal. After the substitution of Diaby for Rosicky, he played in the centre, but today was not to be his day.
Arshavin's rasping shot in the first shot was superbly tipped away by Petr Cech, but otherwise, the Russian had a quiet game by his standards. His passing was not up to the mark, and was wasteful in possession. One particular cross from him caused panic for Chelsea, but Chamakh could not make good use of it.
He gave his complete effort on the field, but he did not have a great day at the office. He had some good opportunities to score today, but fluffed his lines. He glances Rosicky's cross wide, and also missed a golden opportunity in the second half. He tried hard for Arsenal, but was not clinical in front of goal and showed why Robin van Persie still remains Arsenal's best striker.
Rosicky was brought on for Diaby to inject some creativity to Arsenal, and though he tried his best, he could not create much. His cross to Chamakh was a very decent one, and Chamakh should have capitalised on it.
Jay Emmanuel Thomas
Brought on late in the game. Showed that he has good physical strength. Should be given more chances in the future.
Brought on too late in the game to have any impact.