Chelsea were absolutely brilliant against Arsenal on Saturday evening. Our attacking play was wonderful. Counterattacking was well planned and executed, but keen and honest fans would have been worried about an aspect of our game.
Last Saturday, against Huddersfield, it was a very one-sided affair. We dominated play, and we were rarely troubled. In fact, Kepa Arrizabalaga was only there as a spectator. It was a smaller opposition, and they offered little threat going forward, but Arsenal was our first real big test.
Against the Gunners, we were everything, but cohesive and organised in defence. They carved us open at will, and probably would have won the game had they been more clinical in their finishing. Maurizio Sarri would have watched the game, and been unhappy with that one problem. Against smaller teams, it probably isn’t going to show, but when we entertain opposition with real attacking threat, we may be exposed and made to suffer. But for most of us, the joy will be that even Sarri admitted this in his post-match interview.
It is still a work in progress, and we have a lot of games ahead to fine-tune all aspects of our play, especially the defence, but it must begin now.
Another area we must also improve on is in pressing. We did that well against Arsenal, but there is room for improvement in our pressing as a unit. Teams that play possession football are usually known to press high up, and try to win the ball immediately the opposition gets it. It is the only way to stop them from playing. So Sarri also has to work on that.
Also, our flanks got exposed a number of times and Arsenal used that to punish us twice, and it could have been four, hadn’t it been wasteful finishing by Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan.
But of course, we all understand that the team is still very young under the new manager, and Sarri has assured that his team will come good in two months time.
We are playing well, and can only keep getting better.