Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Its was about the two D's, Didier and the Defence.

It was one of our biggest games of the season and most important for two different reasons. Firstly we had to win to retake the lead in the ...

It was one of our biggest games of the season and most important for two different reasons. Firstly we had to win to retake the lead in the Premier League after United thumped Pompey 5-0 on Saturday. Secondly because of all the hype about John Terry after the news that broke on Friday following all the drama about his private life. Would Chelsea step up to the challenge?. Would Arsenal "Batter them" as Alex Ferguson had hoped for in his press conference last week?. Would John Terry rise to the challenge and get his focus back on football?. Finally would Chelsea take the chance to get back on top of the League to swing the balance of power back in our favour?.

Well I have said it was about the two D's yesterday and that simply because it was. Didier got himself two more goals to make it 12 in 12 against the Arsenal for him and our defence held firm and made it difficult for Arsenal to break us down. Three times they did and three times Petr Cech stood in their way!.
We all sat there yesterday and saw we were second best WITH the ball but Without it were far superior. Credit to Arsenal and the way they played yesterday. Deep down I think we all wish at times that we played attractive football like Arsenal generally do but when under pressure or against a well organised defence they lack the killer instinct and yesterday that was their downfall.

It was weird yesterday as Arsenal bossed the game and there is no doubt about that. Looking at the highlights late last night at one stage they were dominating us and the stats on screen proved that fact, but sitting there we all knew it anyway, but we were patient, had confidence in our defending and knew we could hit them on the counter and for our second goal that was exactly what happened.

Ballack made a great tackle on the edge of the box and the ball broke to Chelsea. Ivanovic flicked the ball to Mikel who looked up, saw Lampard in space and played the ball into him. Lampard travels with the ball 40 yards and plays the ball out wide right to Drogba who cuts inside the box (even though he looks like he loses control of the ball) takes a touch past Clichy and thumps the ball past Almunia (who on the close up replay looks like he closes his eyes and puts his hands up to protect his face, rather than make a save!) to make it 2-0. The perfect counter attack and as per my preview the other day, their weakness in midfield is exposed once again and we are now well in control of the game.

But as I have said Arsenal never stopped playing. They had their chances through a great ball over the top for Arshavin to volley straight at Cech from 8 yards and a low free-kick from Fabregas that Cech got down low to his left and pushed away from danger. The one other chance of note was a long ball up to Fabregas who headed the ball down for Bendtner and as he looked to get on the end of it, Cech was out like a flash and palmed the ball away!.

Apart from that you have to say there wasn't really any other chances of note for Arsenal and Arsenal fans will say pretty much the same from Chelsea (apart from a Drogba free kick that rattled the crossbar with Almunia beaten once more) but when you do have chances you have to take them and that was difference yesterday.

Much of the focus was about John Terry and understandably so after all that has happened and I have to say he conducted himself as he always does. He was a leader, a stalwart and a rock yesterday and had a major influence on the first goal. It was his flick from a corner swung in from the left that found its way to the far post for Didier to tap in from 2 yards!. He was fully focused on matters on the pitch and played really well as always. But forget about being Captain, when does John Terry have a bad game for Chelsea?.

But I thought the biggest difference yesterday between the two sides apart from the fact we have a goalscorer who is one of the best in the Premier League and a Goalkeeper that looked assured and dominate in and around his box, was our defending as a team. As soon as the Arsenal got on the ball we had defence in numbers with the midfield dropping back and working hard. Mikel back from the African Nations Cup and making his first appearance since, played fantastic and mopped everything up he had to. Ballack and Lampard were not as effective in the attacking third yesterday but in our own half and around our box they both made a telling contribution.

Ashley Cole had another fantastic game, Ivanovic was solid, JT as I have said played great but for me Riccy Carvalho was out man of the match as he was everywhere once more! He played like a man possessed and was winning tackles, intercepting their possession and starting counter attacks! At one stage he was up on the right wing crossing the ball into the box. I wish at times he wouldn't do that as he tends to go off on one during a game and bomb forward and you are left thinking, get back Riccy for Godsake! But yesterday they still couldn't break us down.

It wasn't our best peformance by any means yesterday. Yes we were outplayed and yes Arsenal bossed possession and the game but in his League you need three key factors to win the big games. You need an assured Goalkeeper, to defend as a Unit and a potent goal threat that will score you goals when you are under pressure or will be a force to reckon with for Defenders and Arsenal lacked all three yesterday which cost them the game.

As for us, we go from strength to strength. We have showed in recent weeks we can play well, score goals and yesterday proved we can win ugly. Someone said once that a sign of Champions is to win when you aren't playing well and the three points yesterday was huge for Chelsea and for John Terry!.
Bring on the Everton on Wednesday!

(Match highlights available now in my featured video for a short period of time, on the right hand side)


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