Drogba 39, Alex 85
In so many ways, it was what most fans expected. However, given their terrible record against the Blues since the Roman Abramovich era dawned in 2003, Arsenal dominated for large periods and if not for some woeful finishing, would have come away with a result to match their performance.
Both teams came into the game on the back of significant league defeats and the prospect of heading into the international break after successive failures set the tone in an end-to-end first half. Midfield congestion would have been a fear for the neutral but to their credit both teams endeavoured to create space and move the ball around in a manner that Arsene Wenger has made all too clear is the ‘correct’ way to play football. Whether or not the Frenchman would have taken substance over style on Sunday remains to be seen.
Carlo Ancelloti’s sent out a side stacked with immensely physical players, clearly eager to dislodge Arsenal when they had possession and make sure the likes of England hot-shot Jack Wilshere was denied any chance to dictate the game. A midfield trio of John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and Ramires were commissioned with the unenviable task of keeping Wenger’s footballing wizards silenced, and it was Mikel who lead by example in a fiercely contested game. It seems the arrival of Ramires – who was instrumental in the opener – has awoken the 23 year-old Nigerian to the fact that his place in the starting XI is by no means certain and Chelsea are finally seeing the kind of development you would expect from Claude Makelele’s apprentice.
Tormentor in Chief Drogba was kept relatively quiet by Arsenal’s fledgling centre pairing of S