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Spoils Shared in the Battle of Stamford Bridge

Leandro Trossard scores against Chelsea

Match Report  Match Highlights Post-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal (Palmer 15′, Mudryk 48′ | Rice 77′, Trossard 84′)

Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Raya; Zinchenko (Tomiyasu 46′), Saliba, Gabriel, White; Rice, Jorginho (Smith Rowe 68′), Odegaard (Havertz 78′); Martinelli (Trossard 78′), Jesus (Nketiah 68′), Saka

In the match preview for the Chelsea game, I had assumed that Bukayo Saka and William Saliba will be in the starting XI, despite Mikel Arteta keeping his cards close to his chest when he was asked by the journos in the pre-match press conference. The stage was set and I expected another intense Chelsea vs. Arsenal clash, especially with Mauricio Pochettino’s side picking up some form prior to the international break.

Chelsea drew first blood when Enzo Fernandez blasted his effort over after a goalmouth scramble. On the other end, Thiago Silva miscued a clearance and the ball fell to Martin Odegaard’s path, but the Arsenal captain failed to capitalize on the situation. Like every Chelsea vs. Arsenal game, there was always room for drama, and it came when Raheem Sterling’s cross was headed by Mykhailo Mudryk to Saliba’s trailing arm. Play went on for a couple of minutes, and the VAR signaled to the match day ref to watch the screens. After reviewing the footage, the man with the whistle pointed to the spot, much to the delight of the Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge.

Sterling tried to wrestle the ball away from Cole Palmer, but his teammates reminded him in quite comical fashion that the new kid on the block was the designated penalty taker. The young lad stepped up and sent David Raya the wrong way. Arsenal tried to shrug off that setback and launched an attack when Oleksandr Zinchenko found Declan Rice on the edge of the area, but the British record signing was caught in two minds to either square the ball across or shoot himself. He did neither as the ball went wide off the mark.

Ben White worked well with Saka and drilled a ball to Gabriel Jesus from the byline but the Brazilian forward’s shot was blocked by Silva. Palmer almost put Chelsea two up when Conor Gallagher managed to evade three Arsenal players in midfield before feeding Palmer. The youngster fired his shot through Gabriel’s legs and the ball missed by a lick of paint. 

It was a dreadful  first half for Arsenal and the boss responded with removing the hapless Zinchenko for Takehiro Tomiyasu, but Chelsea doubled their money with a fluke of a goal that really embarrassed Raya. In typical Arsenal fashion, White’s attempted pass to Odegaard was anticipated, leaving a gaping hole on the right hand side of Arsenal’s defense. Gallagher progressed the ball before feeding Mudryk, whose attempted cross to the danger area floated into the Arsenal net because of Raya’s atrocious positioning. The Arsenal goalie was anticipating a cross and misjudged the flight of the ball.

Typically, the petty camera men would have looked to the Arsenal dugout to see Aaron Ramsdale’s reactions, but the goalie wasn’t on the bench as he was given some time off to stay with his missus, Georgina, who had given birth to a baby boy

At two goals down, the game was drifting away for Arsenal forcing the gaffer to make enforced changes to tilt the game back to their favor. Rice found Gabriel Martinelli who had a torrid time against Malo Gusto, but he managed to fire a shot that was blocked for a corner kick. Gabriel reacted first to the resulting corner but his header went wide. 

Just went we thought we hadn’t seen it all. Raya inexplicably passed the ball to Palmer but reacted well enough to deflect his incoming goal-bound shot for a corner kick. Like the PGMOL folks every week, Raya issued apologies to whom it may concern. 

Arsenal was offered a chance back into the game when Robert Sanchez sent a loose pass to Rice that swung the ball into the net with an impressive finish. Kudos to the Arsenal midfielder for his improvisation which reduced the deficit to 2-1. He confirmed after the game that the long-range goal was inspired by David Beckham.

Seven minutes later, Arsenal launched another attack with Saka looping a cross to the far post that was finish aplomb by Leandro Trossard to silence the usually vocal Stamford Bridge faithful. A few minutes later, Rice dinked the ball in behind Levi Colwill and Silva for an onrushing Eddie Nketiah who used his pace to get beyond the defenders but his finishing left a lot to be desired.

The ref’s whistle ended proceedings at 2-2, but it was an intense battle between both London sides. While Chelsea might feel disappointed for letting a two goal lead slip, kudos have to be given to Arsenal for pressing on despite being on the backfoot for a considerable chunk of the game and not playing to the high standards expected of them.

On the bright side, the lads are still unbeaten and are within touching distance at the upper echelons of the Premier League table. All focus will go to the clash with Sevilla at the impressive Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, as Champions League comes to town. 

But for now, we have to take stock and reflect on how to get better after sharing the spoils in the Battle of Stamford Bridge.


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Chelsea Preview: Derby Day Vibes!

Gabriel goal at Chelsea sends Arsenal back to the top - News | Khaleej Times

There used to be a time when a Chelsea vs. Arsenal clash was a title decider but the implications of the match diminished as the years progressed. Chelsea is a far cry from the club that used to dominate English and Arsenal is just getting their title challenging feet again after many campaigns in the trenches.

However, Arsenal’s recent sojourns to Stamford Bridge have been fruitful with the Gunners winning their last two visits to the ground. Last season, Arsenal ran Chelsea ragged on their home patch and got the goal their dominant play deserved with a solitary goal from Gabriel. The season before that was more like a dead-rubber clash but Eddie Nketiah scored a brace in a 4-2 victory. Arsenal are undefeated against Chelsea in their last four meetings, including a league double last season. 

Mauricio Pochettino has not had the start he was hoping for and has had to contend with a lot of injuries, but the performances have somewhat improved with away wins over Fulham and Burnley before the international break. Raheem Sterling has stepped up to be the best Chelsea player in recent weeks, which is expected, as he’s one of the most senior players in the team, despite arriving just a season ago. The overhaul the squad had this summer was quite insane, and the newbies have been thrown to the deep end and are expected to come up with the goods almost immediately.

To team news, Chelsea will be encouraged with the fact that their captain, Reece James, is close to being available for selection, but Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Carney Chukwuemeka and Trevoh Chalobah are still out. Beniot Badiashile just returned to training and will need to garner some minutes from the Reserve League before being in contention for selection. 

Mikel Arteta stated that Bukayo Saka is ‘fighting’ to be fit, while William Saliba is still good to go, despite contending with a toe injury for weeks. Jurrien Timber and Leandro Trossard are still out. 

Chelsea and Arsenal Predicted Lineups

Chelsea: Robert Sanchez; Marc Cucurella, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Malo Gusto; Moises Caicedo, Conor Gallagher, Enzo Fernandez; Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson.

Arsenal: David Daya; Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu; Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard; Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah.

Injury / Suspension Updates

Bournemouth: Ben Chilwell (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee), Christopher Nkunku (knee), Romeo Lavia (ankle), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), Trevoh Chalobah (knee)

ArsenalJurrien Timber (knee), Leandro Trossard (hamstring), Bukayo Saka (hamstring), William Saliba (toe)

Form Guide


  • Last Five Games: D L W W W
  • Last Result: Burnley 1-4 Chelsea (Odobert 15′ | Al-Dakhil OG 42′, Palmer 50′, Sterling 65′, Jackson 74′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Raheem Sterling (3)

Arsenal Form

  • Last Five Games: D W W L W
  • Last Result: Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City (Martinelli 86′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Bukayo Saka (3)

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 1 win.

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Thoughts on Moises Caicedo’s Links with Chelsea

Romano: Chelsea to make improve bid for Moises Caicedo

Unless you’re living under a rock with no access to internet, cable TV or social media, you must have known that Arsenal placed of £70 million for Moises Caicedo in January 2023, which was rejected by Brighton.

Arsenal had just signed Leandro Trossard from Brighton, after the failed pursuit of Mykhailo Mudryk, and it was a bit messy for Brighton when you consider that Trossard’s agent went online to air their dirty laundry in public, following Roberto de Zerbi’s decision to relegate Trossard to the bench with the emergence of Kaoru Mitoma. With Trossard joining the Gunners in the winter transfer window, and Thomas Partey suffering an injury scare in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City, Mikel Arteta knew that he needed adequate defensive cover to cope for Partey’s absence from the team, with Mohamed Elneny out for the rest of the campaign following knee surgery.

Caicedo was identified as the target and Edu Gaspar put in the work to seal the deal for the Ecuadorian lynchpin, but despite Arsenal’s attempts, Brighton played hard ball. Caicedo then tried to pull a Trossard to seek a move away but Brighton didn’t bulge as they weren’t prepared to lose two key players in the same window, with the club aiming for a Europa League finish. Mitoma’s presence and performances clearly eased the blow of losing an important player like Trossard, but Caicedo didn’t have a quality backup they could get off the shelf, and his performances in midfield were vital to their style of play.

We all know how the story panned out – Arsenal shifted their focus to Jorginho on the deadline day of the transfer window, while Caicedo signed a new long term deal, was given some time to blow off some steam following the botched transfer, returned to the team and focused on his football, helping his side to a sixth place finish with some dominant displays as a No. 6. With the summer around the corner, it was evident that Brighton are prepared to sell Caicedo, but only to the highest bidder and at the right price.

Despite Arsenal’s clear pursuit and acquisition of Declan Rice, Caicedo still remained on the club’s radar, as the future of Partey still hangs in the balance. If you want to believe everything these tabloids write, there is some pressure from a couple of teams in the emerging Saudi Pro League to sign the Ghanaian midfielder, and there has also been some links from Juventus as well. Partey is in his 30’s and has two years left on his Arsenal contract, and moving to Saudi Arabia will offer him the chance to make some cool cash as he reaches his twilight years. The level of football there will not be as grueling as the Premier League, so he will have some fun, as well as popularity among his teammates and fans alike, while making a boatload of cash – what’s not to like about that?

Partey’s potential exit could see Arsenal go into the transfer market to sign a new defensive midfielder, and even though Romeo Lavia has been labeled as the potential replacement for Partey, Caicedo still remains in Arsenal’s radar. The player himself has been hoping for an exit this summer, and Chelsea has emerged as the new suitors for the midfielder, making a bid of £70 million that has been rejected by Brighton. Chelsea’s bid was £70 million sent upfront without any add-ons, and it comes as no surprise, with the club making well over £220 million from player sales this summer. This is actually Chelsea’s second bid for Caicedo, as the Seagulls rejected the initial bid of £60 million early last month. Brighton is also at loggerheads with Chelsea over the potential transfer for Levi Colwill, whose £30 million offer from Brighton was rejected by Chelsea but the chances of getting the young defender to de Zerbi’s side are very unlikely, following the injuries to Beniot Badiashile and Wesley Fofana.

It is believed that Caicedo was promised a summer move by the Brighton hierarchy, provided the transfer fee was right, but with £70 million not even enough to secure his services, what does the future hold for the midfielder? Brighton has priced him at a whopping £100 million and it’s unlikely that any team might pay such an outstanding amount for the midfielder, especially Arsenal, that just coughed out £105 million for Rice.

But why is Caicedo prized so highly? I used the amazing Squawka comparison matrix to compare Caicedo with the leading defensive midfielders in the Premier League last season – Declan Rice, Thomas Partey, Rodrigo and Casemiro.

The first set of stats showed their total numbers for the entire Premier League campaign but its slightly skewed, as Rice and Caicedo played more games than the other three.


Then I changed the stats to “per 90”, and the outlook changed.

All five midfielders have elite numbers, but Caicedo edges out the competition with chances created and ground duels won, which is very impressive. He is also high up on the list with tackles made and ground duels contested, only eclipsed by Casemiro’s monster numbers in that category. Caicedo is also the youngest on this list, which evidently means that he has room to further improve, making him such an amazing asset to own.

He will certainly leave Brighton in the foreseeable future, and the club will source for a good replacement for him due to their excellent scouting system, as he was a replacement for the great Yves Bissouma, that left consistent football to become bench fodder at Tottenham.


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