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The Chelsea Hoodoo Continues…

Chelsea striker Diego Costa celebrates his 23rd-minute goal against Arsenal after poking a Branislav Ivanovic cross into the net

Arsenal 0 Chelsea 1 (Diego Costa 23′)

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference 

With Leicester’s convincing win over Stoke City, the onus was on Arsenal to turn on the style against a Chelsea side that has been a thorn in their flesh for as long as I can remember. It’s surprising to know that the Gunners had not recorded a victory against the Blues since that bizarre Robin van Persie-inspired 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge. Since then it has either ended as a draw or Chelsea grabbing a win and shockingly, Arsenal has failed to score in their last six league encounters with Chelsea.

So with the Blues in bad form and the Gunners at home, it seemed like a really nice time to break the hoodoo, bearing in mind that a victory would also take Arsenal to the top of the table. I was quite surprised to see Theo Walcott leading the team then I learned that the club was honoring the Englishman for spending a decade – such class.

The game itself was a cagey affair but the moment that turned the game on its head arrived when Per Mertesacker’s lack of pace was exploited yet again as he scythed Diego Costa down and he was the last man, leaving the ref no choice but to brandish a red card.

Mark Clattenburg shows Per Mertesacker the red card after the Germany international hauled down Costa as he ran through on goal

The fact that Mertesacker was leaving the pitch wasn’t bad enough but the boss’ decision to sacrifice Olivier Giroud caused some bewilderment. Yes, he was rumored to have carried an ankle injury in the buildup to the game but losing the French forward was a big wrench because the Gunners lacked a focal point in attack. Deploying Walcott as the center forward was meant to be a good move but the forward couldn’t contend with Chelsea’s strong defense.

To add insult to injury, Chelsea grabbed the lead just five minutes after Mertesacker received his marching orders. A swift cross from Branislav Ivanovic was neglected by Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel was behind Diego Costa that fired the ball first time beyond Petr Cech. The Gunners huffed and puffed but the best chance of the half arrived when Aaron Ramsey dinked the ball over the Chelsea rearguard to Mathieu Flamini of all people. When the usage of the head would have been the best option, the Flam attempted a Shaolin-esque kick and looped the ball over the bar.

Flamini blazed the ball over the crossbar from close range, his effort proved to be the last kick of the first half at the Emirates Stadium

In the second half, the chances were few and far between with Cech making a handful of saves from some Chelsea attacks but there was some encouragement when Alexis Sanchez came on for Joel Campbell and the forward looked very sharp, making some insightful moves and working in tandem with Nacho Monreal to create some attacks from the left.

However, Chelsea held on as the Gunners lost all three points to Guus Hiddink’s side, easing their relegation woes but for the Gunners, they had lost some ground on the title race, as they are currently three points behind Leicester with a lesser goal difference as well. The Gunners will now be hoping for Liverpool to do them a favor next week Tuesday, while they get the chance to exert some revenge on Southampton but focus will be moved to the FA Cup, as Burnley comes to town on Saturday for the fourth round of the competition.

Even without Mourinho, the Gunners couldn’t still find a way past Chelsea and with more points dropped, their title credentials will be questioned again. However, there are 14 more games to be played and Arsene Wenger knows that his team is still in a very good position. The only problem is that Manchester City and Tottenham are gaining ground as they continue to pile up favorable results.

We have to move on and see how things pan out.

Sayonara.

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Chelsea Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups

When both teams clashed in October, Chelsea ran out as 2-0 winners but there was so much controversy in the game. Following Leicester City’s impressive 3-0 win over Stoke, the Foxes are three points clear of the Gunners, so Arsenal has get maximum points against Chelsea if they want to return to the top of the table.

The Gunners will be hoping that their impressive home form will be to their advantage, as they have conceded just three goals at home in the Premier League this season, and that came in the opening fixture against West Ham and Yaya Toure’s strike against Manchester City. Since then, they have made the Emirates a fortress. With the Gunners getting three points against their rivals like Manchester United and Manchester City this season at home, they can receive a psychological boost if they add Chelsea to this list.

Since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho, the Blues have been unbeaten, but they haven’t won much games, as they continue to get silly draws here and there. Another draw won’t do both sides any good though – Arsenal need a win to return to the summit of the table while Chelsea need one to ease themselves from their relegation struggles as they are just four points off 18th-placed Newcastle.

Arsenal Team News

 

According to the manager, he is still throwing caution to the wind regarding the fitness of Alexis Sanchez. He has also confirmed that Francis Coquelin has began full training but he’s still a few games away from match sharpness. Tomas Rosicky recently featured in an Under-21 game and the manager had some good news about Danny Welbeck, that he can return to full training next week.

The game would also mark the return of Mesut Ozil and his laceless boots, as the German schemer missed out the draw against Stoke with an inflamed foot. Arsene Wenger compared Ozil to the legendary Dennis Bergkamp and a piece was published on the official site. The boss also hailed Petr Cech, that is set to lock horns with his old teammates yet again. Cech had a stormer when both teams played in the Community Shield and I’m hoping he’d get a clean sheet today.

Arsenal Injury / Suspension News

Jack Wilshere (ankle), Danny Welbeck (knee), Santi Cazorla (knee), Francis Coquelin (lack of match fitness), Alexis Sanchez (lack of match fitness), Tomas Rosicky (lack of match fitness)

Arsenal Predicted Lineup

Arsenal 4-3-2-1 football formation

Chelsea Team News

 

The Blues will be boosted with the news that Eden Hazard has been declared fit for the encounter, even though he has been in torrid form this season. There is also need of a potential move for SC Corinthians Alexandre Pato, and they would be hopeful to seal a deal before the transfer window shuts.

Diego Costa has started scoring again too, which is a positive for the team.

Chelsea Injury / Suspension News

Radamel Falcao (muscle)

Chelsea Predicted Lineup

Team Form

Arsenal

  • Last Five Games: W W W D D
  • Last Result: Stoke 0 – Arsenal 0
  • Leading Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud (18)

Chelsea

  • Last Five Games: D W W D D
  • Last Result: Chelsea 3 (Costa 64′, Fabregas 66′, Terry 90′) – Everton 3 (Terry o.g. 50′, Mirallas 56′, Funes Mori 90′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Willian (8)

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 0 win.

Sayonara.

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The Special One Becomes the Fired One

Football can be such a cruel sport.

One minute, things are going so well for you and you are a king on the Iron Throne like Joffrey Lannister and the next minute, things go so badly for you, that you’re treated like an outcast with some nun ringing a bell behind you and shouting ‘Shame!!!’. I guess I’m missing Games of Thrones this morning but that’s not the issue here.

Jose Mourinho, yes, that annoying egotistical cuntbutling twat of a living thing has been sacked! Yes, his Portuguese ass has been fired!

It’s not like Mourinho was the first manager to be fired at Chelsea and he certainly won’t be the last. Since Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003, the club has had 10 managers and the table below gives a high-level overview of all the men that have received the boot by the trigger-happy dictator.

Manager Arrival Date Departure Date Major Honors
Claudio Ranieri September 00’ May 04’  
Jose Mourinho June 04’ September 07’ 05’ League Cup, 05’ Premier League, 05’ Community Shield, 06’ Premier League, 07’ League Cup, 07’ FA Cup
Avram Grant September 07’ May 08’  
Felipao July 08’ February 09’  
Ray Wilkins February 09’ February 09’  
Guus Hiddink February 09’ May 09’ 09’ FA Cup
Carlo Ancelotti July 09’ May 11’ 09’ Community Shield, 10’ Premier League, 10’ FA Cup
AVB June 11’ March 12’  
RDM March 12’ November 12’ 12’ FA Cup, 12’ Champions League
Rafael Benitez November 12’ May 13’ 13’ Europa League
Jose Mourinho (again!) June 13’ December 15’ 15’ League Cup, 15’ Premier League

Despite the fact that Chelsea has won 15 trophies since Abramovich took over, he just seems to be such an insatiable chump. This is the same reason why Pep Guardiola opted not to join the club before he chose Bayern Munich. The legendary Spanish manager stated that stability was an issue at the club and that is pretty much evident.

But how did it go all wrong for the self-proclaimed One?

He had just won the Premier League in his second coming and his ego rose from 0 to Nicklas Bendtner. His players didn’t fare too well in the World Cup – Diego Costa endured a shitty campaign with Spain, Eden Hazard didn’t light up any fireworks with Belgium and this was followed by a shocking pre-season campaign that saw the club lose two and draw two in the four games they played.

They began the campaign with a Community Shield loss to Arsenal, and albeit a non-competitive tournament, that was Arsene Wenger’s first victory over the Portuguese manager in 13 tries. Shortly afterwards, the club extended his contract till 2019 but a day after, Chelsea struggled against Swansea at home but the major talking point was his scathing attack on first-team doctor, Eva Carneiro, that saw the manager come under heavy criticism from the media. A week after Manchester City piled on the misery with an embarrassing 3-0 thrashing that saw Mourinho replace his captain, John Terry, at half time. Following further losses to Crystal Palace and Everton, Chelsea had amassed just four points from five matches. This was a team that lost only three games in the League in the previous campaign.

When Chelsea hosted Arsenal, rivalries were renewed with Wenger but his post-match press conference was a shame to say the least, as he attacked Wenger and defended Diego Costa’s shambolic behavior on the pitch. His previous club, FC Porto, defeated him in Europe then there was the loss to Southampton at home that was followed with a seven-minute interview where he lashed out at the FA, referees and laid some subtle threats to the board, claiming that there’s no manager that’s better than him in the club. This earned him a fine and touchline ban.

When West Ham hosted the Blues, Mourinho was sent to the stands following his comments to the match officials at half time. Chelsea lost that game and there was more drama when Jurgen Klopp and his resurgent Liverpool side ran out as 3-1 winners at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho gathered his coaching staff at the middle of the pitch and he was looking very bemused.

Signs of internal rife with his players began to surface when Diego Costa was dropped and he attempted to throw his training kit at his manager when he was notified that he wasn’t going to take part of the Tottenham game. The final straw came at the Leicester game were the Blues looked so lackadaisical in the game, allowing Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to steal the show. This time, Mourinho blasted that his players, stating that they had ‘betrayed’ him and he lashed out at Leicester’s ball boys.

So here we are, looking at the fifth managerial casualty of the season. Dick Advocaat was the first to resign, then Brendan Rodgers was shown the exit door and Tim Sherwood followed suit. Then there was the dear ol’ Garry Monk that was a sweetheart at Swansea but the poor turn of results forced the team’s hand to give him the boot.

Now the Special One has become the Fired One.

Sayonara.

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