Admittedly, this game lost its appeal when Juan Mata scored in the sixth minute — Martin Atkinson allowed play to continue after Ramires stomped on Francis Coquelin’s ankle, nonetheless the Gunners defense was non-existent on the play. Biases aside — I have many — this wasn’t an enthralling match. Chelsea dominated the first half, exposing Arsenal’s dearth in quality at every turn. Wojciech Szczesny’s foul on Ramires in the penalty area, though it looked as though the Brazilian fell victim to the slippery pitch, was the death knell. Frank Lampard scored Chelsea’s 90th goal in prem league history from the spot, more than any other side.
The second half was a different story. Arsenal looked as if they actually gave a damn. Theo Walcott scored his ninth goal of the season (domestic), equaling his tally from 2010-11. Though they controlled the play, Arsenal couldn’t find the equalizer. I’ll get the good out of the way now: Kieran Gibbs and Thomas Vermaelen were great. Sagna, Diaby, Ramsey and Giroud were terrible. The latter providing the what the fuck moment late in the second half with a 35 yard strike that threatened absolutely nobody.
Arsenal remain six points behind Spurs, who host Manchester United in this afternoon. The Gunners no longer have priority in the top four. That’s no longer big news. Reality bites.