Blog post

Arsenal 4-0 Chelsea, friendly: post-match reaction

Some might say it was refreshing to see Chelsea line up in a 4-2-3-1 instead of the usual 3-4-3 pattern. But any good will of that would vanish as soon as we see how Chelsea were at their best, even weighing in the usual pre-season rust.

Arsenal were the better team on the pitch from the kick-off and they continued their dominance throughout the first half. With sharper passing, better movement on and off the ball and the Blues unable to figure out how to close gaps in a back-four, the Gunners easily found scores via Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard at minutes 15 and 36, respectively.

Back to the 3-4-3 in the second half, Chelsea were much better. Playing with familiar tactics helped both the team and Arsenal not be as eager to score as they were in the first half, with the Blues dominating possession but not doing enough to create chances against their opponents tonight .

And even though Arsenal hadn’t done much in the second half, a fairly strong push from the Gunners was enough to give them a third goal tonight. Bukayo Saka scored on the rebound after two consecutive saves from Mendy.

Unfortunately, that was not all for us. From a Cedric cross, Sambi Lokonga scored Arsenal’s fourth goal from a near-free header in the last minute of the game.

  • XI first half (4-2-3-1): Mendy | James, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Emerson | Gallagher, Jorginho (c) | Mount, Sterling, Havertz | Werner
  • Back to 3-4-3 at the start of the first half, with Malang Sarr, Thiago and César Azpilicueta in defense, and Reece James and Marcos Alonso as wingers. Christian Pulisic, Mateo Kovacic, Michy Batshuayi, Hakim Ziyech, Ethan Ampadu, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kalidou Koulibaly were the ones who rounded up the substitutes in the second half.
  • Timo Werner always does his best, but some days his best just isn’t good enough for us
  • Trevoh Chalobah had a torrid day on the pitch before leaving the pitch due to injury. I hope all is well for him!
  • Conor Gallagher was (rightly) the subject of much praise in our first game of the pre-season, but his shine waned against Charlotte and also today against Arsenal. Hope isn’t all lost, but it was still pretty hard to take in
  • Hello Kalidou!
  • Next stop: Udinese at the Stadio Friuli in Udine, Italy for our final pre-season game