Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 at Stamford Bridge this afternoon, yet it could have been so much worse. After initially going behind to yet another set piece, Avram Grant made changes to the side and removed two of the most experienced players in our squad; Claude Makelele and Michael Ballack, to shaken heads from both players, and a chorus of boos from the Stamford Bridge crowd.
As their replacements, Juliano Belletti and Nicolas Anelka, entered the field immediately Chelsea switched to a 4-4-2 formation, and then started to play Arsenal off the park at times looking like there were 12 blue shirts on the pitch. How were we playing their formation and their football, better than them?.
Two goals from Didier Drogba, who himself could have had a hat-trick or more, settled it in the end. The pairing of Drogba and Anelka up front looked very good as they showed an immediate understanding. Hopefully we’ll see more of this, and soon.
Many said Grant couldn’t win against the big teams, but today he did and his impact was there for all to see. We’ve jumped ahead of Arsenal and now we’re well in with a shout at the title with United yet to visit Stamford Bridge.
What of Chelsea? Is this result vindication for Avram Grant? Should we use the 4-4-2 with Drogba and Anelka up front? Can we still win the league? There’s still time yet, and we’re far from out of it.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Essien, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack (Belletti), Makelele (Anelka), Lampard, Joe Cole (Mikel), Drogba, Kalou. Subs: Hilario, Obi, Alex, Belletti, Anelka.
Discuss the match and it’s impact on the season in our match day forums: Chelsea 2 – Arsenal 1.