Anyone who watched Arsenal’s abysmal defeat to Liverpool in our last away game would have been forgiven for thinking they were watching a completely different side to the one that turned up at Stamford Bridge yesterday. This was a team of fighters that played fast free-flowing football and looked in control of the Champions for look periods of the match. After losing our last two away games it was vital that the Gunners proved they could compete with the best again.
Arsene Wenger was asked after the game if he was happy to see his players battling so hard against Chelsea. “Yes,” he replied. “But people forget that two months ago we beat Chelsea in the Cup final and they don’t give you the cup, you know, so overall I believe we have shown that many times. It’s true you have to accept criticism when we deliver the kind of performance we had at Liverpool – the only way to respond is on the pitch and that’s what we did today. It was a question today what will happen, at least with the attitude, the response, the determination. It was vital for us even above the result to come out with a solid performance on that front.”
He also thinks that the point yesterday was even an improvement on beating Conte’s men at Wembley “The challenge was higher, because we played the final on a neutral ground and today we played at their home where they are traditionally very strong. So the challenge was higher for us, but I feel overall we did exactly what I expected the team to do.”
It may have been what Wenger expected, but, going by the comments on here before the game, very few Arsenal fans were feeling very confident. Perhaps we will have a bit more belief in future games?