All positive for the Gunners, aside from Coquelin’s injury!
Arsenal fans will go home tonight very happy with the day’s result. A 3-0 victory for the Gunners at home against Chelsea, meant that Arsenal have beaten the Blues for the first time in the Premier League in ten attempts, whilst the Gunners also finally broke the record of having not scored against Chelsea in the last six games. It was a fantastic performance all round and the fixture showed that it is a new era post Mourinho, with the match no longer being Wenger vs The Special One, but more traditionally a London derby of Arsenal vs Chelsea.
Every single player on the pitch for Arsenal put their heart and soul into that performance and it really showed through the difficulty of having to select a single player for the man of the match award. Any Arsenal player on the pitch was capable of being honoured with the award today and there were no negatives to take from the game, besides Francis Coquelin’s injury.
Coquelin was selected to start the match by Wenger, ahead of the arguably more favourable Granit Xhaka, who after two stunning back to back goals, was being pressed to start by the fans. Wenger however trusted to stick with Coquelin to provide that strength, pace and protection of the back line from midfield, only for the Frenchman to obtain an injury midway through the first half. In a rare attack from Chelsea, Coquelin got his body in the way of an attempted effort on goal from Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante. The force from Kante’s shot and his prevailing body, hit up against Coquelin and left him clutching his leg. Originally it seemed as if the French midfielder may have been able to carry on after receiving treatment, but only moments later he had to be withdrawn from the pitch as a result of not being entirely comfortable on the pitch. Coquelin was replaced by Xhaka, who went on to have a fantastic game.
It’s the only bad news for Arsenal from today and especially for Francis Coquelin, however with any luck it won’t be anything too serious. Coquelin may have come under a lot of force from Kante’s effort, by throwing his body on the line, but I think the Frenchman showed through his fight that perhaps the decision to withdraw him was precautionary rather than serious. With an ever capable Xhaka on the bench, it was certainly the right decision for Wenger to make.
Let’s hope Coquelin isn’t ruled out with an injury for too long, however even if he is, at least we have plenty of capable competition for his place in midfield.