It was definitely a great pre-game display by the Azerbaijanis with lots of noise and flashing lights, but the first half didn’t really live up to the billing. Arsenal started very confidently and the first half hour it looked we were well in control. Lacazette was worrying Chelsea’s defenders and nearly had a very good call for a penalty but the VAR showed there was very little contact at all.
Laca and Aubz were looking good on the right flank and Kolasinac seemed to always have lots of space down the left as well, but despite all the penetration there was very little in terms of end result. After the 30 minute mark it looked like Chelsea had worked out Emery’s tactics and suddenly they were all over us. The closest to a goal was Olivier Giroud shot cutting across Petr Cech’s are but luckily Cech managed to get down and palm it away strongly. Giroud is obviously very keen to end the tournament as clear top scorer.
The Gunners were under the cosh after that and to be honest we were lucky to get to half time on level terms. All in all it seemed like everyone was playing safe but I was impressed with Maitland-Niles and Lacazette most of all.
Arsenal were straight away in trouble after the beginning of the second half when Giroud put a brilliant header past his old team-mate Cech. Chelsea were looking more and more confident so it was little surprise when ten minutes later Pedro was given a top-class pass from Hazard and Arsenal were right on the ropes and left with a mountain to climb.
You just had to feel sorry for the 4000 Arsenal fans that travelled when Hazard made it three with a very well-taken penalty, but Emery made some changes and from nowhere the sub Iwobi scored a brilliant goal to put us back in with some hope with 20 minutes left on the clock.
That hope lasted but seconds as Hazard and Giroud combined to score another classy goal to make it 4-1. At this point we are just hoping it doesn’t get any more embarrassing…
Emery takes Ozil off to give us more of a chance and replaces him with Willock, but Willian comes close to making it five and it looks like Cech may actually be our Man of the Match! Then Azpilicueta has a blast himself and Arsenal look like a beaten side with no answer to Chelsea’s superiority at the moment. We can safely assume we can’t win this and I am going to finish this review and I don’t even care if we score again in the last two minutes!