Chelsea win at the Emirates despite controversy as Arsenal equaliser ignored

Chelsea will take a 2-1 win away from the Emirates today in the first of three Mind Series matches, but Arsenal will feel very hard done-by after scoring late into the match.

The scoreline should have read as 2-2 after Joe Willock scored off the crossbar, only for the linesman to be in the wrong place to confirm the goal.

No doubt Chelsea fans will claim that the camera angle was in the wrong place to emphatically insist that the ball was across the line, but deep down, they know.

Both sides fielded strong sides for today’s pre-season friendly, with a near-full strength starting XI from our side, and the fixture actually turned out to be a reasonable exciting affair.

We started the match brightly, piling plenty of pressure on our rivals back line, whilst the Blues were looking deadly on the counter-attack, and they eventually broke the deadlock after dispossessing us in midfield and quickly firing the ball long to Time Werner who ran into space before finding Kai Havertz free on the edge of the box, and there was little complaints about his tidy finish.

Emile Smith Rowe had our best opportunity of the 45, moving into space just outside the box before trying to place his effort into the bottom corner, only to be denied by the post.

Ben White came off the bench at the break to make his Arsenal debut, and had a composed first appearance in our famous red and white despite very little time training with the squad having completed his move on Friday.

Granit Xhaka did level the score during the second half, getting his head onto Nicolas Pepe’s corner, but being level was short-lived as Tammy Abraham, who is currently being linked with a move to the Emirates put his side back ahead only three minutes later.

The English striker almost gave Chelsea a third also, only for his seemingly selfish attempt to score another denying his side a goal, when he could have played his team-mate in, but the big talking point has to be Joe Willock’s strike, which clearly looked to cross the line when bouncing down off the crossbar.

The goal would have seen Arsenal level at 2-2, and set up an exciting final 10 minutes of action, but it wasn’t counted.

There was plenty to get excited about today despite the result, with many of the players looking sharp and close to being ready for the return to action in two weeks, and who could complain about a 2-2 draw with Champions League winners Chelsea at this point?


Tags Chelsea Mind Series


  1. Shouldn’t worry because it’s only pre season but I’m worried… Not much has changed and we still have all the liabilities we’ve had last season.. oh well onto sniper 3d 😂

  2. If we are being honest we should have had 2 but Chelsea could easily have had 4 or 5 goals.

    Leno cant play out from the back, not sure why MA keeps trying to force that tactic. Poor management.

    ESR looked good but I have a growing concern that he’s rarely in the CAM position. If you watch our games the center of the field is almost always empty, really need him to drift wide a little lessin my opinion.

    1. I think arsenal could also have had 4 but Auba missed at least a couple

      Defence does look a disaster right now though

  3. Goalkeeping error again, good though but we need a game reader like Martin Odegaard, Maddison James even a new goalkeeper.

  4. Saw the game, not impressed with the defenders a bit. All giving away silly ball in silly areas, that’s why we lost.
    Though it’s preseason, nothing to moan about.
    Hope they’ll be better in 2 weeks time.

  5. Leno, Bellerin, still shaky. Unreliable players.

    Aubaneyang, wasteful as usual. Seems like the Auba we used to know before extension, is dead.

    ESR, this season will be his real breakthrough!

    With Parteys injury Xhaka sure to stay. Im fine with that, just everyone remember that therefore we wont get any fee for him and we will make massive financial loss on him.

    White prevented certain goal, more of this!

    Willock looks deadly. I think he needs to stay.

    So, still require new CAM, DM/CM, ST, RB and GK. Otherwise we can already forfeit top 4 hopes.

    1. Almost same lineup as last season.
      Im not having alot of confidence in that team. I think Arteta needs to trust Chambers at right back. He is quite good.
      Not sure why Willock isnt the first sub and why Balogun isnt ahead of Nketieh.
      Leno is out of confidence and thats very bad for us.
      We need a “feel good” signing. I feel this team isnt strong enough to challenge the top 6, even to 8

      1. Nketiah is far better than Balogun..I ask arsenal fun where and which game did you see Balogun play..apart from two Europa goals? How many Nketiah has scored? He holds a record, he’s not given minutes he’s a natural strike like Kane. Even Tottenham didn’t value Kane till their forwards got injured. You can praise a player because you saw him play fir academy or read it from new papers wait for him to prove his class. Nketiah should start instead of Laca and Auba. Arteta is killing home grown players and that’s why he sold Martinez for Leno. He’ll sell Niles for Elneny, Nketiah for Laca, Joe for Xhaka. Willock scored 7 goals and arteta still wants to sell him but he’s fast to defend Xhaka that he’s staying and willock he’s not sure. Arsenal where are we heading with Arteta? Sambi is no different from Guenduzi for real. That money should have added to buy Aouar, we missed him and ended up position 8 again. With Edu and Arteta we’ll never go forward. Academy is producing top talents under Per but Arteta is spoiling the party. Azeez is coming thru. Omari too, Lopez, Catalin, Harry, Smith but you keep Elneny and Xhaka we go backwards. Oseu Tutu is there but you play Chambers and Bellerin..why at arsenal not improve? You take Saliba on loan and leave lazy Holding no speed look how they get terrorised by Timo and Kai. I’m very sure if we played Saliba and Niles that kai goal couldn’t happen..this is why. Saliba is first to match up Timo..Niles is first than Kai..look at Elneny can catch up Kai. Tierney ran from far and he almost beaten Elneny. The problem is we don’t have speed midfielders at arsenal.. look how kante recovers back with speed . That speed we have in Niles but arteta wants to sell him and retain Elneny and Xhaka, the two instead of tackling the ball they pull the player or foul him at danger position. Why because are not speedy. Nowadays speed at CBS and mid is vital in premier league. There are.players should be sold and give space for home grown and academy and team will gave cohesion and drive. It’s sad to see a mature player like Leno, Xhaka, Bellerin, Elneny free goals to opponents and next season you still use them. Remember Mustafi was not used because he gave out cheap goals. Now what about Elneny and Xhaka? They just average as Mustafi. In football no legs for pre season and league. We you get to field you play to win so that was a lose at Emirates and was a shame because it was the first game when fans are back and we lost at home ground. Arteta can’t convince anyone? He’s out of ideas with Leno, Xhaka, Elneny, Bellerin, Auba,Willian , Laca ,Holding and Chambers we will be stagnant till Arteta leaves Arsenal. We want players from academy be given minutes not those ones you buy and say will adopt . For how long a player should adopt,? Pepe vs Martinelli. Willian vs Partey. The young players we have can get us position 4 with a new keeper like Onana. Line ups Onana, Tierney, Gabriel, White, Tavares, Cedric, Niles, Willock, Rowe, Balogun, Nketiah, Partey ,Sambi, Pepe, Saka, Mari, Leno, Martinelli, Azeez, Chambers, Holding

        1. @ Dan Kit
          You’re right. This site should be called “Whiny Moany Central”, instead of Just Arsenal…IJS

          1. OK we lost to the EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS because the referee was blind, that must mean we ate the worst team in the world, OBVIOUSLY!

          2. Sorry, Admin, on the basis of watching the game, Chelsea were better than Arsenal.
            Positives: one goal given (Xhaka) and one unfairly denied (Willock) from midfielders. Thomas Partey has looked excellent in midfield, prior to his injury and unfortunately the intensity of the whole team dropped with his loss Willock added spark to the attack and must be given opportunities. Pepe looked good at the start and finish, while disappearing for a period in the middle of the game. Granit Xhaka was solid and will be a good squad player if he stays, but an additional class midfielder is required. Calum Chambers was solid at RB. ESR improving and needs to fine tune his radar in front of goal. Ben White came through uninjured.
            Negatives: errors again (Rob Holding!) to give away goals. Injury to Partey. Aubameyang still totally out of sorts to miss two relatively easy chances. Not seeing Lokonga get a run against quality opposition. Chelsea missed more opportunities than Arsenal.
            Massive improvement required, plus additional transfers in, particularly midfield or it will be a long season.

  6. Hope Partey’s injury isn’t too serious. 12 days until the season starts, don’t fancy going to Brentford without him

  7. The problem with saying it’s only preseason is that it soon morphs into the new season then it’s” Oh it’s only the first game “ continue continue ….
    I’m more concerned about where these players that Arteta and edu told us they had identified before the season finished are .
    Because by my reckoning we have signed 2 back ups and a defender to replace an out going defender , no upgrades have of yet which is surely what they spoke about when they said they had identified players to take us back up the table .
    As for the match pretty much same old ….countless side ways passing with no end destination.
    Worry about partey and Auba looks like he’s already played a full season .

    1. Completely agree, Dan!

      After the terrible season we had and the talk coming from Edu and MA about what they were going to do to fix it you have to feel a lack of confidence or hope starting the new season..

  8. We need to make just 2 signings.

    1. Aouar(30m pounds)
    2. Bernardo Silva.(45m pounds)

    Both Thomas Partey and Tierney should be on the bench for the upcoming season. We can’t afford long term injuries to the duo.
    Two other players deserve a place on the bench: Lacazette and Aubameyang.

    Balogun should start ahead of laca and Auba. To make a statement of intent. No favourites.

    A 4141 formation

    Chambers White Gabriel Tavares


    Pepe ESR Aouar Saka


    Martinelli should rotate with Balogun

    ESR, Aouar, Willock, Pepe Saka, Silva.

    Nketiah and Reis Nelson should go on loan

    Sell Willian to Barca or any serie A club

    Bring Torrera Back.

    We have to switch to a 4141 formation.

      1. Understand my point. Tierney cannot last a season without his recurring injuries. You have to manage him properly.This was a pre season friendly and he picked another injury. He was injured for most part of last season. You have to limit his game time.

  9. Flattering scoreline to us to be fair. Very few decent moments in the game for us.

    Same sideways passing and no direction when playing. Still no style of play whatsoever. Auba needs to be sold. Defensive tactics ffom MA were shocking especially Holding.

    1. Surely Mikel Arteta has realized that the Arsenal CB’s lack the pace to defend so deep in the opposition half. Too many times Chelsea had 3 on 1 due to their forwards running into undefended space. As for Bellerin’s pass for Chelsea’s second goal, his mind must have been on the catwalks of Milan. Heaven help if Chelsea had fielded their “A” team, even though this was a friendly.

  10. Pros
    Some players are willing to showcase their strength this season….
    The new players looks decent (lokonga and Tavares). White can only improve the back line.

    Some deadwood are still here.
    Playing from the back is not looking good and Leno is putting a lot of pressure to defenders and himself.

    Hopefully we improve on the cons this season

  11. Gift Elneny to Al-Ahli, loan bellerin with an option to buy,tell Amn rightback or you are sold and buy a creative Midfielder

    1. I still don’t know what to make of Bellerin as a right back. He should be modeling and not playing football.

      That was an awkward pass from him. Chambers and Cedric are enough for the right back.

      Left back first choice should be Tavares. Tierney has to be properly managed to avoid injury.

      If we can revert to a 4141 formation. We would have 4 attack minded players behind the striker.

      The DM position requires a player who is quick in thought, a good passer and one with good pace.

      AMN has strength, but he is slow and can’t pass the ball quickly.

      Arteta should have a word with Torrera. He has to sort out his personal issues and focus on Arsenal.

      Elneny should be sold or loaned out. We need a different midfield from last season.
      Xhaka should be kept if roma won’t pay the right amount.

      Advice for Arteta: Pls stop this nonsense of playing out from the back. Stop confusing the players.

      1. Agree on Lucas Torreira; there is a good footballer there, if he gets his head together and seizes the opportunity at Arsenal.

  12. Like seriously….I asked again is this Arsenal FC. I kept asking what is our style of play under Arteta? I can’t find any. Can someone please clarify that to me…Am open to being educated on that.

    Arteta’s team struggles to put two to three passes together which we are known for. No attacking flair, the defense is always prone to error. Midfield player look static enjoying sideways pass and back passes.Our front line lacks the ruthlessness that we are known for in the past.

    I don’t think we are going anywhere under Arteta.

    Thought he will bring back the old good arsenal but unfortunately…he is killing it the more.

    Am not sure he can evolve our team with arrays of new young talent at his disposal.

    1. We have cedric, even Chambers can do a neat job there. We need a player in the mold of auoar , maddison, ( xhaka , elneny these old guard isnt reliable anymore, matter of fact they might infect the new dna we are creating with crap. A dying attitude , a losing spirit.)

      1. in this tactic right and left backs are neuralgic positions,dont think cedric and chambers can be good enough.look our rivals for xhaka i believe that until tierney is ready he must be our captain.Elneny is just a backup option.maddison or martin for me

  13. I will like to say that was not the result we wanted but having watched the match we had a strong outing.. I know moaning season just opened but I think today we can all agree that players perform well when they get support from the fans.. Xhaka is the elephant in the room for me the so called better players couldn’t come up with anything.. and playing from the back has caused us so much I think it’s time we give it a rest.. It could have been worst but we can take positives going into the season!!!

    1. Strong outing? Not sure you watched the game. Besides Willocks shot we barely threatened during the game.

      Defence was in shambles and we could’ve easily conceded 5 goals.

      1. I did and as much as we don’t want to add it.. that’s European champions I may have pushed a bit too much by calling it a strong outing but save for the ever present risk of an error that leads to a goal we had a good game against a very strong side high in confidence.

  14. Our defence was shambolic at times. We ended up with a midfield of Xhaka and Elneny, Groundhog Day. Mari is very slow, too slow. Bellerin….how can he play…..he is just no longer good enough. Players like Kolasinac, why is he playing? We should be evolving. It’s as clear as daylight, we need a midfield maestro to play alongside Thomas Partey. Leno…..what can I say. It’s clear Arteta must replace him. We should have had the Willock goal, but Chelsea missed open goals and played better than us.

  15. The new guys aint that bad after all, i liked tavares looks reassuring, but leno, bellerin and Elneny they really are bog standard average. Leno doesnt know who to pass the ball to when playing from the back, bellerin hasnt learnt a thing and as for elneny you know i know. Defence was overwhelmed due to errors made in the midfield, blind passes , sideway passing. All in all we need a new goalie else Leno will cost us the new season. Plus a creative midfielder.

  16. Well, that was a mess wasn’t it, a set back for sure

    Both full backs had a poor first half discipline wise, Tavares was better than Tierney second and then Bellerin came in for Chambers at RB and.. well we know what happened

    Second half was ridiculous from both teams

    First half I thought we competed OK, big plus (only?) for me was Partey at last looked the part until his injury, big minus, Partey getting injured again

    I thought Auba looked OK but needs a goal desperately, Pepe looked pretty sharp, Sambi and Eddie looked good coming on but otherwise I’m struggling to find any positives at all

    Enjoyed watching the game though funny enough

  17. I’m not going to say it was only a friendly, but I will say we lost narrowly to the CL winners, so lets keep perspective.
    Downs – a lot of the same old errors, particularly the first hour. Slow, couldnt play out, dallied in attack, individual errors, no ideas
    Defence, improved somewhat when White came on
    Leno. remains an accident waiting to happen
    Bellerin, Kolasinac awful
    Elneny 2 bad mistakes in 2 games
    Mari/Holding partnership
    Partey injury
    Auba finishing
    Tierney looked poor
    Ups: Partey was awesome
    Nketiah was a revelation
    Lokonga, Tavares, White all excellent

  18. like I wrote earlier, this was functionally a worse case scenario outing, in that Partey was injured and we have no realistic alternative option, Bellerin gifted them a goal, thereby potentially hurting his already wonky sale potential, Xhaka scored, thus propping up those clueless supporters who have lobbied for him to stay, Leno is a tire fire with the ball at his feet, which is made infinitely worse by the fact that our manager is unwilling to adjust tactically, and, minus some early pressing, it’s clear that this manager has no fundamentally viable game-plan, unless boring your opponents to death, having no presence in the middle of the park and holding on for dear life is an emerging footballing philosophy and Arteta’s simply ahead of the curve

    we need to forget the CF pursuits, unless an impossible to ignore swap is in the offing, as we desperately need Bissouma, or the like, and a creative option in the midfield, to properly address our Best 11 deficiencies, especially if we can’t rid ourselves of this 4-2-3-1 hell that has been imposed upon our club

  19. Think Arteta struggles to play fluid, creative football

    We play like Arteta played as a player;
    Static, slow, uncreative, timid, cowardly football. Tons of sideways and back passes, struggle to string 3 or 4 passes together, and when we have the ball we have no idea what to do with it.

    Unless there is an evolutionary jump in style and tactics it will be same as last year. What excuses will come out now?

    Arteta has a HUGE task in front of him and more than change of players is needed.

    IMHO his approach is wrong, and the fact that 18 months and we still struggle to play from the back HAS to fall on Arteta. Simply no excuse from that, period.

    1. 👍 The team is falling down on simple football fundamentals, from failures from supposedly professional international players and there is a lack of evidence of coaching.

  20. Suicide passing galore! Same old crap; different day.
    We entered the transfer period looking to sign midfielders for the starting 11, but ended up signing an overpriced defender, again. (Spending on CB’s over the last 7 years now close 250M).

    For the rest of the season we will struggle to prove it was a worthy 70M investment, fitting a square peg into a round hole – just like Willian.

    How to fix suicide passing at the back? Sign an energetic DM with superior technical skills. My preferred choice would be Renato Sanches for just 30M.

    1. RF, Renato Sanchez, Yves Bissouma or Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon) all of whom are available to play DM and improve Arsenal.
      Also if talking to Lyon about Guimaraes Arsenal could do a package deal and get Houssem Aouar at the same time (two for less than James Maddison).
      The players are out there, these clubs need to sell and interest rates are low, but Arsenal procrastinates

  21. Just got back from the game, read all the comments above and wonder how many of you were actually at the game?

    No Saka, Martinelli, early injury to Partey and three new signings to gel into the team… against a team that had none of the above to cope with.

    We took a little time to get into the game, but then we gave as good as we got.

    The second half was touch and go, with both teams having chances.

    When Xhaka came on, he got a tremendous reception and when he scored, showed the badge to the crowd, who responded in kind.

    Aubemeyang missed three golden opportunities and he desperately needs to score soon.
    The only other player I would worry about (on today’s performance) is Hector Bellerin, who seemed out of sorts defending.

    The score should have been 2-2 because the ball was over the line and I was sitting level with the goal line.
    Someone mentioned the referee – he was shocking today and ignored three penalty appeals, all for The Arsenal.

    This performance was nowhere near as bad as some are claiming and I note that Leno isn’t being pummelled – great, because he had a very good game.
    We still look as if an error is about to happen when playing out from the back, but strangely enough, the players themselves seemed relaxed and confident.

    All in all and after getting over the result, not a bad day at the office and a big improvement on last season…. but MA needs to get a GK, AM and top RB in before the window closes.

    Chelsea were not the better team and a draw would have been fair.

    Special mention to the ladies team, they were 2-1 winners and bossed the game… some excellent moves and a great team effort.

    Finally, well done to the crowd, who gave EVERY player encouragement (although a few boos were heard when Willian’s name was announced) and that’s why I’m asking how many of you doom and gloom merchants actually attended the game?
    Elneny, by the way, was really good in that first half and yet someone in the comments above, wants to give him away?!?!

    1. I wondered whether the ref not giving penalties was a a take up from the European Cup. If the foul now has to clearer and the approach is applied consistently I think it might improve the sport. Injury simulation by players ruins matches far more for me than honest ref errors

    2. @Ken 1945
      Well said and sport on as usual,it shows that none of doom and gloom merchants attended the game,

        1. What difference does it matter if I watched the game on my laptop to watching it live ,we were sh1t ,I didn’t need to be in the crowd to know that .

          1. Would I pat?
            You thought we payed well yesterday did you ?
            You saw something different from last season ?
            I’ll say it as I see it not bury my head in the sand and hope for the best ,maybe let’s wait till season starts shall we .

  22. Dan, the reason I asked the question, was the ever ending criticism of :

    1. Xhaka – he was met with cheers when he came on and, when he scored, ran to the crowd and was, again received with rapturous applause…. yet we are told time and time and time again, that the fans want him gone… not true it seems.
    2. The “deadwood” we need to get rid of…. yet they all played against the European champions and held their own.
    3. The torrent of negativity after the game… with three new players being introduced, an early injury to a key player and a perfectly good goal not given… I can’t understand why, if I can see this at the game, those who watched it on TV didn’t…. hence my conclusion that the negativity was from those who didn’t attend the game.

    I’m judging the game as I saw it live and Elneny, for example, had a great game, both on and off the ball… yet someone said just give him away… he most certainly wasn’t at the game, or if he was, he had his eyes closed!!!!

    I watched the game again, when I got back to my digs and I could not see any reason to be pessimistic about this performance…. but each to their own.

    1. I was also at the match. The atmosphere was positive given the scoreline and if Xhaka is staying he hopefully was encouraged by his reception,
      The newer guys looked promising.
      We are worryingly hunted down by the opposition and error prone when playing out from the back . And please PEA , or someone, start hitting goal scoring form.

      1. Glad you agree regarding Xhaka.
        Aubameyang missed some golden chances and needs to score badly, if he is to regain his momentum.
        As for playing out from the back, it always seems that we HAVE to do this, no matter what the situation and chelsea knew exactly what to do – BUT the players themselves seemed confident enough, even if the fans weren’t.

    2. Oh Ken, I can just imagine the scene, with you in your first generation 1969 Umbro red and white sleeved home kit, anxiously navigating your way out of the packed corridors of the Emirates, hopping on your similarly coloured 1957 Schwinn Mark II Jaguar, program in your front rack and your vintage Guy Fawkes Sugarloaf hat secured in back, breathlessly racing home so that you could properly address the obvious elephant in the room, did Ken go to the game?

      I, for one, wouldn’t have been able to sleep if that questioned went unanswered, so I applaud you for your selfless dedication to easing our collective minds…with the invaluable insights you fortunately gleaned from your mere presence at yesterday’s match, I’ve had a complete rethink regarding my once deeply held views about the club, the manager and especially Xhaka…good bless you for your seemingly boundless generosity

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs