Chlesea-Arsenal Live Blog. Line-ups are Out. No Ozil, No Alexis. The Future is Now?

Here are you line-ups…

Arsenal: Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac; Lacazette, Welbeck, Iwobi. Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Sanchez,  Walcott, Giroud.

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro. Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Christensen, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Hazard, Batshuayi.

Is this a message to the Board?… Life without our contract hold-outs starts now, I guess…

Please join us in the comments as I attempt to describe some of the action…

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96 Responses to Chlesea-Arsenal Live Blog. Line-ups are Out. No Ozil, No Alexis. The Future is Now?

  1. jw1 says:

    Good Morning 17HT

    jw1

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Chelsea start brightly but it’s still nil-nil after a pair of early corners, some nice flowing play on the break and, earlier, a small handful of turnovers…Our own Granit Xhaka at the heart of them…

    Not great and it will only confirm the gloomiest of Gooner thoughts upon seeing Ozil and Alexis not in the starting line-up. Lacazette and Moses down now… A clash of knees?…

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey JW… How’s it going?… Cheers for tuning in… Everything a little slow getting started for me out here, but I think the keyboard is at least holding steady…

    Moses hobbles off but we’re back in action…

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    Chavs on the ball but their initial burst seems to have been weathered…

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    Chelsea giveaway but Iwobi can’t get a good touch towards Lacazette… Other end, Morata with a free header (off target) but flagged offside…

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK… My espresso is finally hitting my central nervous system…and it makes me nervous… The line-up, the early Xhaka problems, Arsenal unable to really get on the ball… The pace of the Chelsea break has been suggested early on but Arsenal also don’t seem completely confident defending from a more set position either. Kola fouls Moses, not called, but he takes it into the box regardless… fortunately we defend the cross well enough…

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    WOW… A CLEAR-CUT CHANCE WASTED!!!

    Nice one touch work from Bellerin and Iwobi but the free header by Welbeck is wide of the far post. Should be one-nil, I believe…

  8. 17highburyterrace says:

    And another… Bells again skins Alonso but his pull-back can’t be hit with power by Lacazette. The shot is well saved by Cortois…

  9. jw1 says:

    The one time we moved into position to shoot Laca/Ramsey/Iwobi went all Hleb and overpassed the ball. Hope the front line gets aggressive– not sure how many opportunities or possession it looks that we’ll get.

    jw1

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pedro down now… Joy down our right side via Bellerin looks quite promising… but we might need to get those shots in the net instead of just near it. Pedro is getting carried off…

  11. jw1 says:

    (Think I’m going to refrain from replying till after the half.
    I’m almost 15mins behind watching the DVR.)

    jw1

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    After those scares–and playing with 10 for the moment–Chavs go into a shell which is tested with a longer angled shot by Kolasinac. Cortois gets down to it well enough but the beast has a good left foot in there…

    Oh my, other end, Pedro clean through on the break doesn’t quite get his feet sorted and Cech saves the 1v1… That should’ve been one-nil the other way…

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’re carving us up now with a long ball to Moses on the right. His pulled back cross doesn’t have enough pace so Morata can only head out with a looper…

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Too bad JW… I could have used the company… Maybe you can catch up at the break… Quite action packed after the first 25 mins, IMO…

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    Moses used mostly chest keeping a ball from Lacazette who later is called for a foul on Cesc..

    Ramsey and Xhaka should start us on the break but lose it out for a Chelsea throw… Things calm down for a moment with both teams defending well enough in the center of the pitch…

  16. jw1 says:

    I’m at 13mins presently– but will continue reading!
    Nothing like good foreshadowing of the plot…

    jw1

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    That Pedro chance was on the cheeky side given that he’d just been carried off at the other end…

    The game is going through a more settled period with both teams keen to keep men behind the ball. Chelsea given the bulk of possession however…

    Bells called for a foul on Alonso… Cesc’s FK eventually is defended and cleared…

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ah, excellent JW… Sounds good… I’ll try to do my best…

    Better work with Chelsea in their defensive shell but a long Xhaka shot is wide of the near post. His shot, like Kola’s before, was well hit…

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kos wins a ball near the center line but his pass to Lacazette is too firm… Stepping in again he can’t win a 2nd and Oliver’s whistle gives Chavs a chance to send a long one out for a Cech GK…

    Both teams exchanging harmless long balls…

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Xhaka fouled, advantage played but, later, Pedro only gets a warning from Oliver…

    We’re looking a bit quicker to the ball and a decent flowing break sees Welbeck pulling it central and shooting from 20… Blocked at the point, however…

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Welbs fouled so we have a FK from wide on the left…

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good one in from Iwobi but Chavs head it out for a corner…

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    Xhaka’s delivery is poor but it comes out to Ramsey… A little pinball but Chavs get the GK eventually…

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    No clear cut chances but our shape and speed to the ball to break up Chelsea possession makes Arsenal just about the better team… For the moment at least…

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Has the matched calmed enough for some face-shots of Alexis? Why yes…

    Another good Arsenal move but the pass is behind Iwobi’s nice run….

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    OH MY…Ball off the Post by Ramsey and Laca can only stab the rebound over… Big let-off for Chavs…

  27. jw1 says:

    Seen Laca miffed at Oliver twice now– where bigger defenders (Luiz, Alonso) going to ground more due to his pressure than the slight contact.

    jw1

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice work from Iwobi and Rambo somehow pulls the ball behind himself and through a crowd of defenders before looking primed to score. Only the post stopped him. That was a golden one… Dammit…

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, They’re not liking Laca’s quick feet as they try to play it out of the back.

    Getting close to half-time and we look the more comfortable team… In our shape and in being able to get the ball forward to scare them…

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    2 mins of stoppage to be played…

    Pedro, almost through again, forces a long and sharp backpass from Nacho to Cech… Other end, Bells, again down the right, almost finds a good cross but David Luis is there first…

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    There’s the whistle… With the half ending on some more good work through the middle by Iwobi and Ramsey… The former’s throughball is wide however and David Luis clears but maybe hurts himself on the hoardings along the side…

    Arsenal have done enough to deserve a 2nd espresso (for me…) though we have to rue that pair of gilt edged chances….

  32. retsub1 says:

    Well I don’t think anyone can complain about that. Most of the things that were wrong a Liverpool appear to have been corrected. If we carry on like this and lose, I have no problem.

    Luis may have got injured at the break (pardon the pun). Hopefully he will have to go off, he is playing very well.

  33. Jnyc says:

    Great effort from all the boys. Conte won’t be satisfied, he’s gonna wind them up to come out hard in the 2nd half. We’d better be ready, we have the better subs if we can hold it tight.
    Ramsey playing great, he’s at his best today. As to the bench and line up, We have a great bench with Giroud and Theo, we didnt need Alexis there also.

  34. jw1 says:

    I’m almost to half on my DVR/delay and the comments I was going to post?
    Were made by the match commentators– that:
    Arsenal looked the better team
    And had the two golden shots (Welbz header, Ramsey’s woodworker)
    Versus Pedros 1v1 w/Cech.
    Ought to be 2-1 good guys.
    Oh. And that close-up of Cech looking satisfied with his stop of ‘Monreal’s shot-on-goal’.

    I like our chances in the 2nd half.

    jw1

  35. Goonereris says:

    Great game to watch, as is to be expected. I am not sure Cech has been called into action more than once (that Pedro break away), whereas Courtois has been busy. We are working them hard through the channels and for my money, we should have scored 2 by now, on clear chances alone. It will be hard for Wenger to break up the team now, except for injuries or to bring on Alexis for Iwobi for a different kind of thrust.

    We just need to remain disciplined and keep the aggression going. Chelsea look flustered but very few on the commentaries accepting that it isn’t going according to the script they have written. That’s what beating one team 3 times out of 4 meeting does to you.

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    My impression is that… After a nervous start adjusting to the pace Chelsea can generate going forward we’ve settled into a better defensive shape. Those two runs by Bellerin–and perfectly weighted balls from Iwobi and Rambo–we’ve looked the more dangerous team.

    Indeed, Conte should give them a few ideas at the break, but AW might have some tricks for us too. Alexis might help get Kola going down the opposite side and a left footer up front (Giroud instead of Laca) might help move our attack out that way. It’s a shame we haven’t put one in however with Rambo’s run such a nice effort we can almost forgive the finish being an inch or two off. Welbeck’s header going wide seems a bit harder to swallow…

    We shouldn’t be too sad, however, as we were lucky enough that Mustafi’s (poor) attempt to play the high-line was let-off by Cech standing tall and Pedro not quite getting his feet right on the 1v1..

    OK 2nd half on…

  37. Goonereris says:

    Pedro off for Bakayoko is a statement as to the respect Conte is showing to our side’s dominant play in that half.

  38. jw1 says:

    Shots: AFC 10 Chelsea 4
    jw1

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mustafi comes out to break up play but can’t and the ball is slid wide to Willian. His shot, however, is right at Cech…

    Other end, Welbeck, leading the break, eventually gets the ball to Laca in a good spot but his pass is quite poor and right to a blue shirt…

    End to end early on here…

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers for the halftime comments guys… and noting the sub, ‘Eris… The shot total is interesting too, JW…

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Both teams are settling better into their shapes but both also look dangerous enough streaming up the pitch…

    Our end, Iwobi holds the ball just a bit too long and Nacho has to foul Morata after we lose it… From the FK David Luis bicycle kick hits Kos in the head (with his boot). Luckily our guy is OK and the Brazilian gets a yellow for the dangerous play…

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good chance there for Alonso after our attempts to get the ball of Kante near the center circle fail. The shot is blocked at the point, however, and eventually we get it back…

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Xhaka to Ramsey then onto Laca…but ushered out for a Chelsea goal kick…

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    As long as we don’t over commit trying to steal the ball we look comfortable enough defending… And we appear able to fend off the Chavs during our own forays…

    Welbs hits one too heavy for Rambo and Cortois gathers it without too much trouble…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Amazingly we’re also getting the whistles our way. Mustafi isn’t called for wrestling Morata down but then Nacho–after he’s shoved to the ground–does get Oliver stopping the play…

    Not this time… Morata, opposite side, does get a whistle… and Cesc’s slid FK to Willian allows the latter to cut back and try a shot… High and wide so no worries in the end…

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, an hour played… Time for the shots of Alexis warming up…

    Action again at both ends with Arsenal getting the deeper penetration… Kola wins a corner…

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    Or doesn’t, I guess… Chavs using more long kicks to try and get through us…

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s working and they’re down our end and probing a bit with some crosses and a Moses shot blocked at the point. We look stout enough defending, however…

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Morata gets a yellow for too much complaining…Wants some whistles but Mustafi seems up to the task thus far…

    Alexis on for Laca, who worked quite hard in his 65 minutes… Welbeck now as center man, soon to be pulled for Giroud?

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cescy… Is that a pass? Very harmless and out for a gk… Hazard gettting readied…

  51. jw1 says:

    Morata must think he’s still in La Liga where arm-waving is allowed in dissent.

    jw1

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hazard on, Willian off… and taking his time… The defenses seem to be ascendant at this point but the new additions might have the quality for one team or the other to edge out a win…

    Alexis, down the right can’t quite get by David Luis… More Cortois route 1 instead…

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis’ pass to Welbeck is behind him and DW is down grabbing the groin injury… From personal experience I know those can be bad…and a very long recovery period. Giroud will need to come on and might need to play a bunch over the next several months I fear…

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    “Grabbing the groin injury” isn’t quite what I meant to say but you get the idea…

    Alexis gets a whistle after over-elaborating in our half…

    We’re pressing more than Chavs and Rambo, pushed off the ball, wins a FK on the right…

  55. jw1 says:

    Caught a glimpse of DW’s injury earlier when Azpilcueta nudged him on a run near the box in the 1st half. And he seemed to stop gimpy. This was coming. Just ‘when’.

    jw1

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mustafi puts in the net from Xhaka’s FK but is flagged for offside… Dang…

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    Other end, from a Chelsea corner, Cesc weaves his way in but we get a foot on his final ball… That looked dangerous…

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    On our “goal” it looked like Kolasinac was well offside, Mustafi just slightly, I think… I might need to see it again, however…

    Elneny appears to be our final sub…getting ready at least…

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    Other way… Ramsey sells out then Xhaka does too but Oliver plays advantage. Hazard gets the ball onto his right foot but his 18 yarder is straight to Cech… We’re now looking a step slow in the middle of the pitch with Cesc also getting a shot off…Wide however…

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Our sub is made, Iwobi off…

  61. jw1 says:

    CNBC ran a replay with an overlay showing Mustafi’s upper body offside.

    jw1

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    Elneny is beaten off the ball by Kante but we get it back, Alexis threading a nice one to the open Egyptian. Eventually Alexis can’t quite get a ball onto Giroud.

    It’s looking a bit porous through the middle of the pitch and both teams might be happy taking the nil-nil…

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    I can’t quite keep up with all the back and forth… Suffice it to say that both teams are trying to get through but not quite finding the passes or the pathways. Elneny gets the first yellow of the match… Other end, Chelsea win a corner…

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    We defend it well enough but they win another that fall for Moses to volley. Blocked at the point, thankfully.

    Finally we get a breath with Kola clearing…

    David Luis gets a straight red! Dangerous challenge on our beast…

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    A late lunge after fighting off Alexis puts his studs on Kola’s shin… Sorry, but bullets would likely bounce off our new guy so he’ll be fine, I think…

    So down to ten now for Chavs…

  66. jw1 says:

    Alexis for almost 25yds– definitely harassed Luiz into that show of temper.

    jw1

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not much time left here… Alexis trying to be provider pulls a good one back for Nacho but it’s blocked…

    Kola gets a good yellow stopping a Chavs run the other direction..

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    And Kola gets a whistle but no card (despite Chavs pleas)… Dangerous late FK but Cesc lofts it right to Cech…

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    Two of the four extra minutes have been played…

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bells gets a yell(ow) for a very cynical push on Kante from behind…

    Alexis’ fall trying to bring down a high one goes unrewarded by Oliver…

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    This one is gonna end nil-nil but it’s a performance we can build upon…

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’ll likely rue the chances but I think we showed a ton (tonne?) today… Ramsey deserved his goal (and Bellerin his assist…) but it was not to be… Moreover, once we got settled after a strong Chelsea start, we controlled the space on the pitch and made no mistakes in individual defending at the back.

  73. jw1 says:

    AFC was the better team today– away at Stamford Bridge.
    That is hardly ever the case.

    jw1

  74. retsub1 says:

    Very proud of that performance. That looked like very good point to me

  75. jw1 says:

    But really, really wanted the 3pts– to leapfrog 7 teams into 5th place.

    jw1

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Stats look just about even, but, with ref Oliver doing his job, we looked the (slightly) better team. Given all the “troubles” at our club, I will definitely take it… As I think Wenger will too. No Ozil, no Alexis (until he came on for a tame 25 mins) suggests we’re not quite as miserable as many believe and we might even have a bit of moxie and depth in the team. Ramsey and Iwobi had good games in place of the two guys who maybe want greener pastures…

  77. jw1 says:

    Though Welbeck looks to be gone for a stretch.

    jw1

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s a game with a lot of luck in it, but we almost made that luck fall our way. It’s disappointing but also a big and steady-ing statement for us going into these tougher matches confident our back 3 (back 5) can do a job…

    The injury to Welbeck, however, is a worry. His workrate and general presence, if not his finishing, is a very nice thing to have on tap…

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    I should probably quiet down for a bit–and get something to eat–And I’d certainly like to hear what others think…

    Go on then…as they say…

  80. retsub1 says:

    Well I think they played very well and deserved a point or maybe better. It’s not popular I know, but without Ozil we defended from the front and made it very hard for Chelsea.

  81. jw1 says:

    Personally, I’m quite a bit more confident after this Bournemouth/Koln/Chelsea week of matches.
    With the exception of the 1st half against Koln– the team, the effort was quite good.

    That Koln 1st half can possibly be written off to the delay and the raucous away crowd.
    (I’m steamed because when I went to watch the replay– the network switched their coverage to Hertha v. Ath Bilbao because of the delay!)

    A great week was in the making. But– overall? A good week.

    jw1

  82. Goonereris says:

    17ht: Amazingly we’re also getting the whistles our way. Mustafi isn’t called for wrestling Morata down but then Nacho–after he’s shoved to the ground–does get Oliver stopping the play…

    Oliver has given the foul for the shirt pull on Mustafi, actually. Good spot by the ref as it looked more like a foul by Mustafi, on first viewing. Would have liked the 3 points but would take the draw at a difficult venue. It just shows that when we are focused and put in the effort, we can cause any of the top 6 teams trouble. We did neither at Anfield and were rather asking for the pasting we got. Most of the predictions had us losing by a wide margin, so cue the commentaries shifting to the absence of the ‘lazy’ Ozil, ignoring the fact he was injured. Thumbs up to Monreal and Koscielny today as they kept Cech’s goal very safe, all considered. Mustafi too will feel drained after this one.

  83. Goonereris says:

    Also liked the way Kolasinac (after overcoming early jitters) curbed his natural urge to go forward at critical periods. That must have been under instruction and bodes well for how we play against direct rivals, going forward. Lacazette did well, keeping Cahill and Luis very busy watching his movement. He could have done a bit better when that Ramsey shot rebounded to him off the post, but I guess he had little reaction time to adjust his body. There was a moment he had a chance to shoot and attempted a pass which was wayward; other than that, he’s had a good game and introduction to England’s derby day conditions.

    Ramsey also ran his socks off today and deserves credit for some intelligent play. Hope we build on this and go on a winning run. Alexis is automatically back in now. Poor Welbeck. Seems to get injured whenever he starts doing well. The Side will miss his work rate, unless Alexis replicates it now he knows we can compete even without him on the pitch.

  84. Jnyc says:

    Mature performance. We must play that way and try to grab a goal against top teams if we can. Even Ramsey said that we could’ve nicked it with a tiny bit of luck. Lets build on this.
    Welbeck looked like a groin injury. He worked hard.

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    t

  86. Jnyc says:

    Iwobi worked very hard, though he looked a little nervous early on. But am i wrong to think he just doesn’t have much influence on games. I know he’s young, just saying, this isn’t a one match observation. That’s why it makes me crazy when Wenger outsmarts himself with team selections. Not superficial observation to say why leave your star player on the bench to start a crucial match.

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, that’s the shortest comment I’ve ever posted ^^^^ 😀

    I’m having trouble with both my keyboard and my telly but, luckily, they held out during the match…

    I just lost a longer one with my agrees (kola positioning) and disagrees (Ozil’s absence being a good thing) and other thoughts but maybe it’s all a sign and I should just shut up. All told, I’m loving the clean sheet most of all and the confidence it will (hopefully) restore to playing 3 (or is it 5?…) at the back. That those crosses from Bells and the stinger from Kola put us onto the front foot, I think, shows that the formation switch should be more than just change for change sake.

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, I was almost out but now I’m pulled back in…

    I thought Iwobi took some time getting into the match but, in the end, it seemed (to me) to be one of his best performances. He looked strong holding up the ball and slipped some good passes forward–the one for Bells that DW should have headed home stands out as does the one that allowed Rambo to slip in for his effort off the post.

    Likewise–while we’re talking about widely divergent views of things–I really enjoyed not having to worry about Alexis’ giveaways in bad parts of the pitch as the team settled into the match. Of course, on the other hand, he might’ve made some magic and gotten us on the score-sheet. That he was unable to do so in his 25 minutes and that his only bad giveaway was saved by another good Oliver whistle maybe makes it all a wash… I know he’s extremely talented and that he plays hard… I just remain unsure if he plays smart and for the team to the level his talent should take him. I was surprised that he was left out of the line-up in favor of Iwobi (and I knew Wenger would get roasted for his decision) but the result would seem to vindicate the manager. In the end it’s down to personal preference so yours is as good as mine. In other words, I was far more worried about Ozil’s complete absence… The solidity of the performance might, however, indicate that there will be life after they’re both gone…a scenario that appears nearer and nearer the more time goes by, unfortunately…

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, now it’s really time to let this go… What seemed an obviously good day for the Arsenal is getting clouded by (my own) negativity… Sorry…

  90. Pony Eye says:

    Suddenly Rambo has become arguably our most influential player simply by reining his unnecessary forward runs in. Double congratulations to him.

    A great effort by the team.

  91. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Yes.. PE.. if only that’s become a goal.. it will be the best goal in this week.. Hehehehe..

  92. Goonereris says:

    United have built on this knack for scoring first, holding on against the ropes, then suddenly getting a second in the dying embers of games only to have a goal rush late on. The huge goals difference they command is down to that pattern.

    The lads have to convince themselves that this performance is the standard against rivals and away from home, going forward.

  93. Jnyc says:

    That was the old Ramsey type performance, for sure.The energy all over the pitch. We have to be careful not to overwork those hamstrings. Must make an effort to find rest for him. Maybe work Jack in more often? Bellerin is also back to a level we haven’t seen from him in a while.

  94. Goonereris says:

    👍🏽

  95. njk84sg says:

    Good comments guys.

    Good game against the Chavs whom are getting irritated by our good work, but i am sure that we were unlucky not to get a winner in good build up play by the lads.

    I see it as between 1 point gained and 2 points lost, as the game was so open that it could have gone either way even after the red card.

    So, i applaud the team spirit and the gumption in the squad that tried to prove that we are a team capable of playing in the highest levels, so i am glad that we did well overall.

    After thinking about it i see it is a point gained.

    JK

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