First things first though (and to get it out of the way). Congratulations to Wenger for 1,000 games in charge. That right there is a legacy, my friends. A legacy. And much like Joe Blow in the street shakes off and forgets a really bad day he has at the office, so too must Wenger shake this off and move on to the next match.
Looking at it glass half full for him, if Arse had got a draw against Sp*rs and a draw against Chelsea, they'd have 2 points from their last two games and there'd be no talk of a crisis at their club. A win at Sp*rs and a loss at Chelsea gives them 3 points. Not ideal, but not too shabby when you consider they're both very difficult local derbies at the pointy end of the season.
So, yeah, congratulations to Wenger for 1000 games in charge of a big club like Arsenal. Perhaps the Chelsea fans at the ground said it best for all of us with repeated choruses of: “Arsène Wenger, we want you to stay...”
As for the match, WHAT A GAME!!! Do you see how good we can be if we just have strikers who deliver what it says on the can, and actually score when they have the opportunity? The likes of Falcao, Zlatan, Cavani et al, do not require 10 half-chances to score. Give a great striker a sniff and the ball is in the back of the net.
Eto is a great striker past his best. And that German member of a Flock of Seagulls we've got playing as a 2nd striker is still earning his hair gel. But can you imagine how good we can be if we actually have (say) Falcao and Lukaku up front for us next season (as an example)? Solidity at the back we've already got. Talent and work ethic in midfield? Check. The world's best manager. Yup. And creative attacking midfielder types we've got coming out of the woodwork. But world class, 20-30 EPL goals a season strikers we do not have. Ba, Torres and Eto are demonstrably not the future of Chelsea and should (will) all be sold or let go at the end of the season with a thank you and a pat on the back (for their efforts, if not for their overall goal tallies).
But let's not get bogged down in the striker debate. Today's not the time for that. Not when we PUT 6 GOALS PAST ARSENAL!!!
Arsenal played against Sp*rs last weekend and took advantage of their opponent's playing an overly ambitious high defensive line (the ghost of AVB perhaps?!). So you'd think Wenger would know the perils of trying to do exactly that against Chelsea today. But...nope. A high line was the order of the day and right from the off Chelsea were getting behind their defenders and looking like we could score from practically every attack. And, before you know it, we were 2 v 0 up and the Bridge was buzzing.
Yes, Andre Marriner c*cked up and sent the wrong player off. Inexcusable? Perhaps. But I'm reminded of a certain referee in a world cup giving a player 3 yellow cards so, you know...sh*t happens in the heat of battle. We can't crucify the man for that. Plus there's not a person watching the match who could - with a straight face and a clear conscience - say that the 'who' got sent off, would've made any difference to the final result. It was a deliberate handball / red card and we would've been 3 v 0 at home and FLYING by that stage no matter who got their marching orders. Yes, a defender was sent off instead of an attacker. And they could've done with an extra defender (or 3!) on the pitch. But honestly, did the Arsenal defenders look remotely able to stop the Chelsea juggernaut when they had 11 on the field? No. Not today. So the 'who' was sent off made not a jot of difference. Today we were unstoppable. Partly due to Jose's tactics. Partly due to the great finishing from our strikers. Partly due to Wenger's badly misjudged tactics when he set up his team. And partly due to the stars just aligning, as stars sometimes do, when football comes to town.
Arsenal fans must no more put guns in their mouths after this loss, than Chelsea fans must get drunk on champagne and talk of the title because of the win. In a one off game, stuff like this sometimes happens. Heck, I'm reminded of a famous match against Man Utd from 1999 when the stars aligned so much, even Chris Sutton scored...
Chelsea 5 v 0 Man Utd
...and that loss didn't do Man Utd any harm, given they went on to win the treble that year...
So yeah, it's a one off game. I'd have preferred a draw today and a win against Aston Villa last week and 4 point on the board, rather than a loss then and a drubbing today of one of our local rivals. Call me a pragmatist. But we won a title on 1 v 0 wins and it's all about the silverware.
Positives from this game...gee, where to start?
Oscar - who has been pants these last few months - got a brace and is looking like getting back to his best. Boy how we missed him.
Eto - he's like an aging shark who still knows where to find the blood in the water. I just hope the hammy was only sore, not pulled because we'll need him in the lead up to the end of the season.
Torres - no goal but a terrific performance for the team. When he goes back to Spain at the end of the season, expect him to remember where the goal is.
Schürrle - he really didn't do it for me when he joined, but he's starting to find his feet, and could yet prove to be a diamond in the rough.
Salah - another guy who looked rubbish in his first few (cameo) appearances for us. But today looked like he belonged. Jury's still out, but today's match bodes well.
Hazard - here, there and everywhere and pivotal to our team's success. But again, if he wants to be talked about in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo, he has got to SCORE MORE GOALS. And he's unlikely to get a better chance than against a 10 man Arsenal team that's pressing the self-destruct button.
Cech - nothing to do beyond that one save early on. But what an important save that was. If that went it we were down 0 v 1 and Arsenal would've had the wind at their backs.
Defenders - solid, solid, solid. Dave's a piece of work and is quite a find. JT's a rock. Cahill's a younger JT. And Ivanovic, while not playing his best recently, is hardly what you'd call a liability (although he drifts inside and leaves space on the right wing too much for my tastes).
Midfield - industrious and with a desire to press both the ball and the space. I still can't wait to sell Luis at the end of the season, as he's demonstrably not a Jose type of player (and will be much better suited to a cavalier life as a Barca centre back than a no nonsense EPL centre back), but today he did his job while playing alongside Matic, who was good too, without ever really being asked to get out of 2nd gear.
And let's not forget we kept another clean sheet, and that our goal difference went up by 6 goals (too little too late, but every goal counts...).
All in all it was one of those wonderful games that you get to enjoy practically from the first kick, because the result is never in doubt. And gosh, don't we as fans love watching games like that!