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Chelsea, Arsenal match had no business being the Classic it turned out to be

... Gabriel Martinelli struck with an orgasmic solo goal that saw Ngolo Kante lying flat on green pastures, utterly dazzled.


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Chelse and Arsenal went head to head in Tuesday clash (Photo: Skysports)

Don’t get me wrong, every derby has the absolute capacity to turn into a classic. I mean, that’s why we enjoy watching derbies in the first place. Isn’t it?

But what we saw last night at Stamford Bridge, especially after the first 26 minutes of the match within which Arsenal’s David Luiz was sent off, that wasn’t supposed to be a classic.

Chelsea were by far the more dominant side even before the sending off. They controlled the game, won every tackle and created all the chances.

Then there was the red card in the 26th minute and the consequent penalty kick slotted home by Jorginho to put Chelsea in a perfect position to claim all 3 points and claim them with relative ease. On the contrary that was when the game turned into a classic.

I started suspecting something disastrous would befall Chelsea when they failed to add to their slim lead in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Not only did they stop creating the chances, a task they were very prolific at in the first half, but they also started allowing Arsenal pockets of space to mount counter-attacks, depleted as they were.

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And just when I was telling a friend that Chelsea was going to get punished for not killing off the game, Gabriel Martinelli struck with an orgasmic solo goal that saw Ngolo Kante lying flat on green pastures, utterly dazzled.

Chelsea were suddenly under pressure and Arsenal were playing like they had the advantage. But the numbers game would eventually catch up with them in the 84th minute when Azpilicueta scored what everyone thought was the winner for Chelsea. I was like well, Arsenal tried even at 2-1 because the Arsenal we knew would have conceded 3 in the first half alone.

But I was wrong about Arsenal. Very wrong. They didn’t keel over and capitulate as I did on their behalf. Rather they mounted an offensive of their own and it was Bellerin, Arsenal’s captain of the night who incidentally hadn’t started an EPL game since he was injured in this fixture roughly a year ago that yanked off a point for the Gunners.

Arsenal had no business coming back once let alone twice with one man down. Of course impossible is nothing in football. But the fact that Chelsea let them shows how low in character Chelsea have fallen and how high Arsenal under Arteta have risen.

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