You can usually expect a top-end London derby to be a close affair, but with key defenders missing and the psychological edge Chelsea have over Arsenal, I really thought it was only going one way.
And my god, was I wrong.
It was such a gentle start, Arsenal playing the ball around, everyone getting a touch and Chelsea just
shadowing at half pace.
It was weird, almost like they were all waiting for a second whistle to start the match proper. And BANG out the Blue the Gooners go 1-0 up.
I wasn’t even interested in the offside debate, Alexis Sanchez had his hands in an unnatural position and he blocked the ball with an arm to put himself in a position to score. Why was that even debated?
There was more chance of Mayor De Lille’s inter-faith prayer meeting creating rain than that was a legal goal.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not making any excuses.
Arsenal deserved to win.
Chelsea were just not good enough, no intensity for too long a period, Arsenal casually playing around the big pitch with an excellent Danny Welbeck and Sanchez providing enough threat to keep the Blues from flooding forward.
Got to also give it to Per Mertesacker for coming into such a massive game with no match-time behind him this season and pulling off a truly Terry-esque performance.
Yeah, Moses killed it off for Chelsea with a dive right in front of the ref for his second bookable, but again, despite Costa’s equaliser, it always felt like it was Arsenal’s day.
Had the Blues not smashed the league, I’d probably have gone into recluse mode for the next couple of weeks. But hey, we got the big one this year, so let them have it.
The interesting outcome now is how the result is going to affect the ever-growing “Wenger Out” campaign?
I was glad to hear the Frenchman use the opportunity of Cup success to say a few words to those who treat him with such disrespect.
And he’s quite right, saying: “I accept to be criticised and people don’t agree with me, but once the game starts and you are a fan, you stand behind the team, that is what I have not accepted this season and I will never accept it.”
Good on him… that’s spot on. Whatever is going on behind the scenes, whoever the manager is, why do you want to jeopardise results?
My perfect scenario would see him leave the club now with trophy in hand, to be replaced by someone who’ll help destroy the years of great work he’s done!
As the “Wenger In” brigade warns: “Be careful what you wish for”.
So that’s it then guys, another season comes to an end and another three months begins of what to do and where to find some excitement.
Take up golf? Visit the family more often? Walk the mountain?
Oh the joys of off-season! At least we have transfer gossip to look forward to! Well done Gooners, again, well deserved…