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Minutes later that enigma that is Lukas Podolski was lurking in that left side pocket in the penalty box that he enjoys so much and Santi Cazorla's excellent eye of the needle pass found him, Lukas got the ball out of his feet and lashed it underneath a closing West Ham player and into the far corner. That goal was scored a minute before half time. It totally changed the mood and perhaps the narrative post match. Had we not found that equaliser then you can be sure that the Emirates would have rained down with boos. As it was we went into the second half with our tails up. In the first half Oliver Giroud cocked up an excellent chance when he was through on goal against the keeper but instead of taking the chance with his right he decided to use his left and try and scoop it

City were the better side in the first half, they squeezed us into our half of the pitch knowing that we had no pace to get in behind them. They used the ball better than us when they had it. David Silva was very dangerous when picking up the ball outside of our penalty box, his defence splitting passes reminded me of what we are missing without Mesut Özil. He carved out a few chances down our left hand side as City looked to exploit when Chelsea did so well. It was Silva who somewhat fortuitously opened the scoring. Lukas Podolski lost the ball on the half way line and Silva drove into our half, his through pass found Džeko on the left and his left footed shot was tipped onto the post by Szczesny and off Silva into our net from close range, 1-0 to the away side.

After Bony headed Swansea in front after 11 minutes we looked visibly shaken by it and it was only the late introduction of Lukas Podolski that changed the game as the German turned the game on it's head in two minutes. Scoring from a Gibbs cut back and then supplying a great ball to Giroud to tap in from close range. At that point I expected us to go on and score another one

 

We looked like a boxer going up against one of the hardest hitters in the business, jabbing at our opponent without once putting our guard up. Inevitably Chelsea struck with pretty much the first blow and Eto'o was on hand to curl it around Szczesny. Moments later André Schürrle drove a low shot into the corner of Szczesny's net Then in full self implosion mode Oxlade-Chamberlain stuck out an arm to block a Hazard shot that was going wide anyway. The referee clearly not having seen the incident was trying to communicate with one of his officials. Then mistaking Chamberlain he sent off Kieran Gibbs even though Chamberlain was seen telling the referee that he was the guilty culprit.

Santi Cazorla started the game sat alongside Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sat behind Oliver Giroud with Mesut Özil playing wide right. If I was to guess the reasons for this, I'd say Arsène played Cazorla deep to escape the Bayern Munich pressing machine. His low centre of gravity and two quick feet mean that he can receive the ball in the tightest of positions and wriggle his way out and still have the quality to release a quality pass. Chamberlain has the engine and pace to upset Bayern's deep midfield passer as well as their centre backs while Mesut Özil could move undetected from that wide position. That was my interpretation of the changes, whether it worked or not is subjective. It is difficult to say that Mesut Özil had anything other than a disappointing first half although talk

 

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more