Having finally broken their Chelsea hoodoo, one that had been haunting Arsenal for an eternity, the Gunners look set to go big this season. Notwithstanding their persecution at the hands of Arsene Wenger’s side, the Blues have been one of the strongest teams this term, and to sweep them aside the way Arsenal did highlighted every new-found dimension that the North Londoners have added to their game.
The most succinct manner in which to describe Arsenal’s 3-0 win is that it was the rarest of those rare evenings when they trussed their defensive solidarity, midfield dominance and sharp, slick attacking together to batter a team known for its discipline and organisation across all areas on the pitch. How many times have we seen that from any Arsenal side in recent memory? Not many, not especially against a genuine title-contender.
The defence was impeccable with Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi forming what is increasingly looking like it could be a world-class pairing. All game long, the two had Diego Costa under their control, which is quite a task to accomplish considering the recent events. Even Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal were fabulous throughout the game, the former in particular supplementing the attack with the kind of mastery few can match while also ensuring that he was at the right place every time Chelsea charged forward.
And then there was the all-important midfield and attack that rendered Antonio Conte’s side helpless as Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi channelled their inner MSN to put on a show that Arsenal haven’t seen from their forward-line for quite some time. With Olivier Giroud in the side, would the Gunners have played with the kind of intensity that they did with Alexis up-front? Of course not because of an obvious lack of pace and a mobile striker who never switches off. As we go further into the season, we might see more of Arsenal’s IAW, the prospect of facing which is frightening because of how well do they complement each other. On Saturday, the seamless concinnity they possessed was almost redolent of a choral chef d’oeuvre. If they can carry on with that sort of form, they’ll definitely be unstoppable.
All in all, things are looking pretty merry at Arsenal right now, the recently prevalent issues starting to disappear with every win. The key now lies in continuing the same kind of form across all competitions unlike the previous seasons wherein Arsenal have shown glimpses of excellence and followed them up with plenty of ugly disasters.
If it’s not now, it may as well never be.