3 games since David Moyes took over and the shoots of recovery were there to see against Man City last week. But we lost and still found ourselves adrift at the wrong end of the table. This game is usually tough, but maybe we could just improve again and realise the potential in the team.
Improve we did, in effort, in formation, and ultimately in skill. Adrian kept his place after an impressive performance against city, and Antonio played on his own up top being supported by wing play from Zaba and Arnie on one side and Arthur and cress on the other.
We started very well and pushed up against Chelsea forcing them to play out. Also, when we had a the ball we went straight at them. This resulted in a run from Arnie very early on which dodged 2 tackles to give him the space to shoot. And shoot he did , past Courtois. Last week, we immediately dropped off and invited City on. But Chelsea were not at their best so we just kept on at them. And it seemed to work. But Chelsea did find that our more forward formation allowed them to exploit a big hole that was being left in the middle. And Kante did just that. Morata had a couple of half chance headers to get his all important 10th league goal (before Xmas – he will have to wait, lol).
On the whole we defended well, but neither team really imposed on the game. Player of the first half however, was Arthur Masuaku. This guy has always looked like he has some talent, but his complete domination of Zappacosta was hilarious. He danced around him time and time again and was taking on allcomers for fun. Maybe not having the responsibility of being the last man, allows him to be more expressive.
The second half was more of the same, with Chelsea having more of the possession but unable to do really anything with it. Once again Morata brushed the side netting and Antonio had a half chance before he was subbed. This was interesting. He hasn’t been fit really for a while, so asking him to just do 50 yrd sprints will effect him. He was actually lying down on the pitch and Moyes still didn’t want to sub him, and when he finally did he didn’t bring on Carroll which would have been the obvious replacement but Ayew appeared.
Towards the end WHU did lose discipline and ended up with 6 cards and a warning for Stuart Pearce when he booted the ball into the crowd to run down the clock.
But a win is a win and we are no longer cut off at the bottom of the league. Arsenal up next, and based on their performance against Southampton we have half a chance. Adrian has to stay in as does Noble. I know I haven’t been his biggest fan recently and I still don’t think he is in our top 2 central midfielders but he seems to bring a lift to the team and is acting like a captain. Adrian also, lifts the team. In the 1st half you could hear him shouting at the other end of the pitch. Is he better than Hart ? I’m in the minority that think he is. But even if he isn’t no one in front of him in unaware of what is happening.
Fair play to Moyes to get the fitness up this quick, and this has resulted in snappier play and dare I say more Premier League like play. Also, the back 3 and flying wing backs seem to suit us. As does Psycho losing his pieces on the side line…….Just need a striker to suit. Carroll or Sakho ?
MOTM Masuaku. all day long.