Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical choices were good, but Robert Sanchez finished the game.
Chelsea drew 2-2 with Arsenal in the ninth round of the 2023-24 Premier League (PL) at Stamford Bridge in London, England, at 1:30 a.m. ET on April 22. The draw extends Chelsea’s unbeaten record to four games in all competitions (three wins, one draw).
Pochettino made several changes against Arsenal. First, he started Cole Palmer as a zero-top. When I looked at the starting lineup, I saw Raheem Sterling up front, with Mikhail Mkhitaryan on the left and Palmer on the right, but Palmer was in the center. Palmer moved around a lot in the center, harassing the midfield of Jorginho and Declan Rice and adding energy by competing and keeping possession of the ball.
Palmer even scored a penalty kick (PK) goal to give Chelsea the lead. While Palmer’s zero-top has been successful, the move to play Connor Gallagher up front has also worked. Pochettino played Gallagher high up the field with Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo in front of the defense. With Gallagher pressing alongside Palmer, Arsenal struggled to build up from the back. With the midfielders holding up well in front of the defense, it was hard to get into the middle.
Xherdan Shaqiri also did well to block. Mark Cucurella did a good job of controlling Xhaka at first, and he and Mourinho teamed up to stop him. With Xhaka blocked, Martin Ødegaard was called into action. Gabriel Jesus was also isolated as the team was unable to get forward and link up centrally at the same time. Just as Pochettino’s tactical approach was starting to pay off, Mourinho scored a lucky goal to make it 2-0.
With the game now in Chelsea’s favor, Pochettino brought on Nicola Jackson to add strength up front. Mikel Arteta brought on Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe to add more mobility. Despite the Arsenal changes, Chelsea remained in control until a series of costly mistakes from Sanchez. Sanchez’s mistake in the 32nd minute allowed Rice to score the winner, and Leandro Trosar’s goal in the 39th minute was also crucial.
In the end, the game ended 2-2. It was a game that would have been well-received and could have been used as the start of a real comeback. “We tied, but we lost,” Cucurella said in the post-match interview.
Arrows were pointed at Sanchez, who was criticized by various media outlets. Pochettino said: “These things happen and you have to accept them. This is football. Mistakes happen in football. It’s acceptable to make mistakes when you’re on the pitch, it’s quite possible. Still, it’s disappointing to go 2-0 up and then concede. I think we could have played a more solid game and we didn’t.”
Sanchez has been in good form for Brighton, but whether he has what it takes to be Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy out of the picture has been a question mark since his arrival. His saves have been unimpressive and his passing ability, which has been cited as a strength, has been poor, leading to criticism. 토스카지노 도메인