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I actually thought we did quite well


IN many ways I thought that once we stopped conceding penalties we actually did very well.

Ok, I’m joshing a little. I thought Oscar’s first a maybe but not one that was particularly near goal so of little consequence anyway, I thought his second definite and I thought Cesc’s the same as Oscar’s first. As for our solitary claim, I thought it probably was one. I’m not a great one for claiming handballs, but the reality is that just as Cahill throwing himself to the ground like that gave him a better chance of blocking the ball with his legs, it also significantly increased the likelihood of the ball hitting his arms. So while it is true to say he couldn’t get his arms out of the way, he was very much responsible for putting them there in the first place.

In fact in some ways this game reminded me of the 0-0 in the same fixture last sesaon. Today’s was an infinitely better game. It simply had to be given that last season’s fare was probably the worst I’ve ever seen involving Arsenal. But what really reminded me of it was the fact that actually, for whatever failings we may have had during the game, we could, arguably should have won it late on.

Last year it was Giroud with the miss. This year Ozil. Yes, it would have been a nifty finish from Monreal’s cross. But it was one that he should be well capable of. And so in that sense, for all the “isn’t Mourinho a genius shtick”, I actually think his record against Arsenal reads a little better than perhaps it should. Don’t get me wrong: there have been occasions at the Bridge where he’s had us exactly where he’s wanted us. But last season’s game could easily have gone against him and so could today’s.

I actually thought we were being pretty mature after the break: Chelsea were enjoying possession but not chances. It’s normally the other way round. My hope was we’d be able to finish strongly. In the event we finished OK, though I was unsure of the wisdom of subbing Coquelin. It’s one thing to go for the win but sometimes I think you need a Coquelin style player on the pitch just to help you keep your shape.


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