Arsenal faced off against Jose Mourinho‘s Chelsea in a must-win match at the Emirates Stadium on Monday. Arsenal needed a win to ensure they made it to Christmas in first place in the Premier League for the first time in 10 years. Chelsea could have sent Liverpool to the top through goal difference with a victory against Arsene Wenger‘s men, but the game played out to a goalless draw.
Arsenal were coming off a horrific defeat at Manchester City where Wojciech Szczesny allowed six goals, thus allowing Liverpool and Chelsea to creep closer to them. Wenger’s men have been league leaders almost all season in large part thanks to Mesut Ozil, who arrived only hours before the summer transfer window closed from Real Madrid.
He has been one of the best players in the league and is well on his way towards justifying his hefty €50 million price tag. Arsenal will continue to be without star midfielder Jack Wilshere following his two-game suspension for improper conduct against Manchester City fans at the Etihad last weekend.
Arsenal now faces West Ham on Boxing Day as they look to regain top form. If Wenger fails to motivate his team to play the way they have been from the start of the season, Liverpool or Manchester City will take the no. 1 spot. I fancy Arsenal’s chances this year, but I don’t see them prevailing as the eventual winners if they keep playing the way they are.
If they don’t have the lead by mid-February, they will not win the league. Wenger is a notorious choker. He must not depend more on Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta than Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. That would be a big mistake, and he should let the young guns prove their worth.