Posts Tagged ‘Didier Drogba’

Hurray! The assorted knick knacks column is back after a really really long time. Snow prevented me from putting up updates for the past few weeks. I mean, what is up with that? Damn global warming. Or is it global cooling? Anyway, back to more important matters.

Man United beat Sunderland to stay on top

That’s the way its done best, if you’re on top, but you still have to come first if you know what I mean. Dimitar Berbatov bagged a brace in a game that started off with a bang for the Red Devils. Anderson hit the frame of the goal once and so did Berbatov. Berbatov took his chances quite well and played a very good role linking up play with the midfield.

Rooney too looked sharp, at least he did in the first half with some glorious cross field balls. However in the second half, Roonaldo was anonymous. Its a good thing United didn’t win a penalty though.

Anderson had a really good game. His midfield runs sometimes leaves the opposition wondering as to how to stop him – its somewhat like a bull charging at you. His touches could be better and his execution when it comes to passing should definitely improve. He sees the pass, but when he releases the ball, its a fraction too late or a shade too powerful. Evra has challenged him to make consistent his sporadic pieces of brilliance. I hope he proves Evra wrong.

Like a bull in midfield (at times)

All in all a good game for Man United, not so much for Steve Bruce though. Bruce was without a lot of players especially in the Center Back role. Danny Welbeck was also ineligible as per the conditions of his loan deal, meaning Bruce was without a real goal scoring threat. Darren Bent was largely anonymous and Gyan just ran around a lot.

London Derby

It is official. Chelsea have forgotten how to win. And Drogba has forgotten how to score. Hah! I’m glad United aren’t the only team where the main striker has lost his goalscoring touch. Even he missed a penalty, mind you.

Lets be very fair, on the topic of Arsenal versus Chelsea, Arsenal deserved to win. They were the better team, they looked more incisive and most importantly they scored more goals.

Frank Lampard made his long awaited return for Chelsea but even he couldn’t inspire the Blues to a win or even to snatch a draw. It was a cracker of a game for neutrals, even in the first half to be honest, where only one goal was scored.

Chelsea started out better, with a little bit of creativity and some forward runs by Lampard. However once Arsenal got off first gear, there was no looking back. It was a really good move by Arsene Wenger to play Johann Djourou along with Koscielny as his Center Back pairing. Djourou was commanding in the air and won a lot of the air balls, and perhaps even negated the physical threat of Didier Drogba.

Good move, Mr Wenger

After Alex Song scored the first, I was pretty sure Arsenal were on their way to winning the game. Then when the second half kick started, Arsenal scored again through Fabregas. Chelsea had the ball nicked off them in midfield, well not really, but they did lose the ball in that area. Essien’s tackle put the ball in Walcott’s pass who squared the ball to Fabregas in order to avoid Cech’s charge and the Arsenal skipper made to mistake.

The third goal happened within two minutes of that. Chelsea had the ball nicked off them in midfield. Feels like I just typed that. Oh wait, I did. This time Fabregas played in Walcott who put it in the net.

Chelsea did look like they might recover actually. Ivanovic headed a goal home from Didier Drogba’s free kick and you wondered whether Arsenal were going to, well.. do an Arsenal. Ivanovic later on made another charging run only for Drogba to take the ball off him at the crucial moment and hit an Arsenal defender from his shot.

It didn’t look like Chelsea’s day and to be very fair, Ancelotti didn’t have too much on the bench to change things around. Mikel had started but was anonymous so he was subbed at half time for Ramires (who did close to nothing). Malouda lost the ball for Arsenal’s third and he paid the price by making his way for – – GAEL KAKUTA, an experienced youngster – isn’t that an oxymoron? Ancelotti’s third attacking move was to bring on Bosingwa for Fereirra. Bosingwa’s only contribution was to shoot from really far out and miss completely.

On the Arsenal squad – Van Persie did a good shift as center forward. Held the ball up, good link up play. Only disappointed with him for this one chance where maybe he could have played in Walcott but instead decided to go for it himself from a really difficult angle. He didn’t get a goal, but his contribution wasn’t unnoticed, for sure.

Walcott was good, his pace troubled the Chelsea defence. Although initially he struggled to get the better of Ashley Cole, but towards the second half it could be fair to say he made Ashley Cole his bitch – much to the delight of all the Arsenal fans, world over!

Fabregas was really good, even though he started off with a few misplaced passes. One of his turns in particular was simply sublime and he left two Chelsea players in his wake with that. Arsenal are glad to have him back I’m sure. Alex Song also put in a really good shift and even had a goal to his name at the end of the day.

Glad to have him back

Jack Wilshere ought to take a bow for his performance. I thought he’s be easily bullied out of the ball by the likes of Essien and Mikel, but he did really well to hold off the physical threat of Chelsea’s three man midfield. In particular there was an instance where he held off Essien and Ramires and eventually won a free kick for the Gunners.

Even Clichy didn’t look as vulnerable as he always does and you know that means that Arsenal are going to win the game.

So that means that Arsenal have gone to second place two points behind leaders Manchester United and on top of Man City because of superior goal difference.

Tottenham’s victory over Aston Villa

Just a small note on Arsenal’s arch-rivals as well. They were fantastic against Villa. Period. Even after Jermaine Defoe got sent off, they kept the ball really well and to be honest it looked like Villa was the team that was down to 10 men. Modric has rarely been given credit for the Lilywhites’ performances thus far. But hear this – Modric is sublime, they’ll miss him more than Gareth Bale in my opinion, some of the balls he picks out is simply beautiful. If you don’t believe me, go watch Spurs’ first goal against Villa and check out his pass to Alan Hutton, just before the goal was scored.

Take a bow, Luka.

 

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Recent meetings between Arsenal and Chelsea have turned out to be pretty one sided affairs with Chelsea winning the last 4 games. Last season Chelsea won this fixture thanks to a brace from Didier Drogba who loves scoring against Arsenal. Arsenal has never beaten Chelsea with Drogba in the Chelsea lineup. It is indeed a really stunning fact considering that Drogba joined Chelsea in 2004.

A real headache for Koscielny and Squillaci - I'm sure of it

Both teams come into this game on the back of a defeat. Last week Chelsea lost to Manchester City in a tight affair and Arsenal surprisingly lost to West Brom at home. A defeat at Stamford Bridge will be a big blow to Arsenal’s title ambitions. A win would be great but they will be relatively happy if they earn a draw at Stamford Bridge.

Like always Arsenal have a lot of injury problems. Captain and key player Cesc Fabregas is out injured along with Robin Van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen, Nicklas Bendtner and Gibbs. They have done reasonably well considering the players that have been out injured. Arsenal’s main problem just like last season is their goalkeeper. Manuel Almunia is out injured and Fabianski is likely to start. I have a strong feeling that he could cost Arsenal this game. I still can’t figure why he is still at Arsenal. He has literally made a mistake in almost every that he has played. I really hope that he does well against Chelsea but I really doubt it. It will also be very interesting to see how the new Center Back pairing of Koscielny and Squillaci handles Drogba. If they manage to keep him quiet Arsenal will have a big chance of winning this game.

Chelsea has had a stunning start to the season. Agreed they haven’t really faced any but you can only beat what is put in front of you and they have done it in style. But last week’s loss to City has shown that they can be vulnerable. Frank Lampard is the only key player who is missing for Chelsea. Ramires is likely to replace him and he is a pretty solid replacement. Malouda is in fine form and they will be hoping that Drobga will turn up like he always does against Arsenal.

This will also be Jack Wilshere’s toughest test yet. He will be up against Michael Essien who is the most dominating midfielder premier league has seen since Keane and Vieira left. In the absence of Fabregas a lot will be expected from young Wilshere and I really hope he does well against Essien.

Up against Essien, I don't envy him

Likely Lineup

Chelsea – Cech Ivanovic  Terry  Alex  Cole Mikel Ramires Essien Anelka          Malouda Drogba

Arsenal Flapper Sagna  Koscielny Squillaci Clichy Song Wilshere   Nasri Rosicky Arshavin Chamakh

Prediction – Without Fabregas and Van Persie, it seems very unlikely that Arsenal will win. It seems very likely that Wenger will be happy with a draw. Chelsea will go into the fixture wanting a win. I think Chelsea will win it actually, but I’m hoping for a draw