This season has been a season of transition for Arsenal. They have improved their points tally for the season by 7 points from last season. They also managed to make their way to the Europa League final, beating some quality opposition on their way. However, the manner with which they collapsed in the final can only be described as the Arsenal of old. What went wrong for Arsenal in the final?
Toothless upfront, weak at the back
If anyone had known just how weak Arsenal were going to be defensively before this game, then everyone would have been looking for the most rewarding free bets with big sites like soccerbetting365 to place on an Arsenal loss. Many people felt that Cech would be the weak link for Arsenal coming into the game, but he was actually their best performer on the night. The only goal that he really could have done better with was the second from Pedro.
The real area where Arsenal lost the game was in defence. Almost every attack that Chelsea had created a goalscoring chance. It was only their profligacy in front of goal and Cech’s heroics that kept the score down to just four!
It wasn’t just the back four that cost Arsenal this game though. They had chances throughout, but their forwards just couldn’t finish the chances they created. Both Lacazette and Aubameyang were wasteful when chances came their way and the young substitute Willock missed a one on one near the end.
The only player who had their shooting boots was Iwobi, coming on as a substitute for Torreira in the 67th minute, it took him just two minutes to find the net with a sweet strike and give Arsenal some hope. His finish was one of only two that Arsenal managed to get on target all night, showing that they wasted the majority of the 16 shots they managed to craft for themselves.
Arsenal’s poor performance should not take away from Chelsea’s
Despite Arsenal not being at their best, the slick one touch passing that Chelsea used to create their chances was a joy to behold. It would not be flattering them to say they could have easily scored seven tonight. Cech signed off in style with some smart saves, even if he didn’t manage to sign off with a win. The man at the centre of almost everything good that Chelsea did was Eden Hazard.
Hazard is almost certain to be leaving Chelsea this summer, with his post match interview full of hints, most tellingly him saying that he thinks it is goodbye. Chelsea will certainly be a weaker team without him and their transfer ban that comes into play this summer will make it all the more difficult for them to effectively replace him.
Hazard was replaced to a rapturous applause from the small travelling Chelsea contingent, for what they knew in the hearts was likely to be his final appearance.
Where next for Arsenal
It is clear that Arsenal need some additional quality in their spine. They have a quality creator in Ozil, but without a hard working midfield general next to him, he is almost useless. A top centre midfielder is required if they are to improve again next season. Lacazette and Aubameyang are rarely as wasteful in front of goal and they do not need to be replaced. Finally, in the heart of defence, Arsenal need some new blood. Two quality centre halves and they should be ready to improve on this season’s showing.