Arsenal traveled to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea in their penultimate Premier League match before the World Cup break. Arsenal came away with the 1-0 win and have now won three straight matches at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1974. This result restores Arsenal’s place at the top of the Premier League table. Let’s get into the Arsenal week 13 match review of Arsenal vs. Chelsea.
Arsenal Week 13 Match Review: The Positives
The most prominent positive to come out of this match for Arsenal was the defending. Arsenal defended incredibly well throughout the match and only allowed Chelsea to get a single shot on target in the game. Collectively, the Gunners dealt with crosses well, made good clearances, and got back defensively in transition.
Ben White Played Well
Ben White deserves a special mention, though. He had another excellent game, marking Mason Mount nearly out of the game and ensuring that Mount had few opportunities to threaten Arsenal’s goal. In addition to his defensive work, White got forward well to support Saka and delivered some good crosses into the box. White did have a fairly tame shot at Chelsea’s goal, but that was the only negative in another assured performance. White won five out of six ground duels and 80% pass accuracy.
Gabriel Magalhaes Scored the Match-Winner and Defended Stoutly
Gabriel Magalhaes also played very well. He defended resolutely, winning three out of four aerial duels and two ground duels. Magalhaes made four clearances and two interceptions, as well. In addition to his 85% pass accuracy, he scored the match-winning goal in the second half. He deserves consideration for MOTM.
Saliba Wins MOTM for His Exceptional Performance
William Saliba played incredibly well. Saliba defended against Sterling, Aubameyang, and Havertz with composure and dealt with any aerial threats comfortably. He positioned himself well to defend against Chelsea’s counterattack and got back to defend whenever necessary. His performance earns him my Man of the Match award this week.
Arsenal Week 13 Match Review: Xhaka and Partey Controlled the Game in Midfield
Xhaka and Partey played well in Arsenal’s midfield. Partey had an especially good game, controlling the tempo and dictating the flow of the game from midfield. He protected the back four as always and resisted Chelsea’s press while helping Arsenal progress up the pitch. Xhaka also had a good performance and got into some promising positions when attacking.
Saka Made the Assist for the Match-Winner
Saka got the assist for Gabriel Magalhaes’ match-winning goal via his corner and overall had a good game. He worked incredibly hard and remained a threat down the right-hand side. Saka did receive some hard fouls in the first half, but he pressed on and played well regardless.
Arsenal Week 13 Match Review: Gabriel Jesus Indirectly Contributed to Arsenal’s Goal
Jesus played well despite not getting a goal or an assist. He could have done better with some of his attempts on goal, but his hold-up play and pressing was excellent. His shot won Arsenal the corner that led to Gabriel Magalhaes’ match-winning goal. Hopefully, he will get back on the scoresheet in the next match.
Arsenal Had 56% Possession Against Chelsea
Arsenal also controlled possession, enjoying 56% possession to only 44% possession for Chelsea. This possession made it difficult for Chelsea’s attack to gain much momentum and therefore Ramsdale didn’t have much to do in this match. The Gunners also won back possession quickly on many occasions when they did give the ball away.
Arsenal could have done better in the final third in this match. The Gunners only managed two shots on target in this match, but thankfully, they did score from one of those shots. White and Jesus could have done better with their efforts and Odegaard could have scored from a 1-on-1 against Edouard Mendy. Regardless, Chelsea do have a good defense, so it is understandable that Arsenal’s attack didn’t overwhelm them.
Tactical Note: Zinchenko’s Fluid Role
Some people were surprised that Zinchenko was in the starting 11, given that he just returned from an injury. However, his versatility allowed him to drop deeper when Chelsea pressed Arsenal’s center-backs with two players and provide an outlet so Arsenal could progress the play. Alternatively, Zinchenko could move into the midfield and help prevent a central overload when necessary. He had a good game and his fluid role was interesting.
Arsenal Week 13 Match Review- Manager Rating: 8
Arteta receives an 8/10 for this match. He had Arsenal set up well and was clearly prepared tactically for how Chelsea adapted to Arsenal’s passing shape. Additionally, his choice of Zinchenko at left-back proved to be a good one, as Zinchenko played well and his versatility was quite useful for the Gunners in this match. His substitutions were sensible, too.
Arsenal Got Another Crucial Away Win
Arsenal picked up another crucial three points away from home at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal controlled the game and dominated in some instances, despite the 1-0 score. The Gunners next face Wolves away in their final Premier League game before the World Cup. Wolves have started off the season poorly, so I would bet Arsenal gets another away win.
Check back next week for our match review of Arsenal vs. Wolves.