Chelsea v Arsenal: Four things we noticed

Alex Iwobi celebrates against Chelsea

We may have been beaten by Chelsea on Saturday, but what caught our eye from the match?

Here are four key learnings from our trip to Stamford Bridge:


There were a few eyebrows raised when Matteo Guendouzi was named in the starting lineup against Manchester City last week, but the young Frenchman was one of our better performers in the season opener.
So he kept his place for the trip to Stamford Bridge, with Lucas Torreira on the bench again.
After a tough first half for our midfield, it was Granit Xhaka, rather than Guendouzi, who was subbed at half-time to make way for Torreira. The two summer signings combined well in the second period, shielding the back four well, until Chelsea's late winner. Guendouzi also made a vital late interception once Chelsea were 3-2 up. It looks as though he has a big future in this Arsenal team.

Matteo Guendouzi v Chelsea (a)


It was the first time this back four had started together, and at times there was a lack of communication between them, leaving Chelsea players unmarked in dangerous positions too often in the first half. Chelsea's first two goals were a result, at least in part, of disorganisation at the back.  
As we saw against Manchester City last week, we will look to play out from the back wherever possible, and our defenders looked much more comfortable in this department than last Sunday, but there is still work to do when we are not in possession.
Chelsea mustered more than 20 shots over the 90 minutes, and eventually that pressure told. Petr Cech again made several excellent saves, especially late on, to keep the score at 3-2.

All eight of Petr Cech's saves at Stamford Bridge

All eight of Petr Cech's saves at Stamford Bridge


However, it may be that the best form of defence is attack. we looked almost unstoppable going forward during the last 20 minutes of the first half.
Hector Bellerin was getting to the byline regularly, cutting the ball back into dangerous areas on numerous occasions. We actually rained in 12 shots in the first half, and scored more goals in the first 45 minutes than in our last six Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.
Poor finishing cost us dearly on this occasion - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were both guilty - but the number of clear-cut chances created should serve as a source of encouragement. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


Emery has plenty of attacking options at his disposal, and he made a big call to start Alex Iwobi in place of Aaron Ramsey, with Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette also held in reserve.
On his 99th appearance for the club, Iwobi was often our most imaginative forward, looking to run at his man when on the ball. It meant he lost possession a few times, but his persistence paid off when he forced a cross through to Mkhitaryan to score the first goal.
Four minutes later the Nigerian thumped home the equaliser, having seen his team-mates miss several similar chances.

Playing on the left wing, his forward runs helped to reduce Cesar Azpilicueta's overlaps, and were key in pegging Chelsea back in the first half when they looked to be running away with the game.
Iwobi faded slightly after the break, and was replaced with 15 minutes remaining, but he has shown Emery what he can bring to the side, on his first appearance for the head coach.

The build-up to Alex Iwobi's goal

The build-up to Iwobi's goal

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