Over the past decade or so, Arsenal have really struggled against Chelsea.
No matter who their manager is our wins have been few and far between, and we haven’t beaten them in the league since 2011. We haven’t even scored against them in the league for over nine hours.
However, thanks to the nature of Sunday’s 1-0 loss, Arsène Wenger doesn’t believe Chelsea have a psychological edge over this particular Arsenal side.
“Today was a special game. We were down to 10 men and we were 1-0 down straight away,” the manager said in his post-match press conference. “Normally you lose a game like that 3-0 or 4-0 when you have to chase it – there is nothing more dangerous when you are down to 10 men. Overall we come out with a lot of regrets because we couldn’t play with our team and looking at Chelsea today there was a lot of room to beat them if we had 11 players.”
Back in September, Diego Costa riled the Arsenal players and conspired to get Gabriel sent off. It was a fiery game which should have seen Costa shown a red card (he was retrospectively banned) and had Arsenal’s intelligence and discipline questioned.
Though the striker was involved in the red card decision again this time around, Wenger didn’t see many similarities.
“I would not compare today’s situation [with last time]. It was not a confrontational situation like at Chelsea, it was a fact of the game and the decision of the referee. I don’t think it was linked with bad behaviour or attitude.”
That’s fair enough, as the game didn’t really flare up and the red card that was shown had no hint of violent conduct.
It’s an incredibly frustrating result and Wenger has accused Diego Costa of ‘getting’ Mertesacker sent off, whatever that is supposed to mean. We’ll leave you to your own interpretations of the manager’s words.