Lukaku returned abruptly to England. Arsenal could do nothing against the Chelsea forward
“How many goals do I expect from Lukaku? 50 or 60 before winter. Kidding. We will set a clear goal later this season, ” Thomas Tuchel said at a press conference before the match with Arsenal . Despite the heavy irony in these words, the Chelsea coach is well aware of the level of the Belgian. And already in the game with Arsenal, he promptly built Lukaku into the attacking structure of the team.
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According to the Chelsea scheme – without any changes. All the same 3-4-3 with which Tuchel took the Champions League and built one of the best teams in the second half of the last season in the Premier League.
We Arteta situation is more complicated – a lot of personnel problems and a total imbalance in the game. Lacazette , Party , Gabriel , White and Willian were unable to play against Chelsea for various reasons . Pulled up from the “Real” for € 35 million Martin Ødegaard not hit the bid, and stale Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remained in reserve.
Lukaku’s back is Arsenal’s biggest challenge in the derby
Before leaving for Milan, Giroud played the role of a forward for Tuchel, who sinks into the depths and helps the team fill the space on the flanks and semi-flanks for sharpening passes. Giroud’s efficiency and mindset have helped him remain extremely useful for Chelsea, even with his nominal reserve striker status. Lukaku’s transfer is not just a strengthening of the attacking line, it is also an upgrade of Tuchel’s mechanisms worked out on Fat.
The current Chelsea are progressing from match to match in attack geometry, so it is not surprising that Lukaku immediately came in handy for more than just a scorer. In “Inter” and the national team, the Belgian has long been pumping variability in attacking actions. The first goal against Arsenal is a perfect example of Lukaku’s work. First, the forward sank into the depths, pulled off four Arsenal players and played on Kovacic . Chelsea attacked sharply through the empty right flank, from where James shot. Lukaku crushed Pablo Mari on his way to the first goal of the season in a corporate style – it is simply difficult to fight with such a machine.
Lukaku’s deep displacements kept Arsenal’s defenses under constant pressure. Arteta’s team spent a lot of time and effort holding back the Chelsea forward, and the players often lost position. Chelsea’s second goal was a disaster for Tierney, who again left a hole in his flank (with the active help of Jaqi, who exposed the pivot zone).
The statistics of Lukaku’s involvement in Chelsea’s attacking game is impressive – even though Tuchel’s team noticeably slowed down in the second half (as the coach himself said after the game).
The Belgian returned abruptly to the Premier League and could well have scored a double, but Arsenal was saved from defeat only by the crazy reaction of goalkeeper Leno:
However, not only Lukaku was enchanting at Chelsea in the first half – Arteta personally deprived Arsenal’s defense of its reliability, playing with four defenders in a line. Because of this, Chelsea have consistently stretched their opponents wide, while Mount and James have achieved excellent numbers on the expected danger from passes – 0.64 and 0.52 xThreat, respectively.
Arsenal added in the second half, but Chelsea won peacefully
Another Arsenal problem is the arrogant attempt to press Chelsea. In the match, Arteta’s team rose noticeably high (the average defense height was 50.54 meters versus Chelsea’s 38.55), but the current Arsenal have no pressure. Chelsea have often chopped off these naive throws of other players at the expense of verified passes.
In the first half, Arsenal did not succeed so much that some players began to freak out – nothing else, for example, can explain this strange jump from the Holding :
But after the break, Arsenal unexpectedly increased their aggression and made it much more difficult for Chelsea to transition from defense to attack. We even got some chances – Saki’s long-range strike (saved by Mendy ), Holding’s lethal chance after the drawing of a standard and a discount from Pablo Marie. On this stretch, Chelsea experienced certain difficulties for the first time in the match.
However, Arteta quickly knocked down the attacking impulse of Arsenal, releasing Aubameyang (instead of Saki), who played so sluggishly that by the end of the match one could even forget that he was on the field. Also during the second half, Martinelli and Tierney were injured . Arsenal by inertia went into pressure, but Chelsea confidently controlled the ball and did not allow dangerous moments at the Mehndi goal.
In general, Chelsea’s advantage in the game is beyond doubt – 3.64 xG versus 0.63 (according to Understat) symbolizes this. The numbers underline Tuchel’s competent choice of the match plan and Lukaku’s quick integration into the overall geometry of the team’s game. Arteta added to all the staffing problems an inadequate decision to play Chelsea in a four-defender formation.
The most interesting thing is that in previous matches with Chelsea, Arteta successfully came up with non-standard moves and built the game from the opponent, taking into account his weaknesses. The result was three victories in a row. What happened to the Arsenal coach today is a mystery.
Arteta in the first two rounds made a good start in the fight for a ticket to the Championship – now Arsenal is ranked 19th in the table (below only Norwich). The next opponent will be Manchester City – this is a chance to strengthen their positions in the relegation zone.