It’s Time We Helped Referees
Of course referee Michael Oliver ended up trending on Twitter following a first half which could have featured him giving four penalties, but actually didn’t produce any.
Of the four incidents, obviously the almost wrestling-esque takedown from David Ospina on Chelsea’s ‘False 9’ Oscar was the truest definition of a foul in the area, but given Oliver’s eyes would have been, like the rest of us, following the ball as Oscar hooked it goalwards and Hector Bellerin cleared, is it entirely fair to blame him?
Give him help. Give him an ability to check on instant replay of the decision, and give him the capability to make the correct call. It really isn’t that hard.
Jose Mourinho Is The Master Of Systems
It’s one thing to constantly chop and change your system and your formation, as we see plenty of other managers do, but it is quite another to make alterations whilst consistently getting the best out of the players you put out onto the pitch.
Jose Mourinho will have told his Chelsea players that their task here was simple: do not concede a goal. And that’s what they did.
That’s exactly why they’ll be champions, too.
Cesar Azpilicueta Has A Right To Feel Aggrieved
On the day that he was the only member of Chelsea’s regular back four who didn’t get voted into the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year, left-back Cesar Azpilicueta wasn’t any more calm, composed and effective as usual, and nor did he really play a vital role in the result.
What he did, though, was be a part of a defence which remained unmoved, underlining why we’ve barely seen summer signing Felipe Luis this season and why Mourinho has trusted this quartet pretty much throughout the campaign with very few variations.
The PFA deservedly voted Southampton’s ex-Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand into their team, but breaking up this most resolute of back fours was a little harsh.
Arsene Wenger’s Mourinho Hoodoo Isn’t A Coincidence
That’s now 13 matches in which Arsene Wenger has failed to beat Jose Mourinho, a record that you suspect the Portuguese is very fond of, but in truth when Mourinho's Chelsea's set up solely not to lose there isn't much you can do.
When turning in a quite fantastic display to beat Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season you sense that Wenger found a new way to play the big matches with the players he has at his disposal, but when Arsenal are at home and expected to boss possession those type of performances are difficult to put in, especially against a side who are the masters of them.
Arsenal had the ball but never had space to do anything productive with it, and so the Chelsea trap was set and the point was achieved.
Mourinho’s Chelsea Will Never Be Loved
‘Boring boring Chelsea’ sang the Arsenal fans with around 10 minutes of a frustrating afternoon remaining. You suspect that they’d settle for their team being ‘boring’ if it meant they were about to be crowned champions.
What this was, though, was the latest example of why the Portuguese’s side will never be loved, not that he or his many fans will care of course.
The level of control and authority that he and his team can exert over big matches means that they very rarely lose them, but they very rarely thrill in them either.
They still emerge from them smiling, though, and in the end that’s really all that matters.