Analysing Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte as Chelsea and Arsenal play out 0-0 draw

Sport360 staff 21:44 17/09/2017
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Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger came up against one another for the fourth time in four months as Arsenal and Chelsea played out a goalless Premier League draw at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Wenger got the better of the Blues boss to win the FA Cup in May, while also winning the Community Shield following a penalty shoot-out.

Following a pre-season friendly in China, this was another level London derby between the two sides as Chelsea finished with 10 men. Here’s a look at how the opposing managers fared.

TEAM SELECTION

While Eden Hazard only being named on the Chelsea bench was largely expected, Wenger dropping Alexis Sanchez to the role of substitute was not.

The Chile international has had a slow start to the season after injury and an extended holiday but he played the entire game for the Gunners in their 3-1 Europa League win over Cologne on Thursday.

Wenger instead opted to play Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi behind club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette – who was guilty of missing the game’s clearest chance.

TOUCHLINE DEMEANOUR

As usual, Conte was a coiled spring inside his technical area as he berated his players as often as he applauded their efforts.

The Italian was apoplectic with rage as David Luiz was dismissed in the closing stages for a foul on Sead Kolasinac right in front of the dugouts.

Wenger was seated for the majority of the contest but was always quick to leap from his dugout to hammer home a point, usually to the fourth official.

The pair had no interaction with one another and there was a respectful handshake at the end of proceedings.

TACTICAL DECISIONS

Wenger waited until the final 25 minutes before turning to Sanchez in the hope of his talisman inspiring Arsenal to a late winner.

Conte followed suite by calling for Hazard moments later, but even the two star players struggled to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

Chelsea had already introduced Tiemoue Bakayoko at the interval having lost the midfield battle in the first half, while Wenger was forced to replace the injured Welbeck with Olivier Giroud.

LOOKING AHEAD

While Arsenal are still yet to break their dismal winless away record against last season’s top six, Wenger will take heart from a rare strong display .

The Gunners were roundly beaten 4-0 at Liverpool before the recent international break and showed none of the commitment, guile or ability that was on show here.

Chelsea will be more frustrated by the result given how they have played in recent weeks but it could still prove a vital point later in the campaign.

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Manchester United duo Mata and Mkhitaryan make up for Pogba absence and other things learned from 4-0 win

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Manchester United secured a 4-0 win against Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Antonio Valencia opened the scoring with a stunner early on before Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial put some gloss on the scoreline in the closing stages.

Wayne Rooney came closest for Everton on his return to Old Trafford but couldn’t apply the finishing touch.

The win takes United to the top of the Premier League, level on points and gold difference with Manchester City.

Here are three things we learned from the win over Everton.

MATA AND MKHITARYAN MAKE UP FOR POGBA ABSENCE

With Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the pitch, United had enough creativity at their disposal. The duo were consistently involved in some neat play with plenty of clever touches and flicks between them.

That drive from midfield which Paul Pogba has provided to great effect this season was notably missing from the performance but Mata and Mkhitaryan compensated well.

Mata should’ve had an assist when he played Lukaku through in the first half only for the Belgium to fluff his lines. The Spaniard then went on to hit the post with a free-kick. Meanwhile, Mkhitaryan was key to United’s attacks and calmly slotted away for his side’s second.

Marouane Fellaini may not have been able to fill the void left by Pogba but his presence did afford Mata and Mikhitaryan more freedom.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

EVERTON MUST TAKE POSITIVES DESPITE SCORELINE

It’s not often that you can take positives after being on the wrong side of a 4-0 scoreline but Everton can do just that. The Toffees have had a difficult start to the season, having already faced City, Tottenham, Chelsea and United.

With just one win in the league so far and after conceding 12 without reply in their last four outings in all competitions, it will be difficult for them to see the light. However, the 4-0 scoreline at Old Trafford was harsh on them.

They kept United quiet for most of the game and created a fair few chances themselves with Rooney dragging a shot wide in the first half and then forcing David de Gea into a great save with his feet in the second.

The capitulation began with an error from Ashley Williams as Fellaini stole the ball off him in a move that saw Mkhitaryan make it 2-0 with seven minutes to go. Up until that point, the visitors were well in the game. If noting else, Rooney’s decent display in a tough fixture is cause for optimism. It doesn’t hurt that their fixture list gets a bit easier now as well.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney

MOURINHO MAKES UNITED RUTHLESS AGAIN

It wasn’t a vintage United performance but while Liverpool and Tottenham bombarded their opponents on Saturday but could only manage a point each, the Red Devils killed the game off in style.

That’s been a theme for United this season, that killer instinct that’s been missing since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

The 4-0 win wasn’t their best display this season but given that it wasn’t made easy for them and they still managed to run away with it in the end, it may be one of the more satisfying one.

Anthony Martial made it 4-0

Anthony Martial made it 4-0

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Arsenal surprisingly solid at the back - Seven Deadly Stats from Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal

Aditya Devavrat 20:16 17/09/2017
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Given Arsenal’s away results against the top six in recent seasons, they wouldn’t have gone to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Sunday with much hope of a positive result.

Yet, against a fierce rival who usually get the better of them, Arsene Wenger’s men put in a solid performance to hold out for a point, and they may rightly feel that they could have gotten more.

But despite Chelsea’s David Luiz getting sent off late in the game, Arsenal couldn’t take advantage. However, a point against the champions was more than most Gunners fans would have expected, so a 0-0 draw was a creditable result.

Here are seven deadly stats from the game…

FABREGAS SHINING AGAINST HIS OLD TEAM

As expected, Chelsea started on the front foot, looking to expose any Arsenal frailties, and former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas provided the impetus against his former team.

Last year, he scored in the corresponding fixture, but Fabregas’ value has always been in creating chances for his teammates, and at the start of this game he was at his usual best on that front.

Chelsea should have been 1-0 up after the Spaniard slipped in a perfect through ball for Pedro, only for the forward to fail to take the ball in stride to set himself up for a proper shot.

ARSENAL DOMINANT BEFORE THE BREAK

Given Arsenal’s usual away performances against the top six, the way they played in the first half was impressive – and the way they ended it, even more so. Chelsea may prefer a counterattacking game but make no mistake, Arsenal had their hosts hemmed in over the last 15 minutes of the first half.

NOT A DAY FOR THE STRIKERS

Sunday’s match offered a head-to-head matchup between two strikers signed for big money in the summer, but neither Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette or Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata made much of an impression on the game. 

Indeed, both failed to complete 90 minutes, although there were mitigating circumstances with both substitutions. Arsene Wenger’s decision to take off Lacazette when bringing on Sanchez was baffling, while Morata was sacrificed when Chelsea went down to ten men. 

ARSENAL MAKE CHELSEA SEE RED

There used to be a running theme for Arsenal games against Chelsea (and indeed, Manchester United) – the Gunners always let their frustrations get the better of them, and an Arsenal player would get sent off. 

Against Chelsea, at least, the boot seems to be on the other foot now, with Luiz the latest player to see red in this particular London derby. 

A RARE CLEAN SHEET FOR THE GUNNERS

Arsenal avoiding defeat in an away game against the top six is rare, but not conceding a goal is rarer still. Especially against Chelsea. 

Even in Arsenal’s last win at Stamford Bridge, they conceded three times. So while they would have felt that Sunday’s game was winnable, based on their performance, just keeping a clean sheet was a bonus. 

ALL-OR-NOTHING CHELSEA FIND MIDDLE GROUND

Chelsea lost two games at home last season in the league, winning 16. This season they’d lost one and won one, before Sunday. 

The running theme? Antonio Conte had never seen his team draw a game at home in the league. Until Sunday. 

BAKAYOKO SHOWS PROMISE IN CAMEO

Tiemoue Bakayoko has had a stop-start beginning to his Chelsea career as he looks to build match fitness, but the midfielder has shown the flashes of talent that made the Premier League champions sign him this summer.

After coming on at halftime for the misfiring Pedro, the former Monaco midfielder put in an all-action display to help Chelsea retake control of midfield.

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