|26 Dec||3:00 PM||P||Chelsea (H)||3||1||Win|
I would say I underestimated Arsenal in my preview to this game, but that wouldn't really be accurate; I could not have seen a performance THAT good coming.
The energy all over the pitch was like nothing we've seen in a big game for a long time. It was the best performance of the season by far, maybe the best performance of the last two seasons.
Alex Song gave an ideal box-to-box midfield display. If he can do his defensive work but continue to score vital goals then no one will mind, but this was the first time this season that he combined the two so perfectly. I would say he was our best player, but there's someone I simply cannot ignore.
I can't remember the last time an Arsenal centre-back put in a man of the match performance to take a world class striker out of a game; Johan Djourou's display last night might be the best by an Arsenal defender for about five years. Thomas Vermaelen proved a very astute signing last season, but I have not been blown away by the performance of an Arsenal defender since the run to the Champions League final when Philippe Senderos and Kolo Touré were immense against Real Madrid and Juventus.
Hopefully Djourou will not go down the route of Senderos and collapse spectacularly, because his return this season has proved vital. He feels like a new signing, and a more inspiring one than either Koscielny or Squillaci.
This was the first time we have beaten Chelsea with Didier Drogba on the pitch, and that's thanks to Djourou keeping him in his pocket.
But as I said earlier, credit must also go to the rest of the lads for their hard work; Song barging through a crowd of players to score the first, van Persie scrambling to get a touch to Walcott for the second, and Walcott nicking the ball of Essien for the third.
Will we see this more often? It was important to see us do it in a big game, but it's no good showing up at Wigan tomorrow like we've conquered the world, even if we do go 2-0 up...
Arsenal are still a mystery, and they still scare me. Be honest - who else thought we were heading for a 3-3 draw when Ivanovic scored? It will take a few more displays like this before I feel I can trust this team with a lead again.
But whatever happens to us, at least we can bask in Chelsea's fantastic decline this season. Did you see their bench yesterday? Jack Wilshere has probably played more Premier League games than their entire bench combined. Their squad is paper thin, their players are past it, and there's all sorts of trouble going on behind the scenes.
And let's not forget, they seem to be out of their secret weapon - money - the only reason they ever got anywhere. Good riddance.
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