CHELSEA, ARSENAL IN REDEMPTION CLASH
Arsenal, last weekend, could not figure out what hit them when they were routed 3–1 by Manchester United at the Emirates.
Chelsea players too could not believe themselves 90 minutes after they literarily held Hull City to a 1–1 draw. Those two encounters slowed down the two team’s title aspirations, at least in the interim.
But both sides have an opportunity tomorrow’s evening to relaunch their title chase with a duel at Stamford Bridge. It is one encounter, which promises great expectations and high drama.
Chelsea still leads the pack with 55 points from 24 outings. Arsenal is in the third position with 49 points.
Both of them need the full marks to be in contention for the season’s title. Beyond that, they will be playing for pride.
Last season for instance, Arsenal dusted Chelsea at the Bridge 2–1 in the first stanza; that was their last Premiership triumph over Chelsea. Since then, Chelsea has beaten Arsenal on two occasions at the Emirates.
Another Premiership victory this time at the Bridge will confirm Chelsea’s superiority over Arsenal, at least in recent times. That explains why the tie will be tight for both of them.
Arsenal may have been dismayed after the Emirates’ debacle, but as a side that has character, it may have tucked that behind it. Perhaps, its biggest motivation will be this outing against the Blues.
Arsene Wenger still strongly believe in his youthful side, which he will unlease on his guests.
Their delightful passes and quick dashes will be the team’s cutting edge as they go to battle.
However, the Gunners have to contend with Didier Drogba, the man who looks almost certain to score in every encounter. The attacking power of Nicolas Anelka, Michael Ballack and Florent Malouda, will be real problem for them.
Everyone is waiting to see who kisses the dust at the Bridge after the last blast of the whistle.
By: COSMAS OMEGOH
THE SUN NEWSPAPER
06TH FEBRUARY, 2010.