Maybe it was the curse of Kevin Keegan – wanting it too much and ending up losing.
The game was a hotly contested and ill tempered affair as you would expect and Costa was in the heart of it as you would also expect. It was similar to the game at Chelsea where both teams went for it and it was very close until…
Well… Diego Costa did what he does best. But this time I have to give him some credit because unlike the previous game which was unfair this time it was the right decision.
I have said a lot of times that I think Gabriel should start instead of Mertesacker but this game was perhaps an exception because of what happened last time with Gabriel and Costa and they both have history. So this was perhaps the only game I would have started Mertesacker to avoid the scenario happening again but you could also say that Gabriel would have learnt from his mistake and would have been more up for it.
It didn’t matter though because Mertesacker started and his lack of pace really showed as Costa lost him and was through on goal until Mertesacker brought him down and had to be sent off. He had to go for it and took one for the team but maybe Costa would have missed or Koscielny would have caught him.
So Mertesacker got sent off and as a result a hard decision had to be made. Who would come off for Gabriel as you need two centre backs? Giroud or Campbell I thought and it was Giroud much to the crowd’s disbelief. I thought Campbell should have come off because it meant we had no target man to hold up the ball and Giroud has been on great form recently.
But Wenger had to make a tough choice and it made it so hard for us. Walcott went up front for a bit but we needed him on the wing. So in the end Özil was playing as a centre forward as well as attacking midfielder with nobody in front of him.
So 1-0 at half time and I couldn’t really see a way of us winning. Sanchez was on the bench but he wasn’t 100% fit.
The second half was better as we really went for it but just couldn’t score. If I was Chelsea fan I would have been embarrassed as they were doing their classic tactic of parking the bus and they had an extra man. I think we gave everything but obviously it was too hard for us and they ended up winning 1-0.
So we are now 3 points off the lead in 3rd place but in this very open season it is still all very much to play for.