Five things we learned about Chelsea following Arsenal draw

Goalmouth Melee Arsenal Chelsea

Chelsea earned an excellent draw away to London rivals Arsenal in the last Premier League game before Christmas, and there were five things to discuss as a result of the performance

Fernando Torres looks like little more than a work-horse

Both teams were lacking some real class upfront, and though Torres was full of plenty of hardwork and running, a team of Chelsea's size, and with their financial capacity, should be seeking to employ one of the world's top strikers up front. Seeing the outstanding form of Luis Suarez, and Sergio Aguero before his injury, must persuade Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich to dig deep in their pockets to go out  and invest in a top-level forward. Didier Drogba in his prime, and Romelu Lukaku for Everton this year, are full of running and hard work as well as possessing a genuine goal threat, and that is what Chelsea should be aiming for.

John Obi Mikel and Ramires proved to be valuable option for these kinds of games

John Obi Mikel is a player oft debated amongst Chelsea fans, deemed by some to be of insufficient quality, and by others a no-nonsese anchorman that does the dirty-work well for little credit. Him and the ever impressive Ramires provided an energetic and determined central midfield which Frank Lampard could break from deep from. Hugely important against sides skilful in possession such as Arsenal, the two worked their socks off at closing down players and passing options, and it is easy to see why they are implemented in games such as these by Mourinho.

Has Willian impressed enough to oust both Juan Mata and Oscar?

Brazilian Willian has had a slow start to his Chelsea career, with many people wondering just why the Blues would need a player like him when they had stars such as Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata at the club. In the Arsenal match, Mourinho awarded a start to the former Shakhtar player, a significant show of trust in the playmaker considering the importance of the game, but did he deserve such a chance? Willian had improved in recent appearances, but during the game, failed to impress in key attacking positions. It would come as no surprise to see either Oscar or Mata restored to the starting line up for the next Chelsea game.   

This is a result that would suit Chelsea much more than Arsenal

In such games, the onus is always on the home team to come out and create the chances against their opposition. That Chelsea restricted Arsenal so effectively for the majority of the game, while looking dangerous on the counter attack for the opening half, meant that the Blues successfully followed their manager's plans to a greater degree than Arsenal did. It was also a chance for Arsenal to banish the memory of their 6-3 battering to Manchester City, which will now remain in their mind for that little while longer.

The Chelsea defence impressed

Both John Terry and Gary Cahill were excellent in the face of one of the leagues most dangerous attacking teams, getting in the way of all manner of Arsenal passes, crosses and shots. The Chelsea captain once again looks one of the strongest defenders in the league. Likewise, Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta impressed on either side of the two centre backs, and such a strong defensive display provides an excellent foundation for Mourinho to build on as he heads into the New Year.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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