Positive #2: Strong mentality
We have already seen it displayed countless times in recent years, but this match once again showcased the elite mentality Arteta is developing at the club. Prior tBeforeign, had we gone two goals down at Stamford Bridge, we would have likely lost the game by three or four, perhaps even more.
However, it is a testament to the work of the Spaniard that I for one, never thought that would be the outcome of this game. That isn’t to say I expected the side to rescue a point because I didn’t, but I was certain that they wouldn’t simply capitulate and gift Chelsea the win.
Speaking after the game, Arteta was keen to praise this aspect of our game, saying:
"“I have no doubt about that, I could see at half-time that there was a knife between our teeth, and we accepted that we have to do much better. The game state was there for us and we had that belief and even when we conceded the goal and the way we conceded, we continued to be like this, and I loved that about the team.”"
The players proved once again that they have the mental fortitude needed to sustain a serious title charge.
Negative #2: Didn’t push for the win
Obviously, rescuing a point having been two goals down against a resurging Chelsea side should be applauded, but I was disappointed that after scoring the equaliser, the team failed to push for a winner with any real conviction.
We had the momentum, we had the players needed to score the winner and we should have had the belief needed to score the winner given our tendency to score late goals. Instead, what ensued was a cagey final ten minutes in which both teams looked afraid to lose the game.
Sometimes you have to protect what you’ve got, but in this case, I feel as though there was a real opportunity to miraculously steal all three points.
Continued on the next slide…