Alexis Sanchez’s departure was followed by a 4-1 victory against Crystal Palace for Arsenal. However, the Gunners were aware that they will be thoroughly tested in their upcoming fixture against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.
The Blues, who although, were the first ones to open the scoring via a systematic attempt from Eden Hazard in the 7th minute, stumbled as the game progressed.
With his team one-up, Antonio Rüdiger saw a Nacho Monreal header flick off Marcos Alonso, hit him, and go in for an equalising own goal.
Furthermore, when Alexandre Lacazette hauled back a low cross, the ball deflected off the German, only to travel towards Granit Xhaka, who happened to be in an ideal position to stretch out a leg and score the match-winner.
The substantial game saw Ross Barkley being brought on for the first time for Willian on the half-hour mark. The Brazilian attacker had to be forced off with an injury, and the recent signing had to get ready rather quickly.
However, Barkley took his time with the preparations, which reportedly riled up the Italian tactician. Conte had to order him to disrobe roughly ten times before the order finally reached the former Everton midfielder.
Despite the verbal volley with the gaffer on the sidelines, the English international was given an opportunity to test out his skills in his debut match.
It didn’t take him long to be involved on the pitch, sustaining a surprising tackle from Jack Wilshere. He then committed a rash challenge on Koscielny that bestowed the opposition with a free-kick from a lethal position.
Regardless, the EFL title hopes are over for the Blues, following last night’s defeat at the Emirates. Conte has fewer competitions to worry about now, after being knocked out of this tournament, whilst being stuck 15 points below the leaders in the Premier League.
Written by Hritwik NE
Passionate writer, coated in Blue.