In 13 meetings between Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, Wenger has failed to win a single time. Wenger will have to look to next season to get his first win over Mourinho after the teams played a goalless draw on Sunday.
Arsenal opened up the game in a frenetic pace and tried to take the game early to Chelsea, but Mourinho’s men kept on showing us why they are top of the table and have all but won the Premier League title this season. They play such a strong defensive game and the back four with Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry, and Cesa Azpilicueta is in sync like no other back four in the league. They are always positionally sound and rarely get overrun or get caught keeping a striker onside.
It was a physical game, as is usual in a London derby, and referee Michael Oliver handed out seven yellow cards. He sat the bar pretty high in the early stages of the game, but he missed a couple of clear penalties for Chelsea that should have been given. The most clear cut one was when Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina ran over Oscar when he was on his way through. Ospina was going for the ball but missed and went straight into Oscar and it looked more like a hockey hit than anything that should be on a soccer pitch.
Tactically, Mourinho seems to have the upper hand on Wenger, and Chelsea were able to absorb all the pressure that Arsenal put on his side early on and from there they started to grind their way back into the game, and it ended with only a slight possession advantage to Arsenal and each team had three shots on goal.
Despite it being a goalless draw, it was an entertaining affair, and it shows that a well-played game doesn’t have to have a bunch of goals in order to be deemed a good one. Arsenal are still very much in the driving seat to become the runner-up, having a game in hand on Manchester City and a spot in next season’s Champions League is pretty much in the bag.
With five games remaining, Chelsea has a 10 points lead over Arsenal and Manchester City, so all they need is two more wins to grab the title. Chelsea hasn’t lost a game in the league since Jan 1 when they suffered a 5-3 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur. In the following 13 games since, they have nine wins and four draws.
The way that Mourinho has come back after spending two years at Inter Milan and three years at Real madrid is very impressive. Last season he guided Chelsea to the third spot in the league and this season all points to them winning the title for the first time since the 2009/2010 season. He is the most successful manager in Chelsea history and he already added another medal to his trophy cabinet when Chelsea defeated Tottenham in the Capital One Cup Final. So if nothing unexpected happens and Chelsea goes on to win the league, he would have a double in his second season back in charge.
All four teams at the top have a lot of talent on the field and great managers to lead them, but it’s been clear from the start of the season that Chelsea has been a cut above the rest and that Mourinho is once again the best manager in the Premier League.