We continue our more detailed Scout Notes of the Gameweek 2 action with a look at Arsenal v Chelsea.
ARSENAL 0-2 CHELSEA
- Goals: Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m), Reece James (£5.5m)
- Assists: James, Mason Mount (£7.5m)
- Bonus: James x3, Lukaku x2, Edouard Mendy x1 (£6.0m)
Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) scored and put in a dominant display as Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 on Sunday.
The Belgian’s man-of-the-match performance earnt rave reviews, while Reece James (£5.5m) – who got the second goal – also impressed as a wing-back in Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 formation.
LUKAKU OFF THE MARK
Lukaku took just 15 minutes to get off the mark with the opening goal, sweeping home James’ delivery, and was unlucky not to add a second after a superb save from Bernd Leno (£5.0m).
The 28-year-old bullied Arsenal’s defence all afternoon, as he gave Chelsea a focal point up top and the clinical finisher that they have missed.
As a result, he collected two bonus points to return an eight-point Fantasy Premier League (FPL) haul in Gameweek 2.
After just one appearance, Lukaku already features amongst the top forwards for goal attempts, having attempted eight against the Gunners alone:
“What a start for Lukaku. In the beginning he struggled to touch the ball a little bit. Then he was very well integrated. He proved his value for the squad already. He linked really well with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz up front and gave something to the game that we did not have already.” – Thomas Tuchel
Lukaku deservedly grabbed the headlines, but this was a dominant team performance where others impressed, too.
James’ 18-point FPL haul – via a goal, assist, clean sheet and maximum bonus – was the biggest of his career to date.
Overall, he registered 42 final-third touches, more than any other player on the pitch, four goal attempts and two shots in the box, while his advanced role (no. 24 below) stood out, too:
Chelsea’s average position map v Arsenal
It’s now two clean sheets in two matches for Chelsea, though most FPL managers will surely be content to wait until Gameweek 7 before investing, given that their next four fixtures are Liverpool (a), Aston Villa (h), Tottenham Hotspur (a) and Manchester City (h).
ISSUES AT ARSENAL
While Arsenal’s opening day defeat at newly-promoted Brentford was perhaps unexpected, it has to be said that this result was on the cards.
Despite improving after the break, the Gunners 4-2-3-1 set-up looked devoid of width and left too much space for the likes of James to exploit.
However, it’s worth noting that the squad has been hit by Covid and injuries in the opening two weeks.
After the match, Mikel Arteta said:
“I don’t think the club in their history have faced something like this. We have to face the challenge. The league or table is not decided in August. The worst thing you can do is throw in the towel. We certainly are not going to do that. You have to understand the situation we have. We are missing nine players, and it is difficult. It is not just nine players – they are some big, big players.”
Worringly, Kieran Tierney (£5.0m) also limped off after 66 minutes with his side losing.
“They had to limp off. KT had an issue with his quad and Gabi (Martinelli) was cramping.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Arsenal, as their next Premier League game sees them make the trip to reigning champions Manchester City, though their fixtures do improve from Gameweek 4 onwards.
Arsenal XI: Leno, Cedric, Holding, Mari, Tierney (Tavares 66), Lokonga, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Saka (Aubameyang 61), Pepe, Martinelli (Balogun 79)
Chelsea XI: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Kovacic (Kante 72), Alonso, Mount (Ziyech 82), Havertz (Werner 90), Lukaku