Chelsea have a new coach.
Arsenal also have a new coach.
And last night’s friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin showed us that Maurizio Serri has inherited better professionals than Unai Emery has.
First half, it was men and boys.
I was a bit shocked by Chelsea’s easy superiority.
Starting teams were: Cech (captain); Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac; Elneny, Ramsey, Guendouzi; Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Ozil
Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta (captain), David Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso; Fabregas, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Morata, Hudson-Odoi
When Cesc Fabregas launched a driven corner from the right, Rudiger headed in powerfully from 12 yards’
1-0 to Chelsea.
An early goal can settle you down and this one seemed to work for Chelsea.
When Callum Hudson Odoi, a superfast seventeen-year-old winger, raced down the left and swerved into the box, Bellerin brought him down very clumsily.
By moving early, Petr Cech saved a sloppy spot-kick by Alvaro Morata. Cech also made a good save from Hudson-Odoi just before half-time.
Arsenal improved after the break and with 16 seconds remaining of the second half, Reiss Nelson clipped an inviting ball to the far post.
As the ball bounced sweetly to the unmarked Lacazette, you knew he would knock it in for 1-1.
The game went straight to a shoot-out and some good penalties by Tammi Abraham, Victor Moses and Matteo Guendouzi helped the score to 3-3.
When Cech saved from Loftus-Cheek that allowed Iwobi to slot the winner for 6-5.
VERDICT : This work-out gave both managers plenty to think about.
Neither man has played football in England. And Emery and Sarri have never managed here until now.
Lucas Torreira, Arsenal’s new midfielder from Sampdoria, will add a helluva lot to the team. The Uruguayan is world class.
Deadline Day is very soon: next Friday.