It was a fiery affair for Arsenal during the match against Chelsea, and at this moment, it depends on how you see it and which side you’re on. I may be a true Arsenal fan, but I have my opinions on how things should have turned out. And definitely for the better.
Everything about the match was fair and square, with both sides battling for ball possession and for a chance to score. Things began to unravel just before half-time, when Chelsea forward Diego Costa and Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny were involved in a minor face-off. Costa had his hands and arms all over Koscielny’s face, and after a chest bump, the Frenchman fell to the ground. What looked like it might have boiled and bubbled over eventually turned into a nightmare for the Gunners. Koscielny was smart to have gotten up and dusted himself before walking away. Or perhaps, he could have walked away unscathed if it wasn’t for the likes of Gabriel.
Gabriel was stupid and naive enough to be easily baited by Costa to react and retaliate. If he’d only just walked away after being booked. If he’d just not involved himself at all. The game wouldn’t have soured. In the eyes of the referee, your actions matter the most, whether you were defending yourself or your teammates or your ego. And to the other player, if he could get you sent off, he would. After all, it’s part and parcel of the game. Less one rival to contend with, less strength for the opposition, less worries for your own team and victory is not very far away.
Truth be told, after watching the replays over and over, both Costa and Gabriel should have been red carded. The former for manhandling Koscielny and the latter for retaliating. The match might have ended in a goalless draw (better for the Gunners than losing), or if Chelsea was strong enough, they would have still overcome a struggling Arsenal side. To Arsenal fans, Costa wasn’t playing fair and the referee Mike Dean wasn’t managing the match fairly either. To Chelsea fans, taking advantage of the incidents (after Santi Cazorla received his second booking and marching orders) and turning the game to their favour was all that mattered.
What happened that night depends on how you feel about football and which team you’re rooting for. Read the post-match analysis here on Arsenal.com. On a lighter note, I finished reading ‘Fangirl’ last night. It was so easy to read, and so crucial to know what happens between Cath and Levi that I ended up reading on a roll. It felt so good just reading it, yet at the same time, I didn’t want it to end. But all good things must come to an end. And it did. I’ll be honest with you. I’m sad that it did. It was a lovely book, no doubt about that.