By ‘Ifreke Inyang
The London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal ended 5-3 in favour of the Gunners. With matches like this every other weekend in the English Premiership, there is no chance of me moving to La Liga, Serie A or even Belgium’s Jupiler League. Absolutely no chance.
From the 14th minute when Frank Lampard stooped to head home Mata’s delicious cross from the right up till the 92nd minute when Robin Van Persie slammed home the eight goal of the encounter, the drama was intense and relentless. Before this season, I can’t remember any other time when a game between two big teams ended with a score line as big as this. And the frequency with which it has happened this season already is just amazing.
It started with Manchester United’s trashing of Arsenal at Old Trafford in August. The Champions ruthlessly brushed aside a Gunners side that was still recovering from the loss of two key men 8-2 with Wayne Rooney grabbing a hatrick. The Red Devils got a dose of their own medication when fierce rivals, Manchester City visited them at Old Trafford less than two weeks ago and stunned them 6-1. No one saw that coming. Not Alex Ferguson, not Roberto Mancini, not even Mario Balotelli who frustrates more than he inspires.
No one saw Arsenal’s humiliation of Chelsea coming either. Yes, the Gunners had picked up a bit of form after their humiliation at Old Trafford and were stringing together a couple of wins in the League and in Europe. But very few pundits genuinely believed they would get any decent result at Stamford Bridge. How wrong they were. Arsenal reminded us why they still remain a big club with a performance that was nothing short of sensational. Although the defensive frailties were evident, the front three of Van Persie, Walcott and Gervinho were ripping through a shaky Chelsea defence at will. Even the left back, Andre Santos seemed to have the left side of the pitch all to himself, marauding forward without hesitation. It was simply breathtaking attacking football.
But that has been the case all season in England. More and more teams are beginning to go forward more, rather than build a wall of defence in order to earn a draw or keep the score line down. This has led to a lot of teams playing with a very high defensive line, the result being that the Premier League has gone goal crazy this season. A total of 31 goals were scored on Saturday alone and that meant it’s more entertaining watching football in England than in any of the big leagues across Europe. Overall, there been 291 goals scored so far, which gives you an average of 2.97 goals per game. There’s little or no boredom anymore – there have only been eight 0-0 draws in the 97 matches played so far. The football says it all. The statistics confirm it. So why should I bother which league the likes of Ronaldo and Messi play?
Err.. Of course I’m kidding! Lol. Having said so, it is the EPL I’m earnestly looking forward to again this weekend!