That was worse than the 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford, It was even worse than the thumpings at City and Liverpool earlier this season. This was a top of the table battle, at a crucial part of the season. And Arsene Wenger and Arsenal got it all wrong. Even before the red card horror story, Arsenal were ripped apart as the midfield as Wenger set his side up wrong. Chelsea at home, had two defensive midfield players, yet Wenger left Flamini on the bench, went with one holding midfielder and watched Chelsea blow open the game in the opening 10 minutes.
It was an embarrassing performance by Chelsea and afterwards Wenger told the BBC:
“This defeat is my fault, I take full responsibility for it.
“I don’t think there’s too much need to talk about the mistakes we made. We got a good hiding today.
“It’s one of the worst days (in my career). It’s over after 20 minutes and it’s a long game after that. You don’t prepare all week to experience that kind of experience.”
Chelsea were already 2-0 up when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled an Eden Hazard shot and Marriner instead showed the red card to Gibbs, despite his team-mate apparently approaching the referee to admit wrongdoing.
“I believe it was handball but the referee hasn’t seen it,” Wenger added.
“The ball went out and I think it’s Chamberlain who touched the ball.
“I don’t know who gave indication to the referee that it was handball but he has certainly not seen it.”
Wenger admits Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League are bleak as his focus immediately turned to Tuesday’s match with Swansea.
“It leaves it (the title chances) in a very bad situation,” he said.
“But we want to respond. We had two difficult away games as Tottenham and Chelsea.
“If we had played two draws we’d have two points. Having won one we have three points.
“But today is a huge disappointment, of course. When you don’t turn up in a game of this stature – nobody takes that easy.”