Frank Lampard and his side had failed to rescue a single point from a losing position until they came from a goal down to beat Arsenal 2-1 on Sunday
Chelsea’s remarkable run of failing to earn a single point from a losing position in this season’s Premier League came to a dramatic end on Sunday, as the Blues pulled off an incredible late comeback to triumph 2-1 at Arsenal.
The Gunners had deservedly opened the scoring just 13 minutes in through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and, in truth, the hosts could have added to their tally before Frank Lampard changed the course of the game by introducing Jorginho in place of Emerson shortly after the half-hour mark.
It was the second time in a row that the Blues boss had felt compelled to change his formation, with the 3-4-3 formation abandoned in favour of a 4-3-3, after lengthy consultation with his assistant, Jody Morris.
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Chelsea had surprised Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham with their three-man defence but new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had clearly seen it coming.
Consequently, Lampard had to continually tweak his line-up until he discovered a winning formula. As well as Jorginho, Callum Hudson-Odoi and 19-year-old debutant Tariq Lamptey also made big impacts on the game after coming on as substitutes.
The introduction of Lamptey was particularly bold and another win in north London brings back optimism to a team that had suffered five defeats in their previous nine games in all competitions.
Still, Chelsea rode their luck to hit back from 1-0 down, with Jorginho fortunate to avoid a second yellow card after cynically dragging down Matteo Guendouzi as the French midfielder tried to break.
Then, Bernd Leno made as big a contribution to Chelsea’s win as any sub, with the Arsenal goalkeeper horribly misjudging Mason Mount’s cross to leave Jorginho with a simple finish into an unguarded net.
There was nothing lucky about Abraham’s winner, though. The centre-forward led a fantastic break from inside his own half which ended with him firing home after exchanging passes with Willian before then rolling Shkodran Mustafi.
Didier Drogba is Abraham’s role model and this was certainly the kind of lethal, decisive finish against Arsenal that the Ivorian used to produce on a regular basis for Chelsea at the Emirates.
Lampard, unsurprisingly, celebrated the game’s decisive moment wholeheartedly. He has been criticised for his alleged inability to change games from the bench but his subs and tactical tweaks proved key.
Chelsea now have to do what they didn’t do after Tottenham, which is build on a fine London derby victory by taking three points from a side they’re expected to beat, Brighton, in their first game of 2020.
They will certainly take great heart from the nature of this victory. On Sunday, the brittle Blues became comeback kings.