New year, same scapegoat - Arsenal's fall guy slated again after Chelsea loss
After 20 minutes of Arsenal's trip to Stamford Bridge, things weren't looking too great for Unai Emery.
Goals from Pedro and Alvaro Morata had given Chelsea a two-goal lead, the second goal coming seconds after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had missed a sitter from deep inside the home side's penalty area.
By half-time, things were considerably better for the visitors. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who had also been guilty of firing over from a decent position, brought them back into the game before Alex Iwobi drew them level in time for the break.
Arsenal had dug themselves out of a hole, although for one of their players, his involvement in the game was over.
Granit Xhaka was poor in the first 45, so much so that Emery decided to give him the hook in favour of Lucas Torreira.
The Swiss international's touch was poor, he often passed the ball right to the feet of blue jerseys and he looked sluggish as Chelsea bodies, namely Jorginho and N'Golo Kante scurried all over him in the midfield section.
Emery's decision was a welcome one for many Gunners supporters, as was evident from their reaction on Twitter.
It hasn't worked out for Xhaka since his arrival from FC Basel, and indeed if Arsenal supporters have their way, he'll be leaving the club as soon as is possible.
I thought Xhaka would make it to September tbh. Brutal.
— Tayo3000 (@DJTayo) August 18, 2018
Xhaka going off at half time. 😍
— Osman (@OsmanZtheGooner) August 18, 2018
Xhaka just not up for this man
— EMMANUEL FRIMPONG (@IAMFRIMPONG26) August 18, 2018
That halftime swap of torreira for Xhaka is all emery had to do to win me over
— YankeeGunner (@YankeeGunner) August 18, 2018
Xhaka off at HT. There's hope for Emery.
— Un Prophète (@mediocentr0) August 18, 2018
Xhaka is useless AND a liability...
— Gazwthegooner (@Gazwthegooner) August 18, 2018
Like the fact that Emery isn’t afraid of making these big calls though. No way Ozil and Xhaka get hooked before.
— S (@wood10_) August 18, 2018