By Tim Harrison
There are times when you know how a game will pan out, and can confidently declare the score ahead of the whistle.
Not so Chelsea v Arsenal at the Bridge last weekend when unpredictability was the only certainty. A glorious spectacle in the muggy warmth, it could have resulted in any of a dozen scorelines.
In the end, the Blues triumphed 3-2 after sub Eden Hazard - getting back to match fitness after his truncated summer break - fed Marcos Alonso, who nutmegged Petr Cech for the winner.
Even then, it was touch and go whether Chelsea, displaying generosity to their rivals, would cling on.
Clairvoyants now predict final 1-2-3-4 placings of Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs, but with unguessable outcomes like the Bridge on Saturday, there’s scope for stumbling.
Chelsea travel to Newcastle this weekend, glad not to be facing on-loan maverick Kenedy, in hot water for kicking out at a Cardiff opponent last weekend.
With one point to their name, Rafa Benitez’s men need a home win. But Chelsea gaffer Morrie Sarri has the resources to beat the Magpies.
Mercifully, the game is not an early kick-off. If it’s one thing Chelsea seem poor at, it’s early starts away from home.
Sarri called some of his team’s defending against the Gunners “orrible”, and it’s true there was an eerie openness to the match. One real plus is a return to form for Ross Barkley, who has earned another start for his efforts.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
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