Pat Nevin: Why Chelsea’s European exit was bad news for Arsenal
Pat Nevin reckons Arsenal would be level on points with Chelsea if the Blues were still in the Champions League
Pat Nevin believes Arsenal would be level on points with Chelsea if the Blues hadn’t crashed out of the Champions League.
The west London side are 10 points clear of second-placed Arsenal ahead of the Premier League leaders’ trip to Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Had Chelsea stayed in the Champions League, I think they’d be probably level on points with Arsenal
Chelsea have picked up 13 points from a possible 15 in the Premier League since Jose Mourinho’s side crashed out of Champions League after an aggregate defeat by Paris Saint-Germain.
The former Blues midfielder feels that Chelsea have faded badly in recent months and the Champions League would have been one frontier too many for the three-time champions.
“They were doing it in a good bit of style,” Nevin told Newstalk.
“When they lost the physicality of Diego Costa up front, they’re basically playing with a guy who is a warhorse. There is nothing extra special there.
“Nemanja Matic has faded a bit and we all know Cesc Fabregas has faded a bit.
“There is part of me that think Jose Mourinho spotted that happening and thought there is only one way of doing this.
Nevin continued: “Had Chelsea stayed in the Champions League, I think they’d be probably level on points with Arsenal right now.
“I don’t think they could have kept on going. They haven’t got the depth in the squad.”
Chelsea edged to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday thanks to Eden Hazard’s first-half winner.
Mourinho’s men face Arsenal and Liverpool in their remaining six Premier League games of the season.