Bacary Sagna: How Arsenal lost the psychological battle with Chelsea FC

Bacary Sagna opens up about the rivalry between Chelsea FC and Arsenal during his spell with the Gunners

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger (Photo: The Sport Review)

Bacary Sagna has opened up about how he feels that Arsenal “under-evaluated” themselves when coming up against teams like Chelsea FC in the past.

Chelsea FC enjoyed a period of dominance over their London rivals between 2008 and 2014 as the Blues only lost four of the 16 meetings between the two clubs.

The west London side also enjoyed plenty of success when it came to silverware, with the Blues having also won the Premier League and Champions League during a trophy-laden spell.

Sagna was a regular fixture in Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal team during that spell at right-back, with the former France international having left the Gunners to sign for Manchester City on a free transfer in the summer of 2014.

Now, the former Arsenal defender has revealed how he thinks that the Gunners failed to play up to their strengths when coming up against their London rivals Chelsea FC.

Speaking in an interview quoted by the London Evening Standard, Sagna said: “I believe we under-evaluated ourselves. Playing for Chelsea image-wise was something different.

“They used their image a lot, they used to have some big players in the national team and we used to talk about them more than they talked about us.

“Maybe in our heads, they were bigger players than us. On the pitch, we had as much quality as they had whenever we played, and when we played the Arsenal way nobody could beat us.

“I believed nobody could beat us. We used to play simple passes, one, two-touches maximum. But I believe we under-evaluated ourselves which is a big mistake in life.”

Arsenal are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table and eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC with a game in hand.

Chelsea FC are on course to secure a Champions League qualification via a top-four finish this season.

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