Maybe it was a way to make an audience of 25,000 feel at home. The goal, which gave Chelsea half-hearted bragging rights on an afternoon of boisterous entertainment, felt like a tribute to Arsenal’s failures. Rather, in the present, it showed that the unsolved problems in this part of north London persist on a significant scale, with a dozen days left until the new season.

To anatomize the winner in a friendly, in this case the first game in a three-team series that includes Tottenham, would generally be folly. However, this one told a few stories at the same time. Héctor Bellerín, who would like to leave Arsenal but has offered him a new contract in the absence of a sale offer, tried deeply in his own half to fit Granit Xhaka, whose employment situation is identical. It was headstrong and Tammy Abraham, who might leave Chelsea and has been linked with a move to Arsenal, was played through to make it 2-1 with a coolness the hosts may find seductive.

What will happen to these three players in the next month? No one can say for sure, and these chaotic tales of Abraham’s winners suited the whole occasion. Sometimes this encounter aroused the outrage that a derby usually arouses: stormy admonitions from the stands, as well as a series of pointed challenges and a dose of controversy when Joe Willock’s later shot was misjudged due to a lack of goal-line technology, it did not bounce off the crossbar . But these teams will meet again in three weeks if it matters, and no one will hope to be in this state by then.

Chelsea’s team will look very different, even though Thomas Tuchel has to cause an act of juggling. He put on a scratch team that smelled like tournament make-do after the summer, and started with just four of the starting eleven who won the Champions League, although Kai Havertz and Timo Werner were among a handful of national players who were welcome again . Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic were used as full-backs; Trevoh Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek got starts and by the second half of the year stocks were so low that Danny Drinkwater, Baba Rahman and Jake Clarke-Salter were also used.

“Tomorrow we will have four different groups on the training ground because they are all in different physical conditions,” said Tuchel, a fact that underscores the almost impossible fact that Chelsea are cooked through before they open against Crystal Palace. He had the feeling to put Werner and Havertz into action directly against the more stable arsenal, it could have been a bit too much. If they combined at the start, Havertz emphatically finished after he was raised by his colleague, and Werner should have doubled the lead, but struck weakly in the distance.

Arsenal’s loose build from behind may not be the only issue that lasted into the pre-season. While Arsenal arrived without Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, the team that will start in Brentford on August 13 felt close. This has its advantages, and at first glance, Tuchel would prefer the level of awareness of Mikel Arteta. However, Arteta has publicly admitted that Arsenal needs an overhaul, and the faces shown were a memory that is still pending. The changes must be buoyant in the next four weeks if a revolution is to be achieved.

That will be hammered home when he has to start the season with a midfield from Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny. The possibility is now great after Thomas Partey, a Rolls-Royce from a top performer in the first half hour, hobbled away with an ankle injury before the break. “He’ll have a scan tomorrow; It’s not looking good at the moment, ”said Arteta. Any long-term injury to Partey, of whose best arsenal has yet to be seen, would be a devastating blow to his plans. Xhaka took his place and briefly re-equalized with a header. “Granite will stay with us,” his manager promised, and it can become a necessity.

quick start Guide

Gunner’s victory marred by Nobb’s injury


Arsenal Women’s entertaining 2-1 win over Chelsea Women on Sunday was marred by an injury to Jordan Nobbs. The Arsenal midfielder was stretched off the field with an ankle injury, although the forecast is unknown. Young substitute Freya Jupp scored the winning goal after Reanna Blades destroyed Katie McCabe’s goal. Both managers were absent as recently Arsenal-appointed Jonas Eidevall was quarantined and Chelsea’s Emma Hayes was feeling uncomfortable. Nick Ames

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Arteta has been hailed by the debut of Ben White, whose need to deliver an action-packed performance after coming on for the second half may suggest what he’s got into. White made an amazing last gap block against Hakim Ziyech and hacked off the line after Bernd Leno half saved against Abraham. His athleticism and recovery speed will improve Arsenal, but more developments will have to be revealed in a short time.