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Chelsea boss still holds edge over Arsene Wenger

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Prior to yesterday's  fourth round Capital One Cup tie between Arsenal and Chelsea, it was easy for any betting enthusiast to place money on a Chelsea win without concerning himself with the rigours of analysing recent form. 

One major statistic stood out for the odds of Chelsea edging Arsenal even before the game kicked off. That is Arsene Wenger's dismal record against Jose Mourinho.

During the Portuguese manager's first stint in charge of the Blues, which lasted over three years, Wenger failed to record a single victory in eight encounters with Chelsea.

In fact the arrival of Mourinho in England coincided with the Gunners' downward spiral. The Frenchman just seems to to have shackles on his feet, cuffs on his hands and a gag on his mouth all masterfully monitored and maintained by Mourinho.

Otherwise how else would you explain a great manager's underwhelming record to another? Not even Sir Alex Ferguson dominated Wenger the way Mourinho has.

Well, many would argue that yesterday's result had no bearing to the Arsenal boss in his rivalry with Mourinho since the Capital One Cup is nothing more than a test drive for his new and unproven players.

He has always seen it as an opportunity for fringe players and academy graduates to stand up and be counted. But that in itself is the Frenchman's major problem.

For all his excellence in other areas of team management, Wenger has fallen short in the one arena where Mourinho has excelled - the desire to win.

The Portuguese has mastered the art of grinding out results - a virtue he has fed in to his teams over the years.

His teams play with a rare sort of resolve and a directness that rivals no other. On the other hand, Wenger's teams are more concerned with how the ball goes into the net than if it actually does. Beautiful football to say the least but one that is pretty costly to the team.

Yesterday's affairs were not different from the usual. Arsenal dominated Chelsea for long spells.

Everything beautiful was conjured by the Gunners midfield.

A nutmeg here by Santi Carzola, a flick there by Aaron Ramsey, a dribble here by Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky's trademark outside-the-foot forward passes.

But all that meant nothing  for as long as shots were not taken from long range, crosses were not being whipped in by the wing backs - especially Jenkinson and the hapless Ryo Miyaichi.

By the end of the first half it was apparent to the simplest of minds that Ryo's young shoulders were exceedingly overwhelmed by the encounter but Wenger left him in the fray until late in the game.

Mourinho on the other hand stuck to the only way he knows how to beat Wenger - take a seat deep in your half and catch them on the break.

Did it work effectively? Perfectly yes. Two goals on the counter made all the difference.

One a right footed effort by Juan Mata and the other a gift for Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea's mean defence conspired with Arsenal's profligacy in the final third to render Arsene to the usual. 

Can this result have any impact on the affairs of the Premier league table? It remains to be seen. However, no top class manager would take a loss comfortably to a direct foe, who is breathing down your neck with tough fixtures coming in thick and fast. 

Arsenal's resolve as a whole is under the harshest of litmus tests.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Chelsea

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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