Chelsea's cavalier style suits Juan Mata but leaves Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with a headache

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2

London's two most successful sides of recent years will make the customary transition to Champions League games this week in different mood. Each will be expected to win, but in Arsenal's case at home to Olympiakos a tightening up at both ends of the pitch will be required to offset the bitter disappointment of Saturday's 2-1 defeat, whereas Chelsea merely need more of the same against the Danish champions Nordsjælland.

Arsène Wenger was understandably upset that his team were "passive on both goals" conceded and Laurent Koscielny, at fault twice, is likely to pay the price by making way for Per Mertesacker on Wednesday. The other important Arsenal fixture this week is an Under-21 game against West Bromwich Albion today in which Jack Wilshere (after 14 months) and Emmanuel Frimpong will return in midfield.

As for the European champions, Roberto di Matteo has been charged with simultaneously improving both results and style in order to keep his job. So far, so good on both counts with a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League and acclamation too for artistic interpretation as £57m worth of new recruits in Eden Hazard and Oscar join up with Juan Mata in a midfield trio that might have seemed to be too much of a good thing. Against Stoke City's roundheads the previous week that was the case but Arsenal's more similar style enabled the three cavaliers to prosper.

"They're intelligent players and we're trying to integrate them into our system," Di Matteo said, while warning: "They have to realise they have responsibilities too. They have some freedom but still we need to keep some kind of discipline when we're out of possession. I still think we have to improve a lot on that side. As exciting as it is to have them all on the pitch, when we lose the ball we need to be able to defend as well."

All three would rather play in the centre immediately behind Fernando Torres, but Mata learned last season about coming inside from a wider starting position and Hazard is slowly doing the same. Spaniard Mata, whose free-kicks led to both goals on Saturday, is also benefiting from extra time after taking part in the European Championship and then the Olympics, as well as sitting out a couple of recent games. "I like to play with the ball, try and assist, with passing, with movement, with freedom and I think it's what Eden, Oscar and me are doing at the moment," he said.

It may be that one of the trio sits out tomorrow's game in Copenhagen, when Frank Lampard will be desperate to return after being left out of the last two League matches. At 34, his future will be much discussed unless or until a new contract is signed in the next few months. On Saturday, Di Matteo left him stewing in the dug-out all game, sending on much younger men in Victor Moses and Ryan Bertrand as Chelsea played counter-attack in the last half-hour after Mata had restored their lead.

John Terry, as imperturbable as ever, held the defence together, although Petr Cech was required to make two fine saves and Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla missed good chances.

Yesterday the former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman said black players would feel let down by the Terry case and that he should not have continued to play for England until it was heard – although that should have been much sooner and without waiting for Terry's court case. "As you talk to black players, what you will find is they respect him as a player but they really feel let down," he said.

Olympiakos still perfect

David Fuster ensured Arsenal's Champions League opponents Olympiakos continued their 100 per cent start to the league season with a 1-0 win away at Atromitos. The Spaniard headed in from a Jose Holebas free-kick to send Leonardo Jardim's men three points clear at the top.

Meanwhile, Nordsjaelland swept Danish Super Liga strugglers Esjberg aside 3-0 on Friday to keep them on the coat-tails of league leaders Copenhagen. Joshua John, Kasper Lorentzen and Nicolai Stokholm were all on target for Chelsea's opponents.

Match facts

Arsenal: MANNONE 6/10; JENKINSON 7; KOSCIELNY 5; VERMAELEN 5; GIBBS 6; RAMSEY 5; DIABY 6; CAZORLA 7; ARTETA 6; PODOLSKI 6; GERVINHO 7

Chelsea: CECH 8; COLE 7; TERRY 7; LUIZ 6; IVANOVIC 6; MATA 8; RAMIRES 6; OSCAR 6; MIKEL 6; HAZARD 8; TORRES 7

Goals: Arsenal Gervinho 42. Chelsea Torres 20, Mata 53. Subs: Ar Oxlade-Chamberlain 7 (Diaby, 17), Giroud 6 (Podolski, 67), Walcott 6 (Ramsey, 67). Ch Moses (Oscar, 73), Cahill (Luiz, 81), Bertrand (Mata, 85). Booked: Ar Ramsey, Vermaelen. Ch Oscar, Luiz, Ramires. Man of match Hazard. Match rating 8/10. Poss: Ars 51%. Chels 49%. Attempts on target Ars 4. Chels 3. Ref M Atkinson (Yorkshire). Att 60,101.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering