This has to be the best example of Role- Reversal.
Arsenal were under pressure to make it to the group stages of Champions League after they lost to Aston Villa in the opening day of the season. The morale went down, fans booed, wrote open letters and what not, yet they made it.
Chelsea on the other hand were destined for glory under Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese was back at the London club and things looked rosy for them after back-to-back league triumph.
Even after reaching the group stages, Arsenal were pitted in the Group of Death while Chelsea got a relatively easy group to deal with.
But, on the opening day of the Champions League, the Gunners went to France to face Marseille and emerged as victorious, beating the Ligue 1 outfit 2-1.
Chelsea on the other hand were 1-0 ahead at half time through Oscar’s goal, yet ended up losing 2-1 at Stamford Bridge against FC Basel. Same score line. But, result was not in their favour.
Ahead of the match, Wenger remained cautious. The Frenchman knew the task was massive. With Napoli and Borussia Dortmund, the other two teams in the side; they have to win against Marseille – the relatively weak team in this group. Yes, relatively weak team that finished second in the French league last season.
Mourinho was pretty confident. He was dealing with metaphors, the egg comparison, bringing all his wit into play. Little did he know the eggs will be on his face after the match.
Though, Arsenal may still not qualify to the next round, because of the group they’re in. And likewise, Chelsea can finish the group on top too. But, that’s a matter of conjecture. As of now, what is evident is, Arsenal have found strength as their derby rivals, Chelsea seem to be wilting under pressure.
Readers, have you ever read Katherine Mansfield’s The Fly? The role-reversal of Boss and Woodifield brings to mind here…