Antonio Conte was supposed to be the man to bring back Chelsea’s defensive resolve.
On the evidence of Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday the Italian has a very big job on his hands.
The Blues produced one of the most frantic defensive displays since owner Roman Abramovich took charge of the club over a decade ago and left Twitter wondering whether Arsenal were that good, or Chelsea that bad.
Arsenal have been magnificent but Chelsea...dear oh dear. Absolutely wretched.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) September 24, 2016
I think Chelsea have looked more bad than Arsenal have looked good
If that makes any sense at all...— Mellor (@MellorFootball) September 24, 2016
I can't remember the last time I saw Chelsea this bad and Arsenal this good.— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) September 24, 2016
No disrespect to Arsenal's performance today, fully deserved win but they've won because of Chelsea here. Absolutely dreadful.— Josh (@Joshy_T1) September 24, 2016
Chelsea gifted the first goal when Gary Cahill woefully under-hit a backpass that allowed Alexis Sanchez to race through on goal and the shell-shocked visitors never recovered as Arsenal pulled them apart at will.
It was a glorious 45 minutes for Arsenal fans especially as they had not scored against Chelsea in their previous six league games.
The Gunners more than made up for it as Theo Walcott grabbed a second before Sanchez teed up Mesut Ozil for a third to make it 15 games since Chelsea last kept a clean sheet.
2-0. Scintillating football by Arsenal. We're ripping Chelsea to pieces. #afc— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 24, 2016
Every time Arsenal get in the final third, it's panic stations for Chelsea right now,— Dan Levene (@danlevene) September 24, 2016
Chelsea look lost without Terry— Liam Jones (@LiamJoness_x) September 24, 2016
Conte arrived at Stamford Bridge with a reputation for whipping a defence into shape – as he proved at Euro 2016 with Italy – but the Blues are yet to keep a clean sheet in his eight games in charge and the deadline-day return of David Luiz doesn’t seem to have helped.
Luiz wasn’t one of the first defenders Conte chased during a transfer window that proved frustrating in his bid to bolster the defence, and the side-effects of those failed deals were on full display, especially with captain John Terry sidelined.
No it's Cahill today! Luiz not great for the two Leicester goals midweek though!! https://t.co/5vSh8WvJNa— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) September 24, 2016
Gary Cahill and David Luiz is the worst centre half partnership since Gary Cahill and David Luiz.— R™ (@RealTalkMUFC) September 24, 2016
Chelsea demonstrating why Antonio Conte wanted to sign four new defenders when he took this job. #ARSCHE— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) September 24, 2016
Right, I'm out! Can't watch this defence! Chocolate fire guards! Well done for winning the league in Sept, Arsenal! 💤💤💤💤— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) September 24, 2016
Still think Chelsea could finish 8th #Progress— Tim (@CookPassTim) September 24, 2016
But while Chelsea fans were lamenting the possibility of another long season ahead, the mood was significantly more upbeat in north London.
Come on Arsenal, do something to annoy me or I will literally have nothing to moan about for the first game ever. #afc— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 24, 2016
On Wenger's 1,000th game Chelsea humiliated Arsenal 6-0. On his 20th year anniversary he gets his revenge.— Lord Aitkins (@LordGooner) September 24, 2016