‘Men against boys’: Rio Ferdinand blasts Chelsea’s performance after embarrassing loss to Arsenal

‘Men against boys’: Rio Ferdinand blasts Chelsea’s performance after embarrassing loss to Arsenal

Rio Ferdinand labelled Chelsea’s performance against Arsenal as ‘men playing against boys’ as Mauricio Pochettino’s side slumped to a 5-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

Leandro Trossard opened the scoring for the hosts after just four minutes before a brace each for Ben White and former Chelsea star Kai Havertz gave the Gunners a comfortable win.

Speaking on TNT Sports after the match, Ferdinand claimed that the Blues were way off the level they have been hitting in recent weeks.

“They [Chelsea] were second best all over the pitch today,” he said. “This was men against boys. They have been good in recent weeks and this season. I think they were way off it.

“We were saying before, where’s the experience when there’s going to be a rocky moment in this game? Where are the people and the characters that will drag the younger players along and say; ‘follow me’?”.

Ex-Arsenal star, Martin Keown, chose to focus on the performance of his former club giving praise in particular to Havertz and Martin Odegaard.

“It was an emphatic victory, the club united,” said Keown. “What a fantastic start of both halves. Odegaard really at it, Declan Rice too and Kai Havertz scored the two best goals in the game. It sends a real message to Man City.

“When he [Havertz] came here there was a perception that he was very passive as a player, but there was nothing passive about his performance tonight.”

Elsewhere, Joe Cole, put Chelsea’s display down to a lack of experience in key moments and claims the Blues need to respond in their next match versus Aston Villa.

“Ultimately [the defeat came down to] dealing with the different spells and seasons of a game. Early on, away to Arsenal with two of your best performers in [Malo] Gusto and [Cole] Palmer out of the side and a young kid coming in a full-back, he needs to be protected.

“For the first goal, Havertz just wonders into space, that sets the tone. All of a sudden Declan Rice is running at Alfie Gilchrist, turns him inside and they concede a goal. In crucial moments of the game they didn’t show enough maturity and it’s frustrating for the manager.

“They have to bounce back with a better performance. There’s losing the game and then there’s losing the game to your London rivals in that fashion. I think that really sticks with the fans.”