I cannot think of many occasions in football where I have felt a combination of pride, happiness and disappointment all at the same time. That is how I felt at the full-time whistle at Stamford Bridge yesterday and it is the overriding feeling I have today.
Chelsea are the current Premier League champions and we left the pitch as the better team overall in a fiercely contested encounter. You wouldn't have many Gooners racing to use their foxy casino promo code on Arsenal getting a result at the Bridge, let alone ending up as the stronger team.
Football fans naturally view their own players higher than other onlookers, but I still hold the belief that man for man we are at least equal to Chelsea on paper, it has been mentally or tactically that we have fallen short in similar games in the past away from home.
Yesterday we were disciplined, aggressive and played with real purpose. All I have wanted is for us to stay in these type of games. If an opponent produces a moment of brilliance to win the match then so be it but let's just approach the game intelligently. That is exactly what the manager and the players served up.
The Arsenal midfield has been a talking point for a while now but we got to witness a first-half masterclass from Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman was everywhere. Decisive in duels, confident in possession and a danger around the Chelsea penalty box.
Arggh! Why couldn't his poke off the post bounced over Courtois' line rather than out? It's easy to say Lacazette should have scored the rebound, but the ball came back to him sharply and at an awkward height, not to mention on his weaker side. Bit gutted that we did not get that particular rub of the green on that occasion. That is the game ladies and gentleman, some you win, some you lose.
To have performed like this without Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez in the starting eleven could be massive for this squad. So much has been made of the contract situations of our two star players that too many people have written off the quality we have in this squad.
Nacho Monreal is the modern Gilberto in terms of just how so many of his performances go unnoticed. With Mustafi and Koscielny completing the back three, we have found some real balance and experience.
Alex Iwobi was not quite as lively after the break but during the first half especially I thought he knitted our attack together quite nicely, cutting in from the right and feeding Lacazette or popping off passes with Hector Bellerin down the flank.
I could go on throughout the entire team. Mustafi had his hands full with Morata but dealt with him as well as could be expected. The Spaniard wasn't able to fashion a clear-cut chance throughout the entire 90 minutes. I bet I've forgotten one or two haven't I? The point still stands though, as we limited the Champions to a handful of half chances. Chelsea did create one big chance though. Cesc Fabregas chipped a lovely through pass with his left foot for Pedro to race through on Cech's goal. I was certain he would score given how much time he had but Cech did brilliantly to stay big, also credit to the speedy Laurent Koscielny to race back and put off the former Barcelona man.
I'm still bloody waiting to see Alexis and Lacazette on the pitch at the same time. I'm pretty sure they haven't had a single minute together. That said, I thought it was certainly the right call to replace Lacazette. He linked up the play well in the first half and contributed with his front footed defending but he was not as impactful in the second half.
This team seem to be repairing the early season damage now after a convincing victory against Bournemouth and now a very creditable draw at the Bridge. We are floating around in midtable at present but it's ridiculously early. If we can maintain this work ethic, organisation and fluidity going forward then I don't think it's going overboard to say we can win our next 5 games in all comps at least.
Doncaster (h), West Brom (h), Bate (a), Brighton (h), Watford (a) all before a trip to Red Star Belgrade on October 19th.
I know, I know! One game at a time, things can change quickly, especially with Arsenal etc but allow me to lap up this feel-good feeling for a little while longer.
Unfortunately, Danny Welbeck may well be out for a while with a groin problem. He has worked tirelessly all season so far, even at Anfield during that shambles of a match. We've got options though and we may well get to see some Lacazette, Ozil, Alexis goodness when we face West Brom next Monday.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this ramble, my feelings are still very much mixed. I'm gutted that we have been prevented from experiencing such a high as we could have bowled out of West London with all three points, that would have been a massive high for the players and fans. But at least we have proved that it is very much a possibility in future away games.
I'd make this squad watch this match again after every training session as a reminder of what is expected of them in these types of game, in fact in every game. Not only what is expected but what they are capable of producing. Why do we need to feel inferior? Even without players like Mesut and Alexis in the team.
It will be a changed side no doubt in midweek, hopefully, those players selected will approach the game with the same purpose and this time we will get the win.
The Arsenal Vision Podcast should be recorded on Tuesday and available on Wednesday.