Rio Ferdinand plays down Arsenal's win at Chelsea

‘That was a patched up Chelsea team… let’s have a little reality check’: Rio Ferdinand plays down Arsenal’s win at Stamford Bridge, and insists if anything happens to William Saliba or Gabriel Jesus the drop off will be ‘MASSIVE’

  • Rio Ferdinand has questioned Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea at the weekend
  • Arsenal won 1-0 but Ferdinand says it was against a below-par Blues outfit
  • However, he did heap praise on Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba
  • The Manchester United legend labelled the duo as standout stars this season
  • Ferdinand suggested Arsenal would be unable to replace both Jesus and Saliba

Rio Ferdinand is refusing to get carried away with Arsenal’s brilliant start to the season, insisting that their 1-0 victory at Chelsea on Sunday was against a ‘patched up’ team.

The Gunners sit top of the Premier League on 34 points with 11 wins from their opening 13 matches.

Speaking post-match, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta revealed they are harbouring title ambitions this term, something Ferdinand believes could be pre-mature.

Rio Ferdinand believes there is still a long way to go for Arsenal and their title ambitions

Gabriel Magalhaes (centre) scored the only goal of the match in their 1-0 win over Chelsea

Ferdinand insists Chelsea (above) played a weakened side in Sunday’s league loss to Arsenal

Ferdinand says the Gunners need a ‘reality check’ despite their fine win in west London

‘What I would say is I agree the control without the ball against Chelsea was next level. Unreal,’ he told his Vibe with Five YouTube channel.

‘It shows you the coaching and hard work that has gone in under the manager. That was a patched up Chelsea team, they are missing Reece James, Ben Chillwell, Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana, Ngolo Kante, there is six players that more or less start in that team.

‘I was so impressed with how Arsenal played but let’s have a little reality check. Arsenal are a serious team now but it wasn’t even their (Chelsea’s) first-team.’

Arsenal’s win in west London came courtesy of Gabriel Magalhaes’ second-half strike but it was the efforts of Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba that caught Ferdinand’s eye.

Gabriel Jesus has been recognised as one of Arsenal’s most important players this season

Defender William Saliba has starred for the Gunners since returning to the club in the summer

‘(Arsenal’s) most important player is Gabriel Jesus or William Saliba. If those players come out the team, the drop-off from that level is massive.

‘You could play Granit Xhaka in Thomas Partey’s position and get through a couple of games, but you won’t get the same output from someone who comes in for Jesus or Saliba.

Jesus has starred since completing his £45million summer move to the Emirates from Man City off the back of lifting his fourth Premier League title in Manchester, scoring five goals and registering five assists in the league.

While for a long time Saliba was an outcast under Arteta, being sent on loan three times before being re-called to kick-start his Gunners career three years after signing for the club.

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