Arsenal 3 v Chelsea 1

Arsenal sensationally crushed Chelsea with a quick second half burst that had the Blues struggling for answers on an evening that has been long in the waiting for north London.Alex Song had already given the Gunners a first half lead, but the two minute burst from Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott after the break earned Arsenal a famous win that lifts them into second place in the Premiership. Branislav Ivanovic headed a goal to reduce the arears, but this was a determined, resilient and deserved Arsenal side who were worth the victory, and can only be a good sign for the remainder of the season.


The opening exchanges were of a cagey nature, with few chances created. Song found Robin Van Persie, but he lacked control with only Petr Cech ahead of him. Midway through the first half, Samir Nasri hit a free-kick that Cech gathered and after a neat exchange, Van Persie blasted over. The momentum was building as Arsenal surged forward again as Walcott forced Cech to concede a corner.


Four minutes before the break, Nasri – with very little back-lift – struck from Jack Wilshere’s pass, the ball going in, until Cech palmed over the bar. A minute before the break and Arsenal took a deserved lead. Chelsea had tried to force Arsenal wide, but Song was having none of it. He worked an opening with Wilshere and let fly with his left foot to give Cech no chance.


Referee Mark Clattenburg later admitted that he was about to award a penalty to Arsenal as Ivanovic felled Fabregas in the build up to the opener, but Song’s goal was divine retribution. Frank Lampard was making a first start in four months, and his attempt to find Didier Drogba who flashed a shot wide was all that the Blues had to show in the opening half. And things were about to get even worse for Chelsea.


Arsenal’s strategy to deny Chelsea time and space on the ball was proving to be paying dividends. Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel were poor and Drogba was virtually a passenger in the game. Six minutes after the re-start, Arsenal doubled their lead. Van Persie hussled the ball, forcing Essien into a back pass that Walcott seized on. Fabregas was steaming up alongside his team-mate to receive the ball and slot past Cech for his fifth goal of the season.


The Emirates crowd went delirious and two minutes later their joy was to become even more evident as Arsenal grabbed a third. Again Chelsea were hurried into a mistake. Fabregas lifted the ball into the path of Walcott to strike home with a crisp finish. 3-0 to the Arsenal and things were looking great.


However just to remind the Gunners that they have to work in defence, Drogba’s free-kick found it’s way to an unmarked Ivanovic to head home. Laurent Koscielny will look at that goal and his positioning as will Lukasz Fabianski who could have come to collect. Are we being picky here? Well Arsenal could have grabbed a fourth after Fabregas, Song and Walcott combined to set up Nasri. His clipped shot was just too close to Cech. Substitute Abou Diaby was set up by Wilshere, but Ivanovic blocked as the Gunners finished strongly for a well earned famous win.