Chelsea 6 Arsenal 0

Arsene Wenger was not destined to savour his 1000th Premiership game in charge at Arsenal. Monumental in the Gunners’ season, the trip to west London was going to inject new found hope, and the belief that the team boasting the newest stadium in the Premiership would start to wrestle back some of the on field might from those nouveaux riche across the capital. Sadly, that objective will have to remain on hold after Chelsea inflicted a telling 6-0 defeat on the Gunners.

Kieran Gibbs was shown a straight red card, after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled in the area, the referee Andre Marriner clearly mistaking the two Arsenal players. Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schurrle and Eden Hazard from the penalty spot gave the Blues a 3-0 cushion within the quarter hour mark. Oscar made it 4-0 at half time, the Brazilian adding a fifth after the break with substitute Mohamed Salah getting his first Premiership goal after 71 minutes. So troubled was Wenger that he did not turn up to talk to the written media as is his usual way. The defeat will have a lasting affect on the Gunners’ season, but Tuesday’s visit of Swansea offers an element of redemption of sorts for Wenger’s side. The travelling Arsenal fans sung continually, despite the misery unfurling in from of their very eyes. Make no mistake about it, this loss hurt.

” It was a nightmare and I take full responsibility for it. What is important is to give a response on Tuesday night and that is it,” concluded Wenger.

Similar in fashion to high profile losses at the Etihad stadium and Anfield, Arsenal it would seem have not got the message. Go down a goal early on, and the key is not to concede soon afterwards. Defending a high line, the Gunners were picked off by the Blues who were without the suspended Ramires and Willian.

Ironically it was Olivier Giroud who had the first sighter on goal after four minutes. Gibbs fed Tomas Rosicky and with Giroud well placed, the Gunners’ striker saw his shot saved by Petr Cech. On such fine a margin, the character of the game would shift as Shurrle broke from deep to release Eto’o. He sidestepped past Oxlade-Chamberlain and hit beyond Wojciech Szczesny after five minutes.

Two minutes later and Santi Cazorla was bundled off the ball by Nemanja Matic. Shurrle took the pass and unchallenged raced into the Arsenal half before firing past Szczesny. The nightmare was in full effect on the quarter hour mark. Marriner assumed that Gibbs handled Hazard’s effort which was going wide, but intact it was Oxlade-Chamberlain covering in defence who was culpable. No matter for Marriner despite Oxlade-Chamberlain pleading that he was the guilty party. Gibbs was sent off and Hazard sent Szczesny the wrong way from the spot.

Fernando Torres replaced the injured Eto’o after nine minutes and the Spanish striker created Oscar’s first of the afternoon for a 4-0 half time lead. Giroud and Rosicky saw efforts go begging late on, but the Gunners were struggling to find any answer. Chelsea grabbed their fifth after Mikel Arteta and Rosicky tried to play out from defence, Oscar couldn’t believe his luck as Szczesny allowed the ball to pass under his dive. Salah beat the offside trap and took Matic’s deep pass to beat Szczesny to complete a totally miserable afternoon for the Gunners. Not even the memory of Arsenal’s October 2011 5-3 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge will help soothe the pain. The Gunners must recover and quickly.

Wenger accepted that Arsenal’s ambitions in the title race are fading.

” It leaves it in a very bad situation. But we want to respond. We had two difficult away games at Tottenham and Chelsea. If we had played two draws we’d have two points. Having won one we have three points. But today is a huge disappointment of course. When you don’t turn up in a game if this stature – nobody takes that.
We have to win the next game. That is what we have to focus on now and give a strong response,” he noted.