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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 May 2007, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Clockwatch - Arsenal-Chelsea


By Nathan Mercer

1759: Not much sympathy from the Arsenal fans as second-placed Chelsea trudge off the field having blown their last chance at a shot at the title.

1755: FULL-TIME: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea's valiant title bid comes to an end as Arsenal deny them the chance to continue their campaign with a 1-1 draw. The Premiership trophy is heading to Old Trafford.

1754: Emmanuel Eboue whacks an effort against the bar as Arsenal break. It looks to be all over for Chelsea now.

1752: Pulsating climax to the game as both sides push forward with tactics completely thrown out of the window. Chances at either end as both teams break on the counter but the critical finishing touch is lacking.

1750: What a chance for Salomon Kalou! The ball falls to him on the edge of the box with only Jens Lehmann to beat but he couldn't keep his effort down and Lehmann tips over the bar.

1748: The Chelsea fans still believe heading into the final few minutes. Chelsea have responded superbly this half and with Arsenal wasting their chances, the visitors are searching desperately for a crucial winner.

1746: Cracking Frank Lampard drive dips and swerves in front of Jens Lehmann forcing the German into a low save. It's all Chelsea now with Arsenal camped in their own half.

1745: John Terry connects with a deep Paulo Ferreira free-kick but it was always dropping over the bar and Jens Lehmann watches it drop on to his net.

1742: The home side look to have folded and can't re-assert themselves on the game. Arsenal fans have been here many times before this season and you sense Chelsea have a winner in them.

1740: Arsenal are struggling here and Michael Essien almost punishes the Gunners defence for failing to clear a corner. The Ghana midfielder lashes his shot over the bar from close range as Chelsea press for a winner.

1738: Interesting switch for Chelsea as Scott Sinclair comes on for the final 10 minutes. It's the first time the youngster has played in the Premiership and he replaces Shaun Wright-Phillips.

1735: Joe Cole crashes a left-foot drive into the back of the net but as he wheels away in celebration, he realises the linesman has his flag raised for offside.

1733: Chelsea are buzzing now and sense an unlikely turn-around. Lassana Diarra comes on for Jon Obi Mikel to freshen things up in midfield as Arsenal look stunned.

1730: GOAL: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
Shaun Wright-Phillips at last gets beyond his marker and delivers a perfect cross for Michael Essien who glances his low header past Jens Lehmann.

1728: Pure Arsenal. Why have a shot when you can take three more passes? Inevitably Cesc Fabregas' flick fails to find Emmanuel Adebayor and Chelsea clear.

1725: Two corners in quick succession for the Gunners. Jon Obi Mikel blocks Kolo Toure's header for the first and William Gallas somehow heads the second over when it was easier to score. Five yards out, the goal at his mercy and the Frenchman fluffs his lines to hammer the final nail in Chelsea's coffin.

1722: Arsenal are starting to enjoy themselves now, and why not? They look fresher and more confident and are spraying the ball around with zest and ease. Chelsea are hanging in there and aren't done yet.

1720: Alexander Hleb comes on for the Brazilian who is led down the tunnel on a stretcher.

1717: Denilson is in alot of trouble as he rolls of the pitch in agony. If you're a fan of his work as I am, you'll be concerned to hear that he's clutching his foot which could well be a metatarsal injury. Don't hold me to that, though.

1715: A roar breaks out around the Emirates as Frank Lampard blasts a free-kick into row Z. Chelsea need to make the most of threatening positions like those if they're to have any chance of testing Jens Lehmann.

1713: Chelsea have been purposeful in their attacks and are getting numbers forward when they come forward. But it's leaving them open at the back and Cesc Fabregas and co are enjoying far more time on the ball.

1711: Arsenal start well and with their numerical advantage, they force Chelsea to chase the game all over the pitch.

1709: Minutes after missing his chance Emmanuel Adebayor goes into the referee's book with a late challenge on Paulo Ferreira. He left his boot in and with Alan Wiley in this mood, it's a certain booking.

1707: First chance of the second half falls to Arsenal as Emmanuel Adebayor flashes a volley inches wide with Petr Cech beaten all ends up. Chelsea failed to clear their lines from a corner and were almost punished.

1705: Here we go then. Arsenal get the game back under way.

1701: Manchester United fans are primed and ready to break open the champers across London and Manchester. But Chelsea aren't done yet, they've made a habit of clawing results out of hopeless causes this season and I for one won't count them out just yet.

1651: John Terry leads the Player Rater standings with 7.77 out of 10 for the first half. Joe Cole isn't too far behind, while Cesc Fabregas is your most impressive Arsenal player. The Cannibal unsurprisingly brings up the rear with a pityful 4 out of 10 rating.

1648: HALF-TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea
Chelsea's fight for the title takes a massive blow on the stroke of half-time. Gilberto Silva's penalty and Khalid Boulahrouz's dismissal means the Blues have a mountain to climb if they're to stop the title going to Old Trafford.

1645: GOAL: Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea
Skipper Gilberto Silva confidently dispatches the penalty sending Petr Cech the wrong way.

1644: PENALTY - RED CARD: Khalid Boulahrouz
Clumsy, awkward, ugly - call it what you like, Chelsea's 'The Cannibal' eats away at Julio 'the Beast' Baptista's heels and chops in down in the box. Referee Alan Wiley has the easiest decision of the game in sending off the defender.

1641: Arsenal working their way back into the game in the last 10 minutes. Chelsea look solid though, and in no mood to let Arsenal have a whiff in front of goal.

1639: Some quick and incisive passing fashions a chance for Emmanuel Adebayor who scuffs his effort leaving Petr Cech to gather comfortably. It was a fine chance for the Togo striker but he rushed his effort when under very little pressure.

1637: Emmanuel Eboue finally makes some headway on Wayne Bridge and fires in a fierce cross that takes a top edge off John Terry's boot and away to safety.

1635: A couple of half chances for Chelsea with Joe Cole at the centre of both of them. The first he drags a long-range drive well wide, and with the second he almost finds Frank Lampard with a teasing cross across the six-yard area.

1633: Jon Obi Mikel cynically chops down Cesc Fabregas and is promptly shown a yellow card. The tension is simmering.

1630: Better from Arsenal now as Gael Clichy is brought into the game in an attacking position. Nothing doing from it though as his run is well blocked off by Paulo Ferreira. The Arsenal fans feel their side are just edging back into it.

1627: I'm not one to bang on about referee's performances but this one's in danger of losing a grip on the game. Another couple of needless free-kicks are beginning to irk the players.

1625: Referee Alan Wiley isn't doing the game any favours either. Many of the free-kicks have been harsh and unwarranted, but Wiley seems to be enjoying himself.

1623: Plenty of fouls and stoppages still. Chelsea are trying to make inroads on the Arsenal back line but the breaks in play are stunting the Chelsea attacks.

1621: Arsenal's first passing move in a dangerous area ends with no end result after Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor had combined well down the right.

1619: It's so congested in the centre-spot at the moment. Arsenal don't have many options out wide with Alexander Hleb and Tomas Rosicky missing and everything is going down the middle. It's making for turgid play, particularly with Julio Baptista offering little in attack.

1616: Arsenal struggling to force their game on the visitors so far. There's little of the fluid passing and moving that has typified the Gunners' play this season. Credit Chelsea though, they're frustrating the hosts.

1614: Decent start for Chelsea. They've settled well and pinned Arsenal back into their own half. No clear chances yet but the Blues edging it so far.

1612: Interesting tussle beginning to take shape down Chelsea's right flank. Shaun Wright-Phillips is up against left-back Gael Clichy in the clash of the nippy youngsters. Round one to Clichy after two fine challenges on his opponent.

1610: Meaty challenge from Chelsea skipper John Terry. He hooked his leg up while sliding in on Emmanuel Adebayor and despite his protests, he gets a ticking off from the ref.

1608: Not much tension in the air from the Arsenal fans. They take it upon themselves to jeer and goad Frank Lampard and Joe Cole after a few clumsy passes.

1607: Both sides scrapping for some possession superiority in the early stages but neither side yet managing to get the ball down and knock it between them.

1605: An early scare for Michael Essien as he goes down in a heap after Gilberto Silva's crunching tackle. He runs it off but is was a nasty knock early doors.

1603: The last time these two sides met was in the ill-fated Carling Cup final where three red cards were dished out in a more than heated clash. Chelsea came out on top that day against Arsenal's youngsters and will be hoping for more of the same against a more senior line-up today.

1601: Joe Cole and Salomon get the ball rolling.

1558: The teams emerge from the tunnel and take their places on the magnificent Emirates Stadium turf. We're a couple minutes away from kick-off.

1551: There's little love lost between these two London rivals but Arsenal are in the unenviable position of handing their other rivals Manchester United the Premiership title should they win. Arsenal have nothing to play for but pride after securing a Champions League spot. Although, should they win this match, they'll be in the box seat to pip Liverpool for third place.

1545: Not a massive surprise that Ashley Cole is not in the starting line-up. He'll be spared a hostile reception by his former followers, but Didier Drogba's omission is puzzling. Mourinho says he's nursing an ankle injury but hopes to have him back fit for the FA Cup final.

1540: Nice touch from Jose. He's just been giving his thoughts on the game and here's what he had to say: "It's a beautiful stadium, beautiful pitch and I've just gone to congratulate Arsene on how wonderful this stadium is."

Mourinho joins his players out on the pitch for the pre-game warm-up as he prepares his side for the crucial clash to keep themselves in the title race.

1530: So this is it for Jose Mourinho's Chelsea. Either they win at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium or the reigning champions will have to hand their title to Manchester United.

The Gunners' new gaff has not been a happy hunting ground for visiting teams this season. They have lost just one of their 18 league games at home this season, to West Ham.

But Chelsea boast the second-best away record in the Premiership with 12 wins from 18 games.

Team news:
Former Arsenal man Ashley Cole does not return to face his former club - the Chelsea left-back has an ankle problem and is replaced by Wayne Bridge.

There is also no Didier Drogba for the champions, while boss Jose Mourinho names youngsters Ben Sahar and Scott Sinclair on the bench.

Arsenal play midfielder Denilson in the starting line-up in place of Alexander Hleb.

Arsenal v Chelsea photos
06 May 07 |  Football
Arsenal Player Rater
13 Dec 06 |  Live Text


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