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Chelsea   2 - 0   Arsenal

Didier Drogba
Drogba has now scored 13 goals in 13 matches against Arsenal

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Stamford Bridge

Didier Drogba was Arsenal's tormentor again as Chelsea tightened their grip at the top of the Premier League.

Arsenal paid the price for their failure to take the chances they created in periods of domination at Stamford Bridge - and for their continuing inability to contain Drogba as Carlo Ancelotti's champions stretched out a four-point lead over their title rivals.

Arsene Wenger's side came close through Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny, while Andrey Arshavin brought a superb save from Petr Cech before Drogba struck his 13th goal against The Gunners in as many games as the interval approach.

He applied a clever finish to Ashley Cole's cross to give Chelsea a lead against the run of play that they would protect in trademark fashion.

Players won it for Ancelotti - Wilkins

And for all Arsenal's pretty passing and intricate patterns in the second half, it was Chelsea who applied the killer blow five minutes from time when Alex concluded a fast bowler's run-up with a true touch of Brazil as he lashed a long-range free-kick high beyond Lukasz Fabianski.

Wenger may take heart from the fact that Arsenal were not swept aside in the manner they were against Chelsea last season, although there were moments of slackness at the back, but there was no consolation in a familiar scoreline as they were once again beaten by their fierce London rivals.

For Chelsea boss Ancelotti, attending the game despite the recent death of his father, there was satisfaction in the manner in which his side responded to their first Premier League defeat of the season at Manchester City.

Arsenal, on the receiving end of comprehensive defeats against Chelsea at home and away in the Premier League last season, showed no inferiority complex as they almost scored twice inside the first 60 seconds.

606: DEBATE
goonerdick

Chamakh's header from Bacary Sagna's cross was only inches away with Cech beaten, before Koscielny somehow headed the resulting corner over the top, despite standing almost on the goalline.

And as Arsenal continued to dominate the opening exchanges, Arshavin forced a fine save from Cech and Samir Nasri was narrowly off target with a low drive.

The threat of Drogba hung over Arsenal like a cloud, however, and he posted the warning signs by forcing a desperate block from Fabianski with an angled drive. Almost inevitably, for all Arsenal's superiority, it was Drogba who made the first-half's decisive contribution as Chelsea went ahead after 39 minutes.

Ramires did well to win possession before feeding Cole, whose near-post cross was met with a subtle flick from Drogba that flew in via the near post. It was very much against the run of play - and Wenger's frustration was plain to see on the touchline.

Arsenal refused to be discouraged by the setback and pressed forward with urgency, but another moment of defensive frailty almost saw Chelsea double their advantage on the hour.

Wenger 'massively disappointed' after defeat

Anelka robbed the hesitant Sebastien Squillaci, and even though the striker rounded Fabianski the angle was too acute and the finish rolled agonisingly wide for Chelsea.

Arsenal were being punished for their wastefulness in front of goal, and Chamakh was the culprit again with 10 minutes left as he headed substitute Tomas Rosicky's cross wide.

Chelsea's greater cutting edge was crucial, and they clinched the victory in spectacular fashion with five minutes left. Alex ripped a 25-yard free-kick high past the despairing grasp of Fabianski after Koscielny had been booked for a foul on Anelka.

Arsenal were instantly deflated, and Fabianski had to make fine saves from Michael Essien and Cole as Chelsea threatened to extend the victory margin.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Drogba 39
  • Alex 85

    Chelsea

    Substitutes

    Arsenal

    Substitutes

    Ref: DeanAtt: 41,828
    CHELSEA
    ARSENAL

    Possession

    • Chelsea 52%
    • Arsenal 48%

    Attempts on target

    • Chelsea 6
    • Arsenal 5

    Attempts off target

    • Chelsea 5
    • Arsenal 8

    Corners

    • Chelsea 10
    • Arsenal 10

    Fouls

    • Chelsea 7
    • Arsenal 12
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:47 The referee ends the match.
    • 90:00+2:57 Daniel Sturridge crosses the ball, Shot from deep inside the area by Michael Essien clears the bar.
    • 90:00+2:31 Foul by Alex Song on Daniel Sturridge, free kick awarded. Florent Malouda takes the free kick.
    • 90:00+0:53 The offside flag is raised against Carlos Alberto Vela. Petr Cech takes the free kick.
    • 88:25 Michael Essien takes the direct free kick.
    • 88:25 Substitution Daniel Sturridge joins the action as a substitute, replacing Mikel.
    • 88:25 Samir Nasri challenges Yuri Zhirkov unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 87:44 Free kick awarded for a foul by Samir Nasri on Ashley Cole. Direct free kick taken by Florent Malouda.
    • 86:50 Clearance made by Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
    • 86:50 Substitution Carlos Alberto Vela is brought on as a substitute for Andrey Arshavin.
    • 86:50 Corner taken by Florent Malouda from the right by-line to the near post,
    • 86:35 Michael Essien takes a shot. Save made by Lukasz Fabianski.
    • 84:45 GOAL - AlexChelsea 2 - 0 Arsenal Alex hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal.
    • 83:50 Booking The referee cautions Laurent Koscielny for unsporting behaviour.
    • 83:44 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nicolas Anelka by Laurent Koscielny.
    • 82:09 Sebastien Squillaci restarts play with the free kick.
    • 82:09 Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Yuri Zhirkov coming on for Ramires.
    • 82:09 The official flags Ramires offside.
    • 81:28 Samir Nasri takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Ramires.
    • 81:21 The ball is crossed by Andrey Arshavin, clearance by Paulo Ferreira.
    • 80:11 Substitution Jay Emmanuel-Thomas comes on in place of Jack Wilshere.
    • 79:53 The ball is crossed by Tomas Rosicky, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Marouane Chamakh misses to the left of the goal.
    • 79:16 Samir Nasri takes the free kick.
    • 79:16 Booking The referee shows Paulo Ferreira a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 79:08 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paulo Ferreira on Tomas Rosicky.
    • 77:26 The ball is swung over by Gael Clichy, Alex manages to make a clearance.
    • 77:11 The ball is swung over by Samir Nasri, clearance by John Terry.
    • 76:04 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Didier Drogba by Sebastien Squillaci. Florent Malouda takes the direct free kick.
    • 75:31 The assistant r



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    Premier League results

    3 Oct 2010 23:59 UK


    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 3 Oct 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 7 21 18
    2 Man City 7 6 14
    3 Man Utd 7 7 13
    4 Arsenal 7 7 11
    5 Tottenham 7 2 11
    6 West Brom 7 -3 11
    7 Stoke 7 -1 10
    8 Aston Villa 7 -3 10
    9 Blackpool 7 -4 10
    10 Fulham 7 1 9
    11 Sunderland 7 0 8
    12 Bolton 7 -1 8
    13 Blackburn 7 -1 8
    14 Wigan 7 -9 8
    15 Newcastle 7 0 7
    16 Birmingham 7 -3 7
    17 Everton 7 -1 6
    18 Liverpool 7 -4 6
    19 Wolves 7 -5 5
    20 West Ham 7 -9 5

    see also
    Win was for Ancelotti - Wilkins
    03 Oct 10 |  Chelsea
    Arsenal finishing worries Wenger
    03 Oct 10 |  Arsenal
    Premier League as it happened
    03 Oct 10 |  Football


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