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Page last updated at 21:52 GMT, Monday, 27 December 2010

Arsenal   3 - 1   Chelsea

Arsenal duo Cesc Fabregas (left) and Theo Walcott
Fabregas (left) and Walcott combined to score two of Arsenal's three goals

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at The Emirates

Arsenal boosted their Premier League title hopes in emphatic fashion and damaged Chelsea's in the process with a stylish victory at the Emirates.

It moved the Gunners up to second in the table, two points behind Manchester United but having played a game more, while Chelsea - also a match ahead of United - are in fourth and six points off the pace.

Arsene Wenger admitted halting a barren run of 11 games in all competitions without a victory over closest rivals Chelsea and Manchester United - including 10 defeats - would provide a psychological lift as they bid to secure their first silverware since 2005.

And they will take huge confidence from the manner and margin of their first win against Chelsea since a 2-1 triumph at Stamford Bridge in November 2008.

Alex Song put them on the path to victory with a goal seconds before the interval, but the real damage was inflicted on Chelsea with a double salvo from Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott in the space of two minutes just after the restart.

Wenger delight at 'disciplined & mature' display

Branislav Ivanovic's header set up the prospect of an anxious last 30 minutes for Arsenal, but it never materialised as they held out comfortably in the face of a timid Chelsea challenge.

Didier Drogba, for so long the scourge of Arsenal with 13 goals in 13 games before this defeat, remained a peripheral figure and his only flash of serious aggression came in an angry confrontation with Chelsea captain John Terry after Walcott put Arsenal three goals up.

Wenger's game plan worked to perfection, with the recalled Johan Djourou helping to keep Drogba at bay, Fabregas ruling midfield as he started again after injury and Walcott performing the dual role of ensuring Ashley Cole's attacking instincts were curbed by his presence and terrorising Chelsea with his pace.

Arsenal's fans celebrated as if they knew the significance of this result and three points that will surely inject them with real self-belief as the title enters its second phase.

For Chelsea, their decline continues from the golden days of early season - they have now gone six league games without a win - as they lacked inspiration and a threadbare squad was exposed by the attacking variety Arsenal had on the bench and in reserve.

FOOTBALL BLOG
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty

Carlo Ancelotti will be under pressure to turn their fortunes around, but perhaps the greater pressure is on owner Roman Abramovich to make funds available to rejuvenate the squad and restore some semblance of an equilibrium that seems to have been disturbed by the unceremonious sacking of the popular assistant manager Ray Wilkins.

Chelsea, as expected, recalled Frank Lampard for his first start following a four-month absence with a groin problem but he was unable to exert any serious influence as Arsenal controlled the first half.

Drogba posted Chelsea's only serious threat with an effort that he pulled just wide and a header that was deflected over the top, while Fabregas marked his return to the Arsenal starting line-up by pulling the strings in midfield.

Chelsea must wake up - Ancelotti

Robin van Persie, leading Arsenal's attack with Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin relegated to the bench, was twice off target as the old flaw of failing to transform possession into goals against Chelsea threatened to resurface.

Samir Nasri's delicate chip brought a fine save from Chelsea keeper Petr Cech before Song gave Arsenal the lead they deserved a minute before the interval. They owed a debt to fine refereeing from Mark Clattenburg, who played a crucial advantage after Paulo Ferreira appeared to foul Fabregas to allow Song to slide a close-range finish past Cech.

Ancelotti made a change at the start of the second half, sending on Ramires for Jon Mikel Obi, but his plans were in shreds as Arsenal struck twice in the space of two minutes just after the break.

Fabregas added the second from Walcott's pass after Michael Essien inadvertently turned the ball towards his own goal. Walcott then sent the home fans at the Emirates into ecstasy by adding a third in Arsenal's next attack, racing clear to beat Cech as Fabregas returned the favour with a perfect pass to send him through.

606: DEBATE
Wengers Magic Hat

Chelsea were stunned and their frustrations surfaced as Drogba and Terry were involved in a furious exchange of views near the centre circle as Arsenal's elated players celebrated.

Ancelotti's side needed a swift response to offer any hope of a revival and it came after 57 minutes when Ivanovic reached Drogba's angled free-kick ahead of keeper Lukasz Fabianski to head home.

Wenger was furious in his technical area, but Nasri should have calmed his nerves when he took advantage of more Chelsea uncertainty at the back only to fire tamely at Cech.

Chelsea probed in the closing stages, but Arsenal were never in serious discomfort and closed out an outstanding triumph.

Live text and stats

 

Monday, 27 December 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea FT
(HT 1-0)
  • A Song 44
  • Fabregas 51
  • Walcott 53
  • Ivanovic 57

Arsenal

Substitutes

Chelsea

Substitutes

Ref: ClattenburgAtt: 60,112
ARSENAL
CHELSEA

Possession

  • Arsenal 61%
  • Chelsea 39%

Attempts on target

  • Arsenal 8
  • Chelsea 4

Attempts off target

  • Arsenal 3
  • Chelsea 6

Corners

  • Arsenal 4
  • Chelsea 6

Fouls

  • Arsenal 13
  • Chelsea 16
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:39 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
  • 90:00+4:14 The referee blows for offside against Tomas Rosicky. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
  • 90:00+0:14 The referee blows for offside. Lukasz Fabianski takes the indirect free kick.
  • 89:46 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Johan Djourou gets a block in.
  • 89:24 Didier Drogba fouled by Johan Djourou, the ref awards a free kick. Frank Lampard restarts play with the free kick.
  • 87:24 Unfair challenge on John Terry by Marouane Chamakh results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.
  • 87:24 Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Tomas Rosicky coming on for Francesc Fabregas.
  • 86:49 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Lukasz Fabianski makes a save.
  • 84:05 The assistant referee flags for offside against Jack Wilshere. Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.
  • 82:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Frank Lampard by Alex Song. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Didier Drogba.
  • 80:31 Effort from the edge of the box by Ramires goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 79:58 Vassiriki Diaby takes a shot. Frank Lampard gets a block in.
  • 79:07 The offside flag is raised against Salomon Kalou. Indirect free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
  • 75:31 Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Marouane Chamakh coming on for Robin van Persie.
  • 75:12 Gael Kakuta has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
  • 74:27 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard, Vassiriki Diaby makes a clearance.
  • 72:28 Free kick awarded for a foul by Branislav Ivanovic on Francesc Fabregas. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
  • 72:28 Substitution Vassiriki Diaby is brought on as a substitute for Theo Walcott.
  • 69:22 The assistant referee signals for offside against Didier Drogba. Indirect free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
  • 68:33 Samir Nasri takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.
  • 67:29 Unfair challenge on Michael Essien by Francesc Fabregas results in a free kick. Didier Drogba takes the free kick.
  • 67:29 Booking Francesc Fabregas goes into the book.
  • 65:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ramires on Jack Wilshere. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
  • Correction - 63:56 Shot from long distance by Jose Bosingwa misses to the right of the target.
  • 63:56 Alex Song produces a right-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.
  • 63:30 Corner taken by Didier Drogba from the left by-line to the near post, Alex Song manages to make a clearance.
  • 62:14 Frank Lampard takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Robin van Persie.
  • 60:44 Substitution Jose Bosingwa comes on in place of Paulo Ferreira.
  • 58:15 Foul by Frank Lampard on Alex Song, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
  • 58:15 Booking Booking for Frank Lampard for unsporting behaviour.
  • 57:40 Frank Lampard challenges Francesc Fabregas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jack Wilshere.
  • 56:43 Theo Walcott challenges Gael Kakuta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Didier Drogba provided the assist for the goal.
  • 56:43 GOAL - Branislav IvanovicArsenal 3 - 1 Chelsea Branislav Ivanovic grabs a headed goal from inside the area. Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea.
  • 55:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Essien by Francesc Fabregas. Direct free kick taken by Michael Essien.
  • 55:11 Substitution Gael Kakuta joins the action as a substitute, replacing Florent Malouda.
  • 54:14 Header from deep inside the penalty area by Frank Lampard goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
  • 53:54 Foul by Theo Walcott on Florent Malouda, free kick awarded. Florent Malouda takes the free kick.
  • 52:28 The assist for the goal came from Francesc Fabregas.
  • 52:28 GOAL - Theo WalcottArsenal 3 - 0 Chelsea Goal scored by Theo Walcott from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea.
  • 50:38 The assist for the goal came from Theo Walcott.
  • 50:38 GOAL - Francesc FabregasArsenal 2 - 0 Chelsea Francesc Fabregas scores a goal from inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea.
  • 48:36 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri from the left by-line, save by Petr Cech.
  • 48:07 Ramires gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere. Free kick taken by Laurent Koscielny.
  • 46:08 Inswinging corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, comfortable save by Petr Cech.
  • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
  • 45:01 Substitution Ramires on for Mikel.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+1:23 The players leave the pitch at half time.
  • 45:00+0:48 Outswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard, clearance made by Johan Djourou.
  • 45:00+0:19 Foul by Jack Wilshere on Frank Lampard, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Florent Malouda.
  • 43:49 Assist by Francesc Fabregas.
  • 43:49 GOAL - Alex SongArsenal 1 - 0 Chelsea Alex Song gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea.
  • 43:14 Michael Essien challenges Francesc Fabregas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
  • 41:00 Samir Nasri takes the inswinging corner, save by Petr Cech.
  • 40:45 Samir Nasri takes a shot. Fantastic save by Petr Cech.
  • 39:45 Shot from 25 yards by Bacary Sagna. Didier Drogba gets a block in.
  • 39:20 Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Didier Drogba.
  • 38:39 Gael Clichy fouled by Salomon Kalou, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
  • 38:39 Booking Salomon Kalou booked.
  • 36:47 The referee blows for offside against Salomon Kalou. Laurent Koscielny takes the direct free kick.
  • 36:27 The referee blows for offside. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.
  • 36:08 Foul by Didier Drogba on Jack Wilshere, free kick awarded. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
  • 34:39 Robin van Persie produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 32:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikel by Robin van Persie. Petr Cech takes the free kick.
  • 32:34 Booking Robin van Persie shown a yellow card.
  • 30:16 Robin van Persie concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Cole. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.
  • 28:47 Unfair challenge on Alex Song by Salomon Kalou results in a free kick. Francesc Fabregas delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.
  • 28:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Cole on Theo Walcott. Robin van Persie crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right by-line, Branislav Ivanovic manages to make a clearance.
  • 28:15 Booking Ashley Cole receives a yellow card for dissent.
  • 25:50 Foul by Frank Lampard on Alex Song, free kick awarded. Johan Djourou restarts play with the free kick.
  • 23:41 Florent Malouda is caught offside. Lukasz Fabianski takes the direct free kick.
  • 22:49 The offside flag is raised against Theo Walcott. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.
  • 22:15 The assistant referee signals for offside against Branislav Ivanovic. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.
  • 21:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gael Clichy on Florent Malouda. Florent Malouda takes the free kick.
  • 21:32 Samir Nasri takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
  • 20:56 The referee gives a free kick against Michael Essien for handball. Free kick taken by Robin van Persie.
  • 19:28 The offside flag is raised against Didier Drogba. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.
  • 18:17 Alex Song challenges Florent Malouda unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
  • 16:37 Bacary Sagna fouled by Florent Malouda, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Robin van Persie.
  • 16:13 Gael Clichy fouled by Mikel, the ref awards a free kick. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.
  • 15:41 Corner taken by Frank Lampard, save made by Lukasz Fabianski.
  • 15:24 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Johan Djourou gets a block in.
  • 14:40 Gael Clichy has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 12:30 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Robin van Persie by John Terry. Direct free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
  • 9:39 Corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda from the right by-line to the near post, Robin van Persie manages to make a clearance.
  • 7:07 Didier Drogba has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
  • 4:08 Florent Malouda challenges Theo Walcott unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Bacary Sagna.
  • 3:09 Robin van Persie is ruled offside. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.
  • 1:04 Salomon Kalou gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Laurent Koscielny. Gael Clichy restarts play with the free kick.
  • 0:28 Bacary Sagna challenges Didier Drogba unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikel.
  • 0:00 The game gets underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



Print Sponsor


Barclays Premier League results

27 Dec 2010 23:59 UK


Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 27 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 17 22 37
2 Arsenal 18 17 35
3 Man City 19 12 35
4 Chelsea 18 17 31
5 Tottenham 18 4 30
6 Bolton 19 7 29
7 Sunderland 19 1 27
8 Stoke 18 1 24
9 Newcastle 18 -1 22
10 Liverpool 17 -1 22
11 Blackpool 16 -5 22
12 West Brom 18 -7 22
13 Blackburn 19 -7 22
14 Everton 18 -1 21
15 Aston Villa 18 -10 20
16 Wigan 18 -14 19
17 Birmingham 17 -3 18
18 Fulham 18 -6 16
19 West Ham 19 -13 16
20 Wolves 18 -13 15

see also
Wenger hails winning 'big game'
28 Dec 10 |  Arsenal
We need wake-up call - Ancelotti
27 Dec 10 |  Chelsea
Arsenal v Chelsea as it happened
27 Dec 10 |  Football
Monday's football photos
27 Dec 10 |  Football



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