Arsenal Outclass Chelsea In Epic
Arsenal stunned Chelsea 5-3 on Saturday afternoon at the Stamford Bridge where the Gunners managed to overcome two deficits thanks to Robin van Persie’s hat-trick.
Frank Lampard opened the score early in the first part, while van Persie evened the situation after half an hour. John Terry gave the hosts yet another lead just before the break but things got much complicated for Andre Villas Boas’s side in the second term when Arsenal scored four more goals through the same Dutch striker, Santos and Walcott.
Torres was the first to trouble keeper Szczesny early in the second minute when the Blues won a corner which the Spaniard failed to connect. Just three minutes later, Chelsea got another big chance but it was Sturridge to mock the action, his finish reaching the keeper’s hands. Arsenal’s first reply came in the 11th minute through Gervinho who struck the ball well wide from inside the box much to the dismay of manager Arsene Wenger.
Van Persie got his first big chance one minute later but the Dutch had his effort wide from good position. The 14th minute brought the first goal for Chelsea following a perfect long cross from the left which Lampard headed home from seven yards.
Sturridge wasted a golden opportunity in the 30th minute when the striker was perfectly picked by Lampard, only to hit it straight into the stands. Arsenal leveled the score in the 35th minute through van Persie who accomplished a formality after a unselfish pass from Gervinho who had beaten the keeper. Boas’s side were even disallowed a goal in the 40th minute when Sturridge was caught offside.
Nevertheless, the home side managed to take back the lead with one minute left in the first part. Chelsea won a corner on the left which Lampard delivered straight at Terry who put it home from close range. The half time thus went 2-1 but the game was far from being over.
The second part started with Ramsey’s bad miss as the Gunners midfielder struck the ball wide following a lovely build up from Gervinho. Four minutes into the second part, the visitors evened the situation for the second time through Santos who took advantage of a free space to beat Cech into the near post. Szczesny picked a yellow card in the 50th minute for a foul on Cole.
Five minutes later, Walcott made it 3-2 after leaving his mark well behind for a great finish into the near post. Boas introduced Florent Malouda in the 63rd minute in order to refresh the attack. Lukaku was also introduced in the 71st minute for Ramires, while Wenger made his first change three minutes later when the French replaced Djourou with Jenkinson.
The Blues used their third substitution in the 75th minute with Mikel making way for Meireles, while Wenger introduced Rosicky for Walcott four minutes later. With ten minutes left in the game, Mata leveled the situation with a tremendous shot from outside the box straight into the right hand far post, giving his side one more try to re-establish the lead.
Unfortunately, that was the turning point of the game as Arsenal would score twice more. Van Persie made it 4-3 in the 85th minute following a poor defending from Terry who allowed the Dutch to win the ball in the half way from where he started a 20 yard run to beat exiting Cech easily. Wenger called Gervinho on the bench in the 88th minute and introduced Vermaelen. The last word belonged to the same van Persie who put the game to bad in the 91st minute with another great finish from inside the box.
Arsenal have now moved sixth in the Premier League standings with 16 points, the same as Tottenham who have two games in hand though. As for Chelsea, they remain third at least for a few hours, having Newcastle just behind them with the same number of points, 19. Arsenal will next meet West Bromwich Albion on November 5, while the Blues travel to Blackburn Rovers the same day.
Said Villas Boa after the game: “Apart from that before this game we were [one of] the three best defences in the Premiership so I would argue with anyone that our defensive organisation was a problem before this game. We committed mistakes today that we will try to evolve and maybe we can improve for the game against Blackburn.”
Chelsea – Cech; Cole, Terry, Ivanovic, Bosingwa; Mikel, Ramires, Lampard; Mata, Sturridge, Torres. Reserves: O. Romeu, J. Blackman, F. Malouda, Raul Meireles, R. Bertrand, David Luiz.
Arsenal – Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos; Song, Ramsey, Arteta; Walcott, Gervinho, van Persie. Reserves: Rosicky, A. Arshavin, L. Fabianski, E. Frimpong, T. Vermaelen, C. Park, C. Jenkinson.11