Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal - Chelsea stand firm and win again.

Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge this afternoon to take a four point lead at the top of the table with goals from Didier Drogba...

Stamford Bridge, Chelsea v Arsenal , Premier League 03/10/2010 Didier Drogba of Chelsea celebrates scoring the 1st goal 1-0  Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge this afternoon to take a four point lead at the top of the table with goals from Didier Drogba and a stunning free kick from Alex. In a tense, tight affair it was Chelsea's defensive strength through midfield and the back five that stood firm as Arsenal fans can only rue the fact that despite all their possession it's what you do with it that counts.

Without question no team will come to the Bridge and play as well as Arsenal did again this season. To be fair Arsenal should have been 1-0 up after just a minute. After a Chamakh header which was dangerous enough, was deflected wide by Alex, the following corner came across and after being flicked on at the near post, Koscielny found himself totally unmarked 3 yards out and for some reason turned his back and headed the ball over the bar with Cech beaten. It was almost like he flicked the ball over the bar for a corner as if he was heading it away.

Chelsea then created their own problems for Arsenal. Didier Drogba started well and began the early stages well against the two new Arsenal centre backs. Speaking of one of them, Squillaci somehow lost the flight of a ball over the top to Malouda, the frenchman was onto it and lifted a volley high over the bar.

Arsenal hit back and Andrei Arshavin tested Petr Cech by forcing him and make a save low down. Both sides were having plenty of the ball in the first half and were looking to probe and create chances. Apart from the chance in the first minute there wasn't any real clear cut chances.

Then on the half hour Arshavin provided Cech with a real test. The ball came out wide left to Arshavin who had time and space to take a touch and then hit a shot towards the far corner from 25 yards out on the half volley. Cech caught the flight of the ball early and managed to get a hand to it and push the ball wide. Great save from Cech after a great strike from the Russian.

Samir Nasri then had a chance as he cut inside just outside the box and under pressure from JT shot wide when he maybe should have done better to score. The good thing for Chelsea was we were restricting Arsenal to long range efforts from outside he box and Arsenal couldn't find a killer pass inside our box. This proved evident for the rest of the game.

Didier Drogba then made a run of the defender and when it looked better to square the ball to Malouda or Ramires at the back post, fired a shot straight at Fabianski and he blocked it easily.

On 39 minutes Chelsea made the breakthrough. Ramires who was having his best game in a Chelsea shirt looked to have lost the ball midway inside the Arsenal half. He slid in for a 50-50 and won the ball back from Chamakh. Mikel picked the ball up and played the ball back to Ramires between two Arsenal players. Ramires was wide open, spotted Ashley Cole's run down the left and played a perfectly weighted pass between Sagna and Squillaci and Cole was onto it.

Cole looked up and played a first time ball into Drogba who had made a run in front of the near post. Koscielny tried to make a challenge as Drogba, with his back to goal, connected with the inside of his left foot and flicked the ball goalwards. Fabianski had no chance as the ball rebounded off the inside of the near post and into the net to make it 1-0 Chelsea.

It was the difference in an evenly fought first half. However at half time being 1-0 up we all knew it could have been so very different after the first minute.

The second half started and it was pretty obvious from the off that Arsenal looked to get on the ball early and pose Chelsea with more and more problems. It seemed to me that Chelsea had total faith in their defensive shape and were happy for Arsenal to have the ball in front of them. Arsenal had to work hard to break us down.

Chamakh then tried to get a penalty off a challenge by Cech on the byline and you have to say the way he went down it could have been given, not that it looked like one. Drogba was then tackled in the box after he looked up and saw no one supporting him, made a run inside the box and Koscielny won the ball. Not a pen even if we did all scream for it.

At this stage Arsenal were well on top and dominating the game. However, still they never produced any clear cut chances to open up the Chelsea defence. Chelsea were holding firm and never looked in any real danger. It was then Chelsea had their best chance to extend their lead.

Koscielny under pressure from Anelka, lost the ball 30 yards from goal. Anelka took and touch and then a second touch away from Fabianski who had come out to make a challenge. With an open goal to hit, Anelka looked to stab the ball towards goal rather than put his foot through it and he missed!. It was as good a chance as Koscielny's was and was also spurned.

Cole then had a goal disallowed for offside, Anelka fired a shot straight at Fabianski, Chamakh then headed wide under pressure from Drogba from 8 yards and Rosicky forced Cech into a save low down just after coming on as a second half substitute. Paulo Ferreira replaced Ivanovic soon after.

The game was end to end with Arsenal still dominating possession but once more they would prefer to pass the ball from side to side on the edge of our box rather than a killer ball and Chelsea's defence and midfield three of Essien, Mikel and Ramires mopped up time and time again.

It looked like Chelsea would continue to stand firm and keep Arsenal at bay and take the 1-0 win but that all changed in the 85th minute. Anelka was brought down by Koscielny 30 yards from goal, dead centre and Chelsea had a chance to test Fabianski once more. Drogba stood over the ball and looked to have priority over Alex.

The Chelsea fans were chanting Alex's name and then Drogba moved to one side out of the way. As the referee blew the whistle, Alex made his run up and blasted the ball, striking across it on contact, the wall split and the ball flew through the gap left in the wall and curled away from Fabianski and into the top right hand corner. The keeper had no chance. 2-0 Chelsea, What a goal!.

It was game over for Chelsea, another three points and we looked to see the game out. Mikel pulled up holding onto his hamstring at one stage but looked to be ok and he saw the game out, then Alex had to go off. We are yet to find out what the news is on him.

Chelsea had another chance to score towards the end as Zhirkov on for the impressive Ramires won the ball in the middle and played in Essien. Essien right of centre took a touch into the box and rather hit the ball there and then took to long, Fabianski came out and got a block on his shot. Essien should have done better. Chelsea saw out the game 2-0.

It was a massive win for Chelsea today in a game we didn't dominate for once at the Bridge. Chelsea's back five along with the midfield three played well today and worked hard to shut down anything in or around or box and made it hard for Arsenal to break us down. Chelsea's attacking threat in the game just outweighed the Arsenal today as we looked to play killer balls into the box. The fact that Fabianski made slightly more saves today proves the point but both sides had real clear cut chances today and didn't take them.

For me looking at the Arsenal and I think a fair amount of Arsenal fans will agree with me is that they really do lack the killer ball and still at times over play rather than have a go. At times today I was thinking maybe Diaby and Nasri on more than one occasion rather than play one pass to many could have a crack at goal but never did. It was only Arshavin that had a go from distance and he caused Cech a real problem.

Arsenal fans will more than likely think they were the better side today but have lost the game as they didn't take their chances. They have a point about maybe being the better side but only when it comes to possession alone. Both sides created chances today and the keepers stood up to the test apart from the two glaring misses by Koscielny and Anelka.

One of the differences today was Chelsea's defensive strength and ability to take our chances. Ok the Alex free kick is purely a one off and what a strike but it's our killer instinct in front of goal that made the difference.

As soon as Arsenal have Fabregas and Van Perise back they will be a very different threat than they were today. Chelsea are the same as we have Lampard missing.

However our three midfielders and especially Ramires played superb today without the ball and that was key to another win over the Arsenal.

Carefree & KTBFFH.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic (Ferreira 72), Alex, Terry (c), Cole; Essien, Mikel (Sturridge 88), Ramires (Zhirkov 82); Anelka, Drogba, Malouda.
Unused subs Turnbull, Van Aanholt, McEachran, Kakuta.
Scorers Drogba 39, Alex 85.
Booked Ferreira 79.

Arsenal (4-4-1-1): Fabianski; Sagna, Squillaci (c), Koscielny, Clichy; Wilshere (Emmanuel-Thomas 80), Song, Diaby (Rosicky 69), Arshavin (Vela 87); Nasri; Chamakh.
Unused subs Szczesny, Djourou, Denilson, Eboue.
Booked Koscielny 84.

Referee Mike Dean
Crowd 41,828.

Post a Comment

  1. gooner here, fair assesment to be honest. we played well and lacked a bit of cutting edge given the players we have out, but we'll always offer up 2 or 3 chances a game and against a side who defends well it makes it a tough ask.

  2. Agree totally, lack of cutting edge upfront cost us the game. That should be credited to chelsea's defense as well though. It's been like that against chelsea for a while now, dominating possessions for good parts of the game but ended up picking the ball in our own net. Tough being a gooner. But it's a long season and teams have dropped points already..




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