Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal

Minggu, 07 Februari 2010

Two first half goals from Didier Drogba were enough to send Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League as the Blues beat Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

Arsenal started brightly but it was Chelsea that opened the scoring. Gael Clichy conceded a cheap free-kick as he clattered into Nicolas Anelka on the right flank. Drogba floated the ball into the penalty area and Theo Walcott headed the ball out for a corner. Florent Malouda whipped it in and John Terry flicked the ball on to the back post, where an unmarked Drogba slotted home at the near post: 1-0 to Chelsea with seven minutes played.

Chelsea pierced the Arsenal back line on two separate occasions with through balls from midfield. Arsenal's defence held a good line and managed to catch both Anelka and Drogba offside, but both strikers were through on goal and both decisions were tight.

Arsenal responded well to this pressure and almost equalised through Andrey Arshavin. After a period of sustained possession, Cesc Fabregas spotted the Russian running off the shoulder of Branislav Ivanovic and fired a cross field pass into the penalty area. Arshavin ran onto the long ball and volleyed with his right foot, but his shot was straight at Petr Cech and the 'keeper saved with his foot.

Chelsea decimated Arsenal with a counter attacking goal, Frank Lampard drove at the heart of the Gunners defence and slid the ball through to Drogba on the right flank. The Ivorian entered the penalty and cut inside, slashing through the Arsenal defence before hammering the ball into the right hand side of the goal: 2-0.
Ashley Cole penetrated the Arsenal penalty area on the half hour mark. Walcott allowed the left-back to get a run on him and Cole was played through, the English winger managed to recover and challenge Cole to force him out wide before Almunia pushed the ball out for a corner.

Chelsea were looking increasingly comfortable, dropping off and allowing Arsenal possession in midfield. The Gunners were continually forced to move the ball out wide and attempt crosses into the box, these were repeatedly cleared by the Chelsea defence.

Arsenal had a couple of long range efforts that went well wide before the half was up, Clichy struck a dipping half-volley wide of the left-hand post before Cech watched an optimistic pot shot from Fabregas limp wide of the target.

The Gunners started the second half much in the same ilk as they ended the first, pushing forward but being contained by Chelsea's defence. They managed to win a couple of corners but made nothing of them.

Ivanovic powered through the Arsenal back line, riding a challenge by Alex Song before feeding the ball out to Anelka in the right hand side of the box. The Frenchman tried to check back onto his left foot but Clichy managed to stay strong and crowd out the former Gunner.

Chelsea were stepping up the pressure, and worked the ball out to the left flank where Michael Ballack tried to find the bottom right hand corner with an ambitious strike, but his shot was wayward and went well wide.

Samir Nasri had a glorious chance to pull one back in the 60th minute, Arsenal worked the ball beautifully with Nasri running in from the left flank and played a one-two with Song. Chelsea's midfield had moved to pincer the Cameroon international and he played a fantastic ball through to the Frenchman. Nasri looked to jink past the last defender, rather than attack the left hand side of the box, and Cole got back to make a vital challenge.

Arsene Wenger brought on Nicklas Bendtner in place of Theo Walcott and he had an immediate impact, winning Arsenal a free-kick on the edge of the box with some quick footwork. Fabregas fired low towards the bottom right-hand corner and Cech made a good save low to his left.

Arsenal were flying forwards, and a teasing ball from the left flank zipped across the Chelsea six yard box. Nasri almost got on the end of it, as Cech plucked the ball off his toe to make a brave save.

Chelsea weathered the storm and Wenger threw on Emmanuel Eboue and Tomas Rosicky to replace Bacary Sagna and Abou Diaby in an attempt to seize the initiative. Their first duty was to defend a Chelsea corner which Ballack headed well over the bar.

Arsenal were almost in again, as Arshavin curled the ball towards the back post from the left hand edge of the penalty area. Fabregas was back peddling and tried to head the ball back to Bendtner in the middle, but he couldn't control the header and Cech managed to race off his line in time to claw the ball clear.

Drogba almost completed his hat-trick with a wonderfully struck free-kick after a foul on Lampard by Song. The Ivorian hammered the ball towards the right-hand side of the goal from 25 yards, Almunia was static as the ball rifled off the cross bar and back out to safety.

Fabregas had a chance to grab a consolation as the game drew to a close, Nasri crossed into the centre from the right flank and the Spaniard flicked a header towards the far post. Cech looked to be struggling but the ball bounced just wide of the left-hand post.

The Gunners couldn't capitalise on the five minutes of stoppage time and Chelsea held out to win 2-0.

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