Nov 30

Match Report: Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal

Dutch hitman Robin van Persie proved to be the hero as he scored two goals to give Arsenal’s fading Premier League title hopes a boost with a 2-1 win at Chelsea.

Having lost two league games in a row, and with their character, quality and spirit questioned in recent weeks, Arsene Wenger’s side orchestrated a dramatic turnaround to keep their title hopes alive and move to within seven points of Chelsea and Liverpool.

But for Chelsea the result further shattered the veneer of invincibility that once surrounded Stamford Bridge with The Blues now winning only three of eight Premier League games at their former fortress.

Chelsea Starting XI

Bosingwa – Ivanovic – Terry – Cole
Mikel – Deco – Ballack
Anelka – Kalou

Arsenal Starting XI

Sagna – Djourou – Gallas – Clichy
Denilson – Fabregas – Song – Nasri – van Persie

First Half

It started promisingly though as Chelsea opened the scoring with an absolute gift from the visitors when Johan Djourou turned the ball past Manuel Almunia. But the goalkeeper, who has more than a passing interest in military history, will know he shot himself in the foot spectacularly when handing Chelsea possession with a wayward throw.

But a team that can beat Manchester United and Chelsea while losing to Hull and Stoke will never be predictable, and after looking distinctly unimpressive in the first half, a three-minute spell of excellence saw Arsenal sneak in front.

Van Persie’s first strike was clearly offside on 59 minutes but, just three minutes later, his second was emphatic as he sent Arsenal back into the top four.

Having welcomed Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Adebayor back into his team, Wenger’s biggest tactical decision was to drop the experienced Mikael Silvestre in order to utilise the pace of fringe defender Djourou.

It was a change that was to have a real impact on the course of the game, but not in the way that Wenger intended.

On the half hour mark Djourou turned a dangerous cross from Jose Bosingwa past his own goalkeeper to give Chelsea the lead and make it seven Premier League goals that Arsenal had conceded without reply. Almunia must take a large portion of the blame though after a poor throw that gifted Chelsea possession.

Goal: Johan Djourou (O.G) (30) – Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal

Djourou’s defensive partner William Gallas had been talking about own goals prior to the match – specifically the one that Chelsea accused him of threatening to score if they did not let him leave the club in 2006 – and prior to the opener the Frenchman could have stuck the ball in his former employers’ net.

Petr Cech parried an effort from Nasri and Gallas only narrowly failed to turn the ball into an empty net as he stretched but failed to make contact. The Chelsea keeper also denied Van Persie from a similar angle before Denilson attempted a truly embarrassing dive in a futile attempt to win a penalty.

But Chelsea deserved their lead as Frank Lampard also tested Almunia with a firm header from another Bosingwa cross, leaving Arsenal staring down the barrel of a third consecutive defeat at half-time at Stamford Bridge.

Second Half

The omens did not look good after the restart as Lampard fired narrowly wide after Djourou poked the ball away from Anelka, but on 58 minutes The Gunners were level thanks to a controversial equaliser.

Van Persie was blatantly in an offside position when collecting a pass from Denilson but rifled a right-footed effort past Cech as the assistant kept his flag down. There was nothing suspect about his second though.

Goal: Robin van Persie (58) – Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal

Adebayor nodded down a high ball into the box and Van Persie utilised his brilliant left foot to spin and fire the ball low past Cech to complete a remarkable three-minute turnaround.

Goal: Robin van Persie (61) – Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal

In between the two goals John Terry lunged in with two feet and was perhaps lucky to escape with only a booking, and Chelsea’s frustration was clear as the game wore on and chances continued to be scarce.

Scolari even handed a debut to youngster Miroslav Stoch – perhaps to make a point to Roman Abramovich about the need for January investment – but he could not turn the tide of the tie as another disappointing home result loomed.

Arsenal could have made the game safe when Nicklas Bendtner squared for Denilson on the break, but the Brazilian’s touch went missing and Cech was able to save. It was not to matter. The Gunners held on for a second win over a member of the big four this season and maybe, just maybe, keep that title challenge alive.


27 Responses to “Match Report: Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal”

  1. Lightning Kev says:

    glad to see Djourou put in an assured performace (aside the own goal)
    glad to have sagna back aswell.
    great game by the lads, lets hope this confidence continues!

  2. iJemz says:

    Nice to see us beating united and Chelsea.

  3. Opera says:

    A good performance & deserved win for the team..regardless the equaliser was controversial as long as it been counted as a goal.anyway, it’s our luck though..hehe
    i feel overall the team did well..i bit disappointed with adebayor, everytime he got the ball..he never try to make a run through chelsea back line. hard to see he make a wonder move. after RvP 2nd goal..ade look so tired & seem don’t know how to play football.
    denilson not really effective on the right wing..poor possession & cross..
    i hope ARSENAL will do well in next match..especially against the lower tier of the table..
    100% support ARSENAL!!

  4. Red love says:

    Hope joe cole keeps his mouth shut now.

  5. Gooner Chris says:

    Red Love, I was thinking the same thing. This result would of shut both Cole’s up – and Anelka. 😀

  6. utk says:

    Arsenal 2 Abromvich’s Millions 1.. End of story

  7. Joe says:

    There’s only one team in London

  8. Gooner Chris says:

    Where’s your famous CFC? 😉

    Rewind is coming later tonight with highlights, so stay tuned.

  9. Mista ken says:

    We scored all three goals and out battled Chelsea in second half. Only three points though. Still have difficult season ahead. The race in not for the swift but for who can endure it

  10. Mike.from.around.da.way says:


  11. Gooner Chris says:

    What’s wrong with using pessimistic predictions if it works?

    I predicted we’d lose for both of the ‘big games’ and we’ve won both so I’ll continue to do that.

    It’s obviously a good luck charm. :)

  12. Joe says:

    Mike.from.around.da.way, Chris should be ashamed of himself? I think you should be ashamed of the fact that your not celebrating the win and giving abuse to a very successful blog owner. Oh yeah, go learn how to flippin write properly.. 😉

  13. AndyMcPhail says:

    I woke up today and said, “if Chris predicts we will lose then we will win”

    Thank you were thinking what i was thinking! nice one.

  14. Gooner Chris says:

    hahahahaha, and that’s why I’ll continue it. 😉

  15. Opera says:

    u r right joe…
    we all should celebrate this win..
    if the team lost..the fans get angry & the team has won..also want to get angry..what happen mates??
    just cheer up & go to work with a big smile tomorrow..

  16. Gooner Dare MKD says:

    I remember all the goals that drogba scored against us were controversial(offside)now it’s our time to score a goal like that,last year at S.bridge drogba scored offside goal now shut up chelsea and let us start good run of wins :):):)

  17. The Brain says:

    Well we didn’t learn too much from that win except we are good enough it’s playing against the smaller clubs that we need to win more.
    A good win but at the moment we are not doing enough with our possession (except today)and against the big clubs not getting enough. But lets celebrate this win first which we couldn’t get under Mourinho. GET IN!!!

  18. Opera says:

    no chelsea’s player on the score sheet tonight…LOL!

  19. Ramgun says:

    Djorou played well and should not be blamed for the OG. Denilson will never be a wide midfielder. We already have a better one at the club, but he is only 16. Chelsea were toothless after we scored and it was good to see that Kalou knows as much about the offside law as Adebayor. Anelka was poor and Malouda was simply awful. Clichy did well to recover well in the second-half after a shaky first 45. Let us now build on this and not throw it away as we did after beating Man Utd. By the way, Everton won. I can’t remember who they were playing!

  20. David says:

    Actually if you watch the replay carefully, you will noticed Ashley Cole deflected Denilson’s pass to van Persie slightly. I think that is why it was not considered as an offside.

  21. The Brain says:

    True but the ref pointed to Bosingwa directly to state that he played RVP onside. But if there is deflection especially as small as that then I think nowadays it still counts as offside.

  22. Ramgun says:

    Sorry David, but you have an Adebayor-like knowlege of the offside law. The player is offside as soon as the ball is played forward and it doen’t alter anything if it is deflected. Considering that their first goal in this fixture last season came from a missed offside and that Van Persie scored a perfectly good goal which was given offside in Highbury’s last season I reckon we were due one. What’s more both Chelsea centre-backs should have been sent off.

  23. Matt says:

    Denilson attempted a truly embarrassing dive in a futile attempt to win a penalty.

  24. box says:

    great win, wasnt the best game tho.

    Adebayor didnt look even 50% fit, the back 4 played brilliantly, chelsea didnt have a sniff.

    And 4 once we took our chances!

    cmon u gooners!

  25. well this isnt a site from a true arsenal supporter. 3 nil . whoa. spudchris spudchris hahahah

  26. Darren says:

    Great result but not necessarily a great performance if we are to be honest.

    With a few of our clumsy mistakes a sharper Chelsea team would have made us pay. Unlucky for them they were bollocks.

    Song had a great game, very much under the radar though, his presence in midfield was vital, especially when we needed to hold on to the result.

    Denilson is not a wide player and his dive was incredibly embarassing for all Arsenal fans. He is not ready to be a regular for Arsenal.

    Ade was poor also, he is not a wide player either so why does he insist on playing most of his football there? Get in the middle and let the lads pepper the ball at you, you big galoot.

    Djourou and Gallas worked well, definately my choice for best pairing.

    Sagna and Cesc were solid as always.

    RVP had a good game as did Nasri.

    Although it wasn’t a dominate display I suppose we can take heart that Arsenal won ugly for once, something we clearly to have in our locker.

    Roll on Wigan, get the youngsters back out!

  27. […] Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal – Premier League Arsenal’s up and down season continued after  Robin van Persie struck twice […]

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