Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Postby Rockin' Robin » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:54 am

Don't adjust your computer screen - tonight Arsenal beat Chelsea by three goals to one.

Some of you might recognise a similar line from a commentator when Wolves beat Man United 1-0 in 2003/2004. I was watching Premiership Years from that season, obviously when we went unbeaten for the thirty-eight league games, to get pumped up for the game tonight. Of course, we can't go the season unbeaten having already lost, but can we repeat the title victory? After tonight's performance from arguably our strongest side, it's a definite possibility.

Given the fact that Arsenal are a terrific team, beating a team like Chelsea would usually be a 50/50 chance, both teams evenly matched. However, with our recent record against them, and Manchester United, many were dismissive of our chances. I was feeling unusually optimistic; I thought if van Persie and Fabregas started - like last time we beat the afore-mentioned sides - we'd win.

They both started, and we did win. Fabianski was in goal, although there'd been rumours pre-match that Wenger had put Szczesny in at the last minute, due to an injury to the Pole (wait, they're both Poles.. the first one) but it was the recently impressive youngster (wait, they're both recently impressive youngsters... the first one) that got the nod. We were all expecting to see Squillaci and Koscielny between Sagna and Clichy. They'd been the usual pairing at the heart of our defence, and Wenger doesn't seem to change his team just because of the opposition.

He made an exception for Didier Drogba, who had 13 goals in 13 matches against us in all competitions. Arsene brought the 6ft3 or so Johan Djourou in, but instead of opting for experience in the form of Sebastien Squillaci alongside the in-form Swiss defender, he went for height, seeing the also above 6ft Laurent Koscielny partner Djourou. 90 minutes later, Drogba would emerge from Djourou's pocket and go home for a good cry.

In midfield we saw Song, Wilshere and the returning Fabregas flanked by Walcott and Nasri. I would have expected Arshavin, not Walcott, but again Wenger changed his tactics for the opposition, and it worked a treat. Robin van Persie made his first home start in the league since the final game of last season, and I was in good spirits as we kicked off, playing towards the Clock End.

It was a tense first half, but we were the better side, no doubt about it. The first real chance, however, fell to Chelsea. Koscielny was caught out by a Chelsea midfielder, and the ball was played forward to Drogba, who was one on one with Djourou. Sagna and Clichy were back too, but the big Ivorian drove at our equally big Swiss defender. He forced Drogba into a shot 25 odd yards out, and luckily for us the ball whistled just wide. A close call, and we needed to take note of it in case something similar happened to ensure the ball didn't end up in Fabianski's goal.

Just before that, Song had dinked the ball to the far post to van Persie, who was just onside. He completely missed his volley though, and Ivanovic had done well to put him off. A difficult chance, but a chance nevertheless.

RVP then could've had a penalty after Malouda seemed to bring him down - nothing doing from "referee" Mark Clattenburg. Djourou then took a tumble in the area, and after closer inspection on the replay, I concluded that the scumbag John Terry had fouled him. Clattenburg didn't agree.

We won a free kick about 35 yards out on the left, and from the way van Persie and Nasri were stood it was obvious what our plan was. And sure enough, the former rolled it into our mercurial Frenchman's path, and he struck a vicious shot at Cech. Sadly, it was fairly straight at Cech, and he clutched the ball as his fingers stung with the impact of the strike. Fabregas then danced his way into an opening, but his threaded pass was blocked.

Nasri carved out an opening for van Persie, which was wasted by the Dutchman, Theo nipped into the area but won only a fairly useless corner for his troubles, and from the resulting kick Sagna blasted an ambitious volley into Drogba, who momentarily looked out for the count. Cue cheeky cheers from some Gooners. We'd stop him any way we could after his form against us, although it was Djourou who had him halted in his tracks many times that evening.

An outrageous chipped effort that Dennis Bergkamp would have been proud of from Nasri was tipped over, and we really didn't want half time to come. Two minutes before it did, the breakthrough came. Song played it to Wilshere, and continued his run. Jack toed a ball into the path of Fabregas in a congested area, and our skipper was brought down by Ferreira. It was a definite penalty, but as Andy Gray said after, Song took a risk, and shot, taking the advantage Clattenburg played, and slotted past Cech. Passionate celebrations followed, and rightly so - it was a huge goal. You know a goal is big when you have to use italics to highlight it's importance.

A nervous moment nearly gave me a heart attack at the other end - as Chelsea appealed for a penalty, Mark Clattenburg blew his whistle, but to my huge relief it was the half time whistle, and we headed in at the break fully deserving our one goal lead.

We were expecting a close second half as the teams came back out, little did we know the game was about to explode with goals. The first of the second period came when van Persie put himself about amongst Terry, Ivanovic and Essien. His persistence saw him lose control of the ball, but Essien sent the ball spinning into the path of Walcott, who had gambled with his run. Fabregas also had, and he bust a gut to keep up with Theo, and to get into position to score. The English winger saw this, and squared it for our captain, who gleefully tucked it into an empty net. Bea-u-tiful.

Two minutes later and the frenzy continued. Walcott nicked the ball off of Malouda, and Fabregas took the ball in his stride. He clipped the ball over Terry's outstretched leg superbly, into the path of the sprinting Walcott. His first touch was a clinical finish on the edge of the area, and he sent the ball fizzing past Cech. Arsenal fans couldn't believe it, jumping around with delirium. The team celebrated passionately again, and our hero was buried under a sea of Gunners. He later emerged with a big white mark on his head from where he'd been pressed down against the touchline markings, but nobody really cared.

A few minutes later, on the hour mark, Chelsea grabbed one back. In the end it didn't matter, but it made for a tense final 30 minutes. A nothing free kick was swung in by Drogba and nodded over the stranded Fabianski into an open net. Average goalkeeping from Fabianski really, but we'll let him off this time.

As we looked to wind down the clock, Diaby, Rosicky and Chamakh replaced Walcott, Fabregas and van Persie respectively. Diaby had a chance to seal it, but took a moment too long to shoot, and Nasri finished poorly when clean through, but neither chances mattered. The final whistle was blown after quite a bit of pressure from our opponents, and we could finally celebrate a victory against Chelsea. Already one of the most memorable games in my time as a Gooner.

The back four was excellent, Djourou especially, the midfield too - Fabregas and Walcott special mentions - while van Persie lead the line expertly. The atmosphere was superb, Wenger's tactics spot on - a near perfect night. Theo and Cesc's interview was entertaining too; after a cheeky FIFA reference from the former, our skipper was handed the Man of the Match champagne, although insisted he was undeserving of the honour, and would share it with Theo, who also scored and assisted one. By the way, that's 9 goals in 8 starts from Theo this season. Eat your heart out Drogba. Once you're out of Djourou's back pocket that is.
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Re: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Postby Gunner Down Under » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:30 am

Nice work :thumbsup:
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Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Postby Git » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:46 am

Great report.

What I would do to read something this intelligent in the paper. :lol:
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Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Postby Cheese » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:51 am

Brilliant read mate.

The only thing GW is missing now is page 3. Then I wouldn't need to buy the sun for anything. ;)


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Re: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Postby Massa » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:17 am

Check the bodacious bods thread mate :D

Good report Sam
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