29 September 2012

Chelsea Hold Onto Top Spot With Impressive Win At Arsenal

By Joseph Chapman: https://twitter.com/jcwba16

Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the season after narrowly beating rivals Arsenal in this frantic lunchtime encounter.

Both teams had managed six goals each midweek in the Capital One Cup against Midlands opposition, added to the fact that they produced game of the season last year, so there were high hopes for the televised fixture.

John Terry led his side out after receiving news this week that he will serve a four match ban and pay a fine for an incident concerning QPR's Anton Ferdinand last year. Frank Lampard was reduced to the bench while there was no place in the squad for Daniel Sturridge.

Thomas Vermaelen returned to the Gunner's defence for the match against the Blues, after missing out on their draw against Man. City last week. Vito Mannone continued in goal, but the game came too soon for Jack Wilshere.

The first shot on target came from David Luiz, but his effort from a free kick was tame and easily held by Mannone.

Chelsea started the brighter, Fernando Torres flashing a ball across the six yard box, but there weren't any blue shirts about to turn it in.

Arsenal's first effort came from Ramsey after nippy play around the edge of the area from Diaby, Gervinho soon after teeing up Cazorla who blazed over. Despite the hosts' obvious attacking impetus, Chelsea were able to counter, Mata, Hazard and Oscar all looking dangerous.

Diaby himself shot straight at Cech, but soon made way for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after picking up an injury.

The away side took the lead on 20. A Mata free kick wasn't dealt with and Torres managed to wrap his leg around Koscielny and volley the ball into the net.

This sparked Arsenal into life. The battle down the right hand side between Ramsey and Cole continued, but the home side's forwards were somewhat subdued. There were penalty appeals from Cazorla and Torres within a minute of each other, but both were waved away by Martin Atkinson.

Arsenal's persistence paid off right before half time. Oxlade-Chamberlain receiving the ball on the wing and picking out Gervinho. The African trapped the ball with his back to goal before launching a shot into the roof of the net.

The first chance in the second half suggested that Arsenal were about to pick up where they left off. Gibbs played a through ball that Podolski played across the box. The poor clearance went straight to Cazorla who sliced it wide.

However, Chelsea were to regain their lead when Mata's second free kick in succession caused havoc. The ball went straight through a host of players before Koscielny attempted to prevent it from beating Mannone, but only succeeded in helping it on.

Petr Cech was to be busy from thereon in. He first stopped a fantastic header from Podolski. Walcott and Giroud were thrown on by Arsene Wenger and the latter had a shot which deflected wickedly. But the Czech managed to palm the ball away for a corner. He could do nothing about a Cazorla free kick which was met by the head of Koscielny. The Frenchman was hoping to make amends, but could only turn the ball onto the post.

The final chance was possibly the best. Oxlade-Chamberlain played a one-two with Cazorla before laying it off for Giroud. The signing from Montpellier took the ball round Cech but then proceeded in missing the target.

Chelsea held on and remain on top of the table, while Arsenal suffer their first defeat of the season. It will be intriguing to see if the Blues can keep this form up and mount a serious title challenge under Robbie Di Matteo.

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1 comment:

  1. Both teams performance was great!! Chelsea were lucky to take a win.