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Played
January 20, 2013 3:30 PM SAST
Stamford Bridge — London
Referee:‬ M. Atkinson‎
Attendance:‬ 41784‎
 
6′ Juan Mata
Theo Walcott 58′
16′ (PG) Frank Lampard
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

Stand-out first-half performances from Juan Mata and Ramires saw the Blues over the line after they held off a spirited second-half fightback from the Gunners

By Tom McKeown

  • Petr Cech
    16
    8
    3.00

    Petr Cech

    Made his first save with real authority, palming away Cazorla's testing effort, but was largely untested as he dealt with Arsenal's deliveries well. Beaten by a fine finish from Walcott and made a couple of routine saves.

  • Branislav Ivanovic
    18
    6
    3.00

    Branislav Ivanovic

    As ever, was a potent threat in the opposition box and, at the other end, had little difficulty dealing with Giroud alongside Cahill. Had more to do in the second half, however, but made a few telling blocks, reading the game well.

  • Ashley Cole
    19
    7
    3.00

    Ashley Cole

    Coped well with Walcott and Sagna in the first half and got forward well to support Oscar, but fortunate not to concede a late penalty after fouling Sagna on the edge of the box. However, Cole has been Chelsea's most consistent performer for some time, and looks set to be rightly rewarded with an extended contract.

  • Gary Cahill
    15
    9
    2.50

    Gary Cahill

    Hasn't really shown the form that saw Chelsea sign him from Bolton last January, but didn't have too much to do in the first half against a lacklustre Arsenal side. Was caught out by Walcott's run for his goal before making an absolutely superb last-ditch challenge to deny Walcott in stoppage time.

  • César Azpilicueta
    10
    7
    3.00

    César Azpilicueta

    Set up Mata's goal with a pin-point diagonal ball over the top of the Arsenal defence, and regularly got forward to support Hazard, causing Gibbs all sorts of problems. Was much quieter in the second half, though, and failed to make any contribution as the Blues struggled.

  • Ramires
    28
    7
    3.50

    Ramires Top of the Match

    Despite sitting back in the engine room to support Chelsea's attacking midfield trio, found himself in the perfect place in the box as he was felled by Szczesny for the second goal. May have made the most of the goalkeeper's challenge, but it was an excellent performance as he made some superb trademark darting runs forward and helped Chelsea dominate the midfield in the first half.

  • Frank Lampard
    18
    6
    3.00

    Frank Lampard

    Despite all the uncertainty over his future, Lampard continues to put in fine performances. Took his spot-kick with cool authority, sending Szczesny the wrong way, and played the supporting role well.

  • Oscar
    17
    5
    3.00

    Oscar

    Made a very bright start, setting up two attacks within the first 60 seconds. Hazard and Mata stole the show but it was another fine performance from the Brazilian. Replaced by Bertrand in the second half as Chelsea tried to protect their lead.

  • Eden Hazard
    27
    6
    3.50

    Eden Hazard

    The Belgium international has been in superb form recently, and looked up for it again today. Made a darting run into the area before testing Szczesny from a tight angle and, with Mata, dominated the midfield in the first half, but was much quieter when Arsenal came back into the game.

  • Fernando Torres
    28
    20
    2.50

    Fernando Torres

    Had the backing of Benitez by starting ahead of Ba, and looked threatening early on, but it was Chelsea's attacking midfield trio that caused Arsenal the most problems, while Torres wasted a decent chance, slicing an effort over the bar. Made a superb break with 20 minutes left, but over-ran the ball and looked hugely disappointed with himself.

  • Juan Mata
    24
    7
    4.00

    Juan Mata

    Opened the scoring inside six minutes with a superb piece of control and a devastating finish, and looked dangerous with or without the ball, slotting through a fantastic pass for Ramires in the build-up to the penalty. Had a few sloppy moments in the second half but his performance in the first 45 minutes was excellent.

Substitutions

  • Ryan Bertrand
    10
    6
    2.50

    Ryan Bertrand

    Came on for Oscar with just over 15 minutes remaining, and provided a good attacking option for the Blues but wasn't hugely involved except for a blocked volley late on.

  • Marko Marin
    13
    7
    2.00

    Marko Marin

    Given a late cameo as he replaced Hazard but hardly got a touch of the ball as Chelsea held on desperately.

  • Demba Ba
    22
    8
    3.00

    Demba Ba

    Replaced Torres with 10 minutes left and had a great chance to seal it, skipping past Szczesny with ease before being denied by a superb block from Vermaelen. Looked dangerous as ever and worth every penny of the transfer fee.

  • Wojciech Szczesny
    2
    23
    2.00

    Wojciech Szczesny

    Should have done better with Mata's early strike, and then brought down Ramires with a clumsy challenge for the penalty. His good form last season looks some way away.

  • Bacary Sagna
    2
    21
    2.00

    Bacary Sagna

    Caught out a couple of times as Chelsea doubled up with Cole and Oscar on the wing. Failed to track Mata and Ramires for both goals and generally had a poor afternoon.

  • Per Mertesacker
    8
    11
    2.50

    Per Mertesacker

    Shown up by Torres in the opening stages, and was caught out trying to play a high line for Mata's goal; Wenger will be disappointed with the German's performances since arriving. Had a great chance to get the Gunners back in it early after the break but struck straight at Cech.

  • Thomas Vermaelen
    19
    6
    2.50

    Thomas Vermaelen

    His partnership with Mertesacker looked far from convincing, and Chelsea got behind the Gunners defence far too many times in the first half. Looked slow on occasions but was in the right place to make a vital goal-line block from Ba late on.

  • Kieran Gibbs
    16
    6
    2.50

    Kieran Gibbs

    Had his work cut out with the impressive Hazard, and looked out of his depth in the first half. Attacking options were very limited for the full-back but, like much of the team, improved vastly after the break.

  • A. Diaby
    5
    17
    2.00

    A. Diaby Flop of the Match

    Had a poor return against Manchester City last week, and looked off the pace once again as Chelsea's creative players bossed the midfield before the break, not looking much better after the break as the Gunners got back in the game.

  • Jack Wilshere
    16
    7
    3.00

    Jack Wilshere

    Has thrown in some magnificent performances in recent weeks and is really maturing as a player, but had a more difficult afternoon at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea flooded the midfield in the first half. However, hugely improved in the second half as he took the game by the scruff of the neck and dragged the Gunners back into it.

  • Santi Cazorla
    8
    15
    3.50

    Santi Cazorla

    Tested Cech early on with a rasping strike as Arsenal looked to get straight back in it after Mata's goal. Looked like the Gunners' best hope for a goal and upped his game after the break, working hard and inspiring the rest of the team to improve.

  • Francis Coquelin
    15
    10
    2.50

    Francis Coquelin

    Absent for much of the first half as Chelsea dominated, but slid a good pass through for Walcott before the break, although the England man was flagged for offside. Looked better after the break as Arsenal improved, but limped off just before the hour.

  • Olivier Giroud
    5
    14
    2.50

    Olivier Giroud

    Had a fantastic opportunity early on but missed the target, and was played through by Wilshere for another superb chance but took a touch when a first-time shot would have been the better option. Met a Gibbs cross with a disappointingly poor header before wasting a late chance, drilling straight at Cech with a long-range effort. Looping header landed just over the bar in the dying moments.

  • Theo Walcott
    10
    12
    3.00

    Theo Walcott

    Moved back to the right wing after signing a new contract in the week and set up a superb chance for Giroud early on but wasn't hugely effective in the first half. Got Arsenal back in it with a fine finish on the hour and was much-improved after the break.

Substitutions

  • Aaron Ramsey
    9
    9
    3.00

    Aaron Ramsey

    Came on for the injured Coquelin just before the hour and helped Arsenal impose themselves more in midfield.

  • Andrey Arshavin
    7
    14
    2.50

    Andrey Arshavin

    Came on for the disappointing Diaby with a quarter of an hour left; didn't make too much of an impression as Arsenal's fightback started to run out of steam.

Results
 
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Tournament
Position
Ranking
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Striker
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Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
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15 0