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December 27, 2010
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 60112
A. Song 44'
T. Walcott 53'
B. Ivanović 57'
90' + 5'
FULL TIME! All over at the Emirates as Arsenal celebrate a 3-1 win over Chelsea. The Gunners move into second, two points behind Manchester United having played a game more. The Blues are fourth having gone six games without a win, they are now six points off the top having played a game extra. That's all from the Emirates but stay with Goal.com for all the reaction.
90' + 2'
Time ticking away for Chelsea, Lampard and Drogba try to pick out Kalou but the ball is too close to Fabianski who collects gratefully.
Chaos in the Chelsea box! A free-kick is headed goalwards by Terry. Then Drogba has a vicious shot blocked, before Kalou hits the post before being flagged offside! Late drama at the Emirates as we head into FOUR minutes of stoppage time.
Lampard scuffs a shot goalwards but it lacks the pace and direction to trouble Fabianksi who collects comfortably. Meanwhile, off goes Fabregas he will be replaced by Rosicky.
Almost a chance for Arsenal on the break but Ivanovic does well to get back and play the ball back to Cech ahead of Chamakh.
Chelsea have a free-kick some 25 yards from goal. Up steps Didier Drogba...and hammers it over the bar to the delight of the home fans.
Chelsea are pressing but Arsenal are defending well, it's not over yet but unless the visitors score soon it will be.
What a chance for Diaby to finish it! Wilshere slips in the substitute with a glorious pass. However, he opts to check back onto his right foot which gives Cech all the time he needs to make the save.
Heading towards the last 10 minutes and Arsenal looking good for the three points at the moment. Of course another Chelsea goal would make for a thrilling finish but at the moment Fabianski is not being over-employed in the Arsenal goal.
Robin van Persie
Chelsea pile the pressure back on with a couple of corners before Kakuta hits a wild effort wide of goal. Meanwhile, another change for the home side with Chamakh replacing Van Persie.
Diaby is involved straight away. He tries to slide in Van Persie who is racing into the box but is denied by Terry who does well to intercept and clear.
Fabregas is felled by Ivanovic which allows Arsene Wenger to make a change. Off goes Walcott and on comes Abou Diaby.
What a chance for Nasri! A quick break sees Walcott try to pick out Nasri, Kakuta can only touch the ball onto the Frenchman who only has Cech to beat but fluffs the chance and somehow Chelsea escape.
Yellow CardCesc Fàbregas
Arsenal enjoy a good spell of possession to just interrupt Chelsea's growing momentum. However, Fabregas then gives the ball away to Essien who drives forwards before being pulled back by the Arsenal skipper who is booked for the foul.
More from our man Alex Dimond: "You can feel the tension around the Emirates now, although many are trying to keep in positive spirits. Ivanovic's subtle touch changed the whole mood in the stands — it remains to be seen whether that transmits to the players. Chelsea are throwing everything at them now, they will be in for a testing 25 minutes."
Chelsea starting to come on strong after that goal. Drogba is sent scampering into the box and his blocked shot wins a corner.
Final throw of the dice for Ancelotti who throws Bosingwa on for Ferreira. Chelsea have a little over half an hour left to try and rescue this.
Yellow CardFrank Lampard
Lampard goes in very late on Song and leaves the goalscorer hobbling. He picks up a yellow card and Song hobbles off but should be OK to continue.
GOAL! Chelsea give themselves a glimmer of hope! Drogba sends a great free-kick into the box and Ivanovic has the simple task of heading past Fabianski!
Carlo Ancelotti opts to make a change and on comes Gael Kakuta, off goes Florent Malouda.
What a couple of minutes for Arsenal! Let's hear from Alex Dimond at the Emirates: "Emirates understandably delighted with that second goal, which has put them in the driving seat. The players seem buoyant too, covering that extra yard of grass to close down their shell-shocked opponents — an extra effort that directly led to the third, perhaps decisive, goal. Do the Blues have any answer?"
GOAL! Arsenal score again and it's Walcott! Chelsea are stunned and none more so than Malouda who is robbed by Walcott who then races forward and calmly slots across goal and past Cech!
GOAL! Fabregas scores and it's 2-0 to Arsenal! Essien tries to nick the ball away from Van Persie but it simply falls to Walcott who squares to Fabregas to tap into an empty net.
Ramires goes in late on Wilshere but escapes a booking but Arsenal are seeing plenty of the ball in these opening minutes of the second half.
Arsenal win an early corner which Van Persie whips in but Cech claims at the second attempt.
John Obi Mikel
Welcome back, one change to tell you about at the break. Ramires is on and he replaces Mikel, otherwise it's as we were as Chelsea get this second half underway.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME! Arsenal lead at the break courtesy of Song's strike. Can the Gunners hand on for a rare victory against Chelsea? Join me after the break to find out.
45' + 1'
Back to Alex Dimond at the Emirates for his view on that goal: "The Emirates at full volume after Song's well-taken opener. But perhaps the most telling reaction was that of the Arsenal players, who all joined the goalscorer for an impromptu bundle in the middle of the park. Wenger has clearly sent his side out to try and win the game — so far they are doing it".
Into one minute of stoppage time at the end of the half...
GOAL! Arsenal lead and it's Alex Song who makes it 1-0! Song attempts a one-two with Wilshere. The return pass actually finds Fabregas, who looks to be fouled, but it doesn't matter because Song simply picks up possession and sweeps it past Cech for the opener.
Goal.com's Alex Dimond is at the Emirates tonight, so let's hear his thoughts on the first half: "Even first half, with Arsenal fans in unusually good voice as their team threaten with reasonable regularity. Evidently neither manager is too disappointed with things so far, though, as both men have stood stationary on the edge of their dugout pretty much throughout. Needs a spark of genius to liven things up."
GREAT SAVE CECH! Brilliant, brilliant effort from Nasri who chips a superb shot which looks to be creeping in before Cech somehow manages to claw it over the bar! Best chance of the game so far.
Suddenly Chelsea break, with plenty of men roaring forwards. Kalou feeds Essien down the right but his cross is awful and Arsenal escape.
Yellow CardSalomon Kalou
So close for Arsenal! Walcott uses his pace to pick up a loose ball in the box and for a moment he looks destined to score until Cech does well to smother the danger.
Arsenal dominating possession now and Walcott fires in a cross from the right which a flying Terry heads clear. Kalou then picks up a booking after going in high on Clichy.
Lovely stuff from the Gunners. Van Persie and Nasri swap passes inside the Chelsea box but the Dutchman then fires a ferocious effort miles over the bar.
Yellow CardRobin van Persie
Van Persie follows Ashley Cole into the book. After a good spell of possession for Arsenal he dives in on Mikel on the edge of the Chelsea box and referee Clattenburg reaches for the card.
This is a good spell for Arsenal who are being roared forwards by the Emirates crowd. This time Wilshere tries to send Fabregas through but there's just too much on it and it rolls straight through to Cech.
Yellow CardAshley Cole
Ashley Cole is the first man in the book which predictably, delights the home fans. He fouls Walcott and is then shown the yellow card for kicking the ball away.
Good defending by Terry. Fabregas attempts to slide a ball in to Van Persie which would have sent the Dutchman clean through. However, the Chelsea skipper reads it perfectly and steps forwards to intercept.
Great chance for Walcott. Wilshere pings a lovely ball forward but the England man makes a mess of it which allows Terry time to come across before Cech finally claims.
Theo Walcott falls over his own legs on the edge of the Chelsea box and wants a free-kick but is denied mainly because he wasn't fouled but also because he was offside.
Good save Cech! The Chelsea 'keeper does well to save from Nasri after the Frenchman smashes a free-kick goalwards.
Arsenal want a penalty! Malouda and Van Persie tangle on the edge of the box and the Dutchman goes tumbling. The home fans scream for a penalty but the referee waves the claims away.
Arsenal fail to track a Lampard run which allows Drogba to tee up the midfielder for a shot with a nice cushioned header but his effort is blocked.
A Van Persie free-kick is flighted into the Chelsea box where Djourou goes flying under the vaguest pressure from Terry. The referee, sensibly, points for a goal kick.
Another chance for Drogba. Again the cross comes from the right but Djourou just does enough to help it out for a corner which comes to nothing.
Chelsea are showing signs of really settling into this game whilst Arsenal look nervy, highlighted by Wilshere lofting a forward pass straight out of play under no pressure whatsover.
John Terry loses out to a combination of Fabregas and Van Persie close to the centre circle. The skipper then pulls back Van Persie just as Arsenal look to break, but somehow escapes a booking from referee Clattenburg. The decision is greeted by boos from the home fans.
Chelsea win a corner which Malouda takes towards Terry at the near post but Van Persie is the man who heads clear.
It's end-to-end stuff at the moment at the Emirates. Now Nasri races past Ferreira but places his cross too close to Cech who catches comfortably.
Just wide from Drogba! The Ivorian has 13 goals in 13 games against Chelsea and almost makes it 14! He catches Arsenal on the break and hammers a low shot across goal, but just wide of the post!
Great chance for Arsenal! Song lifts a super ball into Van Persie in the box. The pass beats Ivanovic and the Dutchman just has Cech to beat but completely misses the ball and it runs harmlessly out of play!
A first foray forwards for Chelsea sees Essien send Kalou racing down the right, the Blue have players in the box. However, Kalou's cross is awful and Arsenal regain possession.
Arsenal enjoy some great possession which leads to Nasri flinging in a cross but there is no-one in the box to profit. Seconds later and Van Persie is sent clear through but he is stopped in his tracks by the offside flag.
The hosts look bright and full of pace in the opening minutes and win a free-kick after Kalou sends Koscielny flying.
Here we go! Arsenal kick-off and we are underway at the Emirates...
So, Lukasz Fabianski starts in goal for the hosts with Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott also in from the start and Robin van Persie replacing Marouane Chamakh up front. For the Blues, Nicolas Anelka is left out due to injury, Ramires is benched and Frank Lampard makes his first start in four months.
Chelsea: Cech; Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Essien, Mikel, Lampard; Malouda, Drogba, Kalou. Subs: Ramires, Bosingwa, Turnbull, Van Aanholt, Bruma, Kakuta, McEachran.
Arsenal: Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy; Song, Wilshere, Fabregas; Nasri, Walcott; Van Persie. Subs: Diaby, Rosicky, Squillaci, Arshavin, Chamakh, Bendtner, Szczesny.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com as we bring you live coverage of tonight’s clash between Arsenal and Chelsea. The Gunners have lost their last five games against the Blues but know that victory tonight will move them into second place in the table. However, it may just be a good time for them to be facing Chelsea as Carlo Ancelotti’s men have taken just six measly points from their last seven outings. Either way we should be in for a cracker so sit back and relax as all the action is coming right up!
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