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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
March 22, 2014
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 41614
S. Eto'o 5'
A. Schürrle 7'
E. Hazard 17'
Oscar 42', 66'
Mohamed Salah 71'
FULL-TIME: Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal. What can you say about that? Chelsea were scintillating, Arsenal thoroughly humiliated by a rampant Blues outfit, who showed no signs of letting up after scoring twice in the opening seven minutes. Kieran Gibbs' dismissal, coming after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had handled and Andre Marriner selecting the wrong player, added to the Gunners' woe on Arsene Wenger's 1000th match in charge as goals from Samuel Eto'o, Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard's penalty, two from Oscar and a first goal for Mohamed Salah put Arsenal to the sword.
Rosicky thumps a long-range drive towards the Chelsea goal but is thwarted by Cech's excellent reflex stop, with Giroud firing the rebound well over the bar. Arsenal press again, but the Frenchman is adjudged to be offside.
Arsenal launch another hopeful attack which yields nothing once more, with Cahill and Terry easily dealing with a ball into the area. The Gunners have been toothless going forward.
Another long pass almost catches out the Arsenal defence once more but the linesman raises his flag once more, deeming Salah offside.
CLOSE! Schurrle comes within inches of adding his second and his side's seventh with a ferocious drive which zips past the far post, with Szczesny stranded.
Ivanovic sends in a teasing centre which looks for Torres and Hazard, but Szczesny does well to get to the ball first and smother.
Arsenal have been so, so limp when they come forward, let alone defensively. Giroud is unable to fend off the attentions of John Terry and Cahill this time, claiming a foul but having his protests waved away.
Sagna hacks away at Salah and concedes a free-kick to Chelsea. The ball is whipped towards the far post but the cluster of Blues players at the far post are unable to turn the ball in for a seventh.
Chelsea fans are now chanting "specialist in failure" as they seek to rub Arsenal noses in it even more. What a woeful, woeful afternoon it has been for everyone at the Gunners.
Amongst the celebrations for the sixth goal, Chelsea made another substitution as Luiz departs the action to be replaced by John Obi Mikel.
John Obi Mikel
Assist Nemanja Matić
Goal Mohamed Salah
GOAL! It just gets worse for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, with substitute Salah grabbing a sixth. Azpilicueta's long pass completely dissects the Gunners' backline and finds Salah, who keeps his cool to run through and slot underneath Szczesny.
Arsenal trying to keep the scores down as much as possible but, despite their possession, Chelsea remain a huge threat on the counter.
Oscar is replaced, with the goal being his last contribution to this drubbing as Mohamed Salah comes on for the final quarter of the game.
GOAL! And that caps off a tremendous afternoon for Chelsea and a harrowing one for Arsenal. The Blues have barely had to get out of second gear here, and are gifted a fifth when Rosicky's pass is intercepted by the Brazilian, who finds space just outside the area before bending a finish into the far corner. Replays suggest Szczesny should have done a lot better, but you can hardly blame the Pole given the ineptitude in front of him.
Arsenal have a free-kick wide on the left and Arteta delivers to the far post, but Flamini, who meets it, is unable to steer his free header into the net.
Oscar sees a curling, dipping strike fly just over the crossbar. The Brazilian felt Szczesny had tipped the ball over but referee Marriner points for a goal kick.
Arsenal's first tangible opening since Giroud's early chance falls to Cazorla, but the Spaniard's drilled effort across goal sails wide for a goal kick.
Rosicky leads an Arsenal charge forward but is brought to an abrupt halt by Azpilicueta's block and Chelsea are able to move away with the ball. Luiz quickly looks to release Schurrle, who looked onside, but the linesman on the near side thought otherwise.
Substitute Jenkinson shoves Schurrle to the floor and is penalised for doing so. Chelsea are content to keep the ball, though, rather than launch it into the penalty area.
Arsenal show a bit more adventure in getting forward down the left, but Rosicky's ball is slightly heavy and Cahill is able to clear ahead of Sagna.
Yellow Card Tomas Rosicky
Rosicky goes flying in on Azpilicueta on the far touchline. The Chelsea supporters cry for another red card, but Marriner brandishes just a yellow for the Czech midfielder.
Chelsea are keeping the ball from the Gunners and inviting challenges to exploit gaps in the final third of the field. Arsenal are looking weary and frustrated, understandably.
Chelsea hit a long ball down the middle of the pitch towards Schurrle, but the German frontman is flagged for offside before Fernando Torres darts into the penalty area but hesistates and allows Per Mertesacker to get a block in. Luiz then fires in a rebound which is parried by Szczesny.
Arsenal get the second half underway. Can they restore even a little bit of pride at Stamford Bridge? Mathieu Flamini and Carl Jenkinson have come on for the visitors.
HALF-TIME: Chelsea 4-0 Arsenal. The Gunners have, quite simply, meekly surrendered to their fellow title challengers and that woeful showing in the opening period must surely spell the end of their title challenge. It looked ominious as soon as Eto'o scored after five minutes. Schurrle added a second just two minutes later before Oxlade-Chamberlain handled on the line. Gibbs was strangely the man to be given his marching orders but Hazard didn't care, stroking home from the spot for the third before Oscar grabbed a fourth. Wenger's 1000th game has been a chastening experience so far.
45' + 2'
Hazard looks to weave his way into the area but Sagna is able to get a block in at the last moment and lead Arsenal away. Moments later, Rosicky tests Cech, but the shot is straight down the keeper's throat.
Arsenal go close to getting one back. Cazorla feeds Giroud on the left-hand side of the penalty area but the Frenchman's effort is fired low into the side netting.
Assist Fernando Torres
GOAL! Oscar makes it 4-0 to Chelsea and Arsenal are being put to the sword here at Stamford Bridge, with the Gunners falling asleep at the back. Fernando Torres steals in behind Vermaelen and crosses for Oscar, who has the simplest of tasks in slotting the ball into the roof of the net. If the game wasn't already over, it certainly is now.
Chamberlain does well once more with his defensive duties to get in some sort of challenge to put off Hazard, who fires over.
Oxlade-Chamberlain concedes a corner after good work from Schurrle but Arsenal are now struggling to get out of their half again, with Szczesny making another neat save.
Chelsea move downfield and look to inflict further damage on Arsenal but, to the Gunners' credit, they have defended slightly better as a unit since the dismissal. Not that it is going to count for much, but it is helping to repel the Blues at present.
Arsenal enjoy a neat spell of possession but there is no end product to show for it, with Cazorla seeing his shot blocked before Oxlade-Chamberlain's slips at the crucial moment.
Arsenal advance down the left-hand side but Cazorla slips at the crucial moment and his attempted pass deflects off Ivanovic and through to Cech, who has had to do nothing since saving from Giroud early on.
WHAT A SAVE: Szczesny has to be at his best to get down low and get fingertips to Luiz's deflected strike, which appeared to ricochet off Schurrle. The German delivers the corner in and Chelsea appeal for another penalty for handball against Vermaelen, but Marriner is having none of it.
Tomas Rosicky takes a tumble in the penalty area but Marriner tells him to get to his feet and play resumes.
Chelsea are content to just roll the ball around and tired their wounded opposition but Cazorla does well to earn his side a free-kick by weaving in and out of challenges before being tripped by Matic.
It's wave after wave of Chelsea attacks at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues sensing blood and looking to cruise to a huge win over their fierce London rivals. What a boost for the Blues and what a catastrophe for Arsenal.
Arsenal make a substitution to limit the Chelsea damage, with Thomas Vermaelen filling in at left-back, Lukas Podolski is replaced. What a disaster for the Gunners.
Schurrle is almost slipped in after another incisive counter attack from the hosts but Oscar's pass is slightly behind the German, who had tried to bend his run.
Arsenal desperately trying to get back into it here by coming forward but Ivanovic is easily able to fend off Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is lucky to still be on the pitch, and pass back to Petr Cech.
Penalty Goal Eden Hazard
GOAL! Hazard converts from the penalty spot with ease, sending Szczesny the wrong way, and it is all going badly wrong for Arsenal. They are 3-0 down and have a man less than their hosts, who are swarming all over them. Wenger's big day is turning into a nightmare.
Red Card Kieran Gibbs
PENALTY! Hazard's shot is heading wide of goal but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dives full stretch to punch the ball wide of goal but referee Andre Marriner sends off Kieran Gibbs instead!
Bacary Sagna is penalised for a foul on Hazard in a central position. Schurrle whips the ball in towards the back post but Szczesny claims easily.
Now Gibbs gives the ball away and is fortunate Chelsea do not make anything of the move, with Branislav Ivanovic's cross blocked by Cazorla.
What a remarkable start to this game and Arsenal look shellshocked by their woeful early start to this game. The Gunners give the ball away once more and Schurrle is on the attack again, but the Blues cannot find a way through this time.
Assist Nemanja Matić
Goal Andre Schürrle
GOAL! Chelsea lead 2-0 after just seven minutes! Schurrle - back in the team today - puts his side firmly in the ascendency with a superb finish. Nemanja Matic robs Santi Cazorla and feeds the German, who dispatches clinically through the legs of Koscielny. A huge uphill battle for Arsenal now.
Assist Andre Schürrle
Goal Samuel Eto'o
GOAL! Just moments after Olivier Giroud had wasted an opportunity at the other end, Chelsea are far more clinical at the other end, as Samuel Eto'o curls home into the far corner to give the home side the lead. An incisive counter is led by Eden Hazard, who slips in the striker before Eto'o cut back inside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and finishes with aplomb past Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal have started brightly but their early good work is almost undone as Laurent Koscielny takes a risk by giving away possession to Schurrle, whose cross is narrowly missed by Samuel Eto'o.
We are underway here as Chelsea get the ball rolling.
We are just moments away from kick off at Stamford Bridge.
For Chelsea, meanwhile, the outlook is looking slightly brighter than it did after the setback at Villa Park, after coasting to a Champions League win over a poor Galatasaray side to book their place in the quarter finals.
Should they lose, however, even Wenger would be forced to privately admit his side's chances of the Premier League title, at least, are fading ahead of that City match.
Wenger has never won against Mourinho, spanning across 10 meetings, and given the Portuguese's astonishing home record with Chelsea, a win for Arsenal today would be a significant boost and give them renewed belief heading into the final throes of the season, with another crunch encounter against Manchester City next weekend.
Mourinho's recent "specialist in failure" jibe has only served to light the blue touch paper ahead of this game, with both sides desperate for the three points which would strengthen their respective title challenges.
Today's match will have massive implications on the title picture regardless of which way it goes, whether Wenger would have chosen a face-off with arch enemy Mourinho at Stamford Bridge - where the Portuguese has never lost - is debatable.
Arsenal substitutes: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Flamini, Sanogo, Jenkinson, Kallstrom, Gnabry.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud.
Chelsea substitutes: Schwarzer, Lampard, Torres, Mikel, Salah, Ba, Kalas.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Luiz, Matic; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Eto'o.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho makes two changes to the side that lost at Aston Villa last weekend. Both are enforced, with Willian and Ramires both sent off last week and so David Luiz and Andre Schurrle come in. Arsenal are unchanged.
Good afternoon and welcome to this LIVE commentary of Arsene Wenger's 1000th match in charge of Arsenal, as his side travel to Chelsea in a crunch title encounter this lunchtime.
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