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Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1

In a highly entertaining London derby it was Chelsea that just about took the honours and the three points.

Team News - Rafa Benitez, once again, shuffled his pack after the disappointing 2-2 draw with Southampton in midweek. Ivanovic was recalled to the heart of the defence with David Luiz missing through illness but the most contentious selection was that of Fernando Torres, a newly shorn Fernando we should add, in place of Demba Ba who was left on the bench alongside John Terry who many expected to start.

First Half - In snowy conditions, at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea got the action underway, attacking the Shed End, and were to enjoy a sparkling forty-five minutes against an Arsenal side that had trouble coping with the pace and movement.

However, for all Chelsea`s dominance it was Arsenal that should have opened the scoring, in the 5th minute, when the Chelsea defence opened up but Giroud could only screw his shot wide and Arsenal were punished almost immediately when Chelsea took the lead.

Ramires won the ball, in debatable circumstances, in a challenge with Coquelien and when a long diagonal ball was played towards Juan Mata the Spaniard produced a piece of brilliant skill to control it before smashing it past Szczesny in the Arsenal goal.

Arsenal could have equalised almost immediately but Cech was on hand to turn around the post a decent twenty-five yard effort from Cazorla. But Chelsea were producing some lovely flowing football and Hazard, after a mazy run, saw his effort turned around the post by the keeper. But, in the 16th minute, Chelsea doubled their lead when good football involving Mata and Torres saw Ramires free on goal, trying to dance around Szczesny, but the keeper pulled him down.

Lampard stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, slotting it home to the keepers left Chelsea continued to create chances and Ramires blasted wide after yet more decent build up play involving Mata before, as the half drew to a close, Torres blasted an effort high and wide after a free kick, given for a foul on Ramires, had been half cleared.

Second Half - If Chelsea had dominated the first half then it was to be a different story in the second half as Arsenal came out all guns blazing. Early efforts from Mertesaker and Walcott were saved by Cech whilst Ivanovic, putting Giroud under pressure, assisted in helping Cech claim a weak looping header from the French forward.

But, in the 58th minute, Arsenal did get back into the game when Cazorla`s lovely ball found the advancing Walcott and his exquisite finish beat Cech comfortably. Arsenal were all over us now and Walcott, minutes after the goal, rolled another shot past the post.

Cole was then penalised for a foul on Walcott but Cazorla`s free kick hit the wall. Finally there was some respite from the pressure as Torres broke superbly only to see a heavy touch give the keeper the chance to come out and collect the ball. Minutes later, on the opposite flank, Torres breaking in the same manner, was reluctant to shoot and his end product pass was poor.

Rafa brought on Bertrand, in place of Oscar, to shore things up and Arsenal has to rely on Szczensy to turn a Ramires shot around the post. Torres saw a low curling shot saved before a ling-busting run by Ramires saw the midfielder unable to engineer a shot.

Rafa made a second substation, bringing on Demba Ba for Torres and the new striker almost gave us a third goal when he rounded the keeper, out wide, only for Vermaelen to clear his shot off the line. With four minutes of normal time left, Cole fouled Sagna on the edge of the area but Vermaelen screwed the resulting free kick low and wide.

With three minutes left Rafa brought on Marin in place of Hazard and Chelsea, facing five minutes of added on time, were left to defend resolutely as Arsenal forced a succession of corners with Cahill, in particular, producing one excellent tackle to deny Walcott.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Oscar (Bertrand-72), Hazard (Marin-87), Mata, Torres (Ba-80)

Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Ake.

Chelsea Scorers - Mata (16), Lampard pen (16)

Chelsea Yellow Cards - Mata, Cole

Chelsea Red Cards - Nil

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday January 20 2013
Time: 3:36PM


Talk about a game of two halves! Well done Chelsea, and to all the negativeboo boys , stfu and support the club.
20/01/2013 15:42:00
Has torres ever won us an important fixture by himself ? has he ever given up a glimmer of hope from a loosing position , the front trio work so hard and he doesnt seem to do anything , why we have him still amazes me . and look at how long it took benitez to bring ba on , i wonder if he is so much better than RDM like people suggested here .. good win for us , i hope we do well against tottenham and man city
Don capon
20/01/2013 15:42:00
It was a good win,however we need to be more clinical with our finishing. If we had buried the game in the first half we wouldn't have been under so much pressure after arsenal scored thier goal.And somebody pls tell benitez to stop benching Ba for such am important game
20/01/2013 15:44:00
Don, stop bloody moaning! We won! By the way, he repaid huge amounts of his price tag at the nou camp last year.... Remember that?
20/01/2013 15:45:00
Hope Arsenal drop out of Top 4 this year.
The Psychic Blue l9l
20/01/2013 15:48:00
Good stuff from the boys although Ba should have come a little earlier if it was a must for Torres to start. Ba is the right player to run and beat Arsenal's shaky defence but all in all it was a good game for us. The boys gave 100%. Ram's tackling was spot on, Cech, Lamps were great. It was an all blue day. Kudos and keep it up.
20/01/2013 15:48:00
Rafa is not a tactical coach, this man is just an opportunist and the talent of mazacar is the only thing that is making it hard for peeps to find him out, we won and it something we should be happy about, but why invite that pressure in the first instance? Why make ur team work extra hard in a game we dominated, his stubborness to proof himself a wonder worker on torres will cost us this season, mark my words*, ba ought to be in that team in the 60th minute and mata out for marin in the 75th minute with oscar coming to the middle, before u begin to give us crap that bertie was brought in to curb walcott, what was walcott's contribution in the first half, between oscar and cole they shut him off sucessfully, we bring this scenarios on herself and its bcos our coach is clueless realistically he is, I just wish hazard and mata won't burn out earlier than I suspect.
20/01/2013 15:51:00
Apart from Rafa's glaring stupidity/naiveity wait till you see tomorrows headlines: Lampard seals winner for Chelsea....Lamps too will take time to discuss his contract publicly
20/01/2013 15:51:00
The sooner #RAFAOUT, the better....
Blue in Colorado
20/01/2013 15:53:00
@djdutts how am i moaning ? how has torres helped this team so far? we ******** paid 50 million and u said one goal last season paid a huge chunk of it , i think that is being delusional , that goal came when the game was almost over and i am sure if it was any other chelsea player in that position they could have scored and that game and if they didnt they would have seen the game out and remember we were not in a loosing position at that point , i would stop moaning when the constant below par performances stop
Don capon
20/01/2013 15:53:00
That said, I agree with DESMOND 100% about Rafa
20/01/2013 15:54:00
That said, I agree with DESMOND 100% about Rafa
20/01/2013 15:54:00
Now for Spurs to draw with or beat manure and narrow the gap at the top.
20/01/2013 15:56:00
Ourselves* sorry about the typo, I am still miffed that we have to slug it out and wind ourselves up with a bunch of kids that won't make our bench on a good day, coquelin, gibbs,ramsey, seriously?
20/01/2013 15:56:00
Massive 3 points and hope we consolidate position 3 sooner than latter.
20/01/2013 15:56:00
Roman deserves no better than Tubby and Torres. That guy knows how to mess up a beautiful thing. Happy for the win but Tubby and Torres out.
Keyser Soze
20/01/2013 15:56:00
We have 2 weeks in the transfer window, we need a quality striker to back up Ba, we won't make top4 with 1 striker (unless you call that other idiot a striker)
20/01/2013 15:56:00
Hey Merlin how come you post match reports immediately whenever we win, but no one sees anything from a full 24 hrs after we lose? Aren't you supposed to tell it as it is pronto?
20/01/2013 15:57:00
Don Capon.Not the right time to moan.Its party time.Such victories are of great significance.And in my opinion,that goal at the Nou Camp was worth a huge price,if not more.Had he not scored,there was a great chance Barca would have got the winner(like Iniesta at the Bridge).I am not a Torres fan but that goal was bloody equivalent to gold.
20/01/2013 15:58:00
@Mq, Benitez was a top coach for you few days back. RDM being the clueless one. Things have changed inside your big head?
Keyser Soze
20/01/2013 15:58:00
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