Date:Saturday March 22 2014
If Arsene Wenger was looking for a memorable 1000th game in charge of Arsenal then Chelsea certainly gave him a game to remember, slamming six goals past his hapless Gunners.
Team News - For this fixture Jose Mourinho was forced to shuffle his starting eleven. With Ramires and Willian both suspended having picked up red-cards against Aston Villa last weekend, there were recalls for a fit again David Luiz in a holding role, whilst Andre Schurrle replaced Willian.
With Arsene Wenger celebrating his 1000th game in charge of Arsenal, any animosity between the two managers was temporarily put to one side when Jose embraced Arsene with a warm handshake before the match kicked off.
First Half - Arsenal started brightly, winning possession as Chelsea tried to get moves going, but the first shot of the game saw Giroud hammer an effort against a team-mate. Giroud then, from a ball in from Rosicky, forced Cech to produce a smart save. From the counter attack Chelsea were to take the lead through Samuel Eto`o
The goal came after Hazard and Eto`o found themselves two-on-two with the Arsenal back line and the striker cut inside Oxlade-Chamberlain to bend a wonderful shot into the net with just five minutes on the clock.
Two minutes later Chelsea doubled their lead when Andre Schurrle netted. The German took the opportunity to take advantage of the space he found himself in to drive home a shot from just outside the box.
Having opened the scoring the game was to finish early for Eto`o when he looked to have picked up a hamstring injury and was replaced by Fernando Torres.
Matters got worse for Arsenal just before the fifteen minute mark when they conceded a penalty when Oxlade Chamberlain stopped an effort from Hazard with his hand, but strangely enough it was Kieron Gibb who was shown a red-car. The shooting opportunity had come after a through ball from Torres had presented the Belgian with the scoring opportunity.
Eden Hazard stepped up and took the opportunity to make it 3-0 from the penalty spot calmly slotting home straight down the middle.
Arsene Wenger, on the back of the red card, pulled off Podolski and introduced Vermaelen, to try and stem the flow. But the shocking decision made by Andre Marriner in sending off the wrong player will remain the major talking point of that extraordinary first twenty minute blitz.
On the half hour mark Chelsea almost scored fourth when David Luiz surged forward, from midfield, before seeing Szczesny tip his shot around the post. Arsenal, courtesy of that early goal blitz; were looking shell-shocked. But matters were to get worse for Arsene and his boys when Oscar made it 4-0.
The goal coming after Torres had beaten Mertesacker for pace and squared the ball, invitingly, for Oscar to smash it into the net. Arsenal were being caught out time and time again by our counter-attacking football. The half ended with Cech forced into a save to deny Rosicky from getting Arsenal on the score-sheet.
Not surprisingly, Chelsea left the field of play at half time to a thunderous ovation.
Second Half - Arsene Wenger made two more changes at half-time introducing Flamini and Jenkinson for Koscielny and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Chelsea started the half where they`d left off, looking for goals. Torres produced a marvellous run only to see Mertesacker block his shot before Luiz saw his follow-up shot parried by the keeper, Szczesny.
The first yellow card of the game saw Rosicky go into the book for a poor lunge on Azpilicueta. Four goals to the good, Chelsea were content in allowing Arsenal large chunks of possession. One slice of possession saw Cazorla unleash a shot that went just wide of the far post.
Chelsea responded by launching a decent attack down the right which saw Torres pick out Oscar and the Brazilians resulting shot was tipped over the bar by Szczesny. Respite for Arsenal was short-lived though with Oscar getting his second of the game to make it 5-0.
The goal, in the 66th minute came about after Arsenal lost possession just outside the area allowing Oscar to bend a shot around Flamini which Szcznesy could only push into the net. The goal was Oscar`s last contribution with Mohamed Salah coming on in his place almost immediately and the substitute had an immediate effect making it 6-0.
The goal came Salah used his devastating pace to beat a clumsy offside trap and roll the ball past Szcznesy in the Arsenal goal for his first goal for Chelsea. With the game more than wrapped up, Mikel was brought on in place of David Luiz and Chelsea appeared to take their foot off the pedal.
There was still time, however, for Schurrle to flash a long range shot just past the post. Arsenal, as the end of the game drew nearer, pushed for a consolation goal but it wasn`t to be.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, David Luiz (Mikel-72); Schurrle, Oscar (Salah-67), Hazard; Eto'o (Torres-10)
Unused Subs - Schwarzer, Lampard, Ba, Kalas.
Chelsea Scorers - Eto`o (5), Schurrle (7), Hazard (17), Oscar (42, 66), Salah (71)
Chelsea Yellow Cards - Nil
Chelsea Red Cards - Nil
Date:Saturday March 22 2014
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