Chelsea (1) – (2) Arsenal
Van Persie (60′, 62′)
Stamford Bridge, London
Well where the hell did that come from?
Once again, like the Manchester United game – Arsenal were underdogs going into the game, and the match was billed as a big test of character. And once again we came out 2-1 winners.
And yet again there was a double-goal hero, this time that accolade going to Robin Van Persie.
In a simply stunning couple of minutes, Van Persie literally exploded – his first goal was a rocket into the top corner with his weaker foot and his second was a beautifully-taken precise snap shot into the bottom corner.
Van Persie is an impact player, and given the chance today he didn’t disappoint.
The first half was a bit hot and cold, and while Chelsea had most of the possession it was Arsenal who created the most chances. And it was William Gallas who had the best chance to score the opener after he just failed to meet a Cech save from a Fabregas shot.
The full time whistle amazingly saw the home side only having one shot on target in the entire 94 minutes.
While Arsenal managed 11 attempts on goal, with 7 of those on target.
But despite all the statistics, it was Chelsea who scored first – and it came completely gift wrapped.
A Chelsea corner was well caught by Almunia, who decided to quickly throw it out to Nasri on the left. Unfortunately, the throw was too long and it was intercepted by Bosingwa, who played the ball inside to Lampard, who passed it to Anelka who then gave it back to Bosingwa out wide. His low cross was then deflected into the net by Djourou.
Talk about making it hard for ourselves.
It was a wicked cross from Bosingwa and Djourou was put in the horrible position of having to deal with it, and his outstretched boot only succeeded in giving the home side the lead. But you have to say Almunia made a howler with his throw out.
But through adversity comes great strength.
And in the second half it was all down to Van Persie’s killer instinct.
Surprisingly, after Arsenal took the lead Chelsea’s expected onslaught never really came. Arsenal comfortably saw the game out and defended well as a unit. And despite my concerns of Song in the starting line-up, he actually did well at times.
And Cesc Fabregas won another game as the leader of Arsenal. Yes, he’s only got two games under his belt as captain but a win over Chelsea is a very impressive achievement, especially when you consider it was Patrick Vieira who was the last man to lead Arsenal to victory at Stamford Bridge.
But Arsenal need to make this victory matter.
They beat Manchester United impressively but followed that up with consecutive defeats to Aston Villa and Manchester City. And with very poor performances as well.
This current Arsenal side need to make sure they’re not just up for the big games, and need to take this confidence and belief into the next few months – no matter who the opposition are.
And if anyone can get the side motivated for the rest of the season that man is Cesc Fabregas.