Gunners treble spells trouble for Blues
Written By: Robert Halter
The Gunners looked to end a winless run of nine Premier League games against Chelsea as Arsenal aimed for their first victory over the Blues at the Emirates stadium since a 3-1 victory back in December 2010. In the third minute from a pull back by Hector Bellerin, a well timed strike by Santi Cazorla, was palmed away by Blues keeper, Thibaut Courtois, at full stretch. Five minutes later, key defending by Gary Cahill, kept out the Arsenal offensive movement, first stifling the attacking run into the area from Theo Walcott, and then blocking over the rebound shot by Alexis Sanchez. But in the eleventh minute, Cahill made a complete blunder with a miss placed back pass to Sanchez, presenting a gift for the Gunners front man, who punished the Blues by turning the ball past a stranded Courtois. It got worse for Chelsea, three minutes later, as Arsenal doubled their advantage, with Alex Iwobi marshalling the move, before a low cross on the right from Bellerin, was ruthlessly put away by Walcott, leaving Courtois helpless once again. On twenty minutes, after Eden Hazard played a one two with Diego Costa, the ball was struck across the face of the goal by Willian, as the Blues were unable to get a footing back into the game. On the half hour mark, Blues captain, Branislav Ivanovic, was booked for pulling down Iwobi, but before the free kick was taken, Francis Coquelin required treatment for a challenge by N’Golo Kante, and after Sanchez’s free kick bounced wide off the Chelsea wall, Coquelin broke down and was replaced with Granit Xhaka. It got even worse for the Blues in the fortieth minute, as Ozil broke away from inside his own half and then after combining with Sanchez, courtesy of the inside of the right post, Ozil turned the ball over into the far corner, to add a third gaol to the Arsenal tally. Just before the break, after Hazard was appended by Walcott, a curling free kick by Cesc Fabregas, was punched away by Arsenal keeper, Petr Cech, before Hazard smashed the ball into the side netting of the right post. On fifty two minutes, Arsenal continued their dominance with Iwobi to Walcott, whose cross from the right was just too far over for the advancing header of Sanchez. In the first Blues change, Fabregas was taken off for Marcos Alonso. In the fifty ninth minute, from a threaded pass by Ozil, unable to get a final touch was Walcott, as the ball rolled into Courtois, as the Gunners maintained their plain sailing. On sixty eight minutes, Courtois prevented a fourth as he made a strong stop to prevent Walcott’s strike going in, after a through ball from Iwobi, who was then replaced b Kieran Gibbs, before Chelsea made a double change of Pedro for Willian and Michy Batshuayi for Hazard, before the Gunners later brought on Olivier Giroud for Sanchez. In the eighty first minute, after Xhaka fouled Kante, from a free kick by Pedro and miss placed header out by Xhaka, a long range strike by Cesar Azpilicueta, was clasped upon by Cech at his near post. Chelsea pressed again two minutes later, when from outside his area, a perfectly weighted pass by David Luiz, picked out Batshuayi, who charged through on goal, only to be denied by a block with the legs of Cech, who diverted the ball away. Arsenal rallied again on eighty four minutes, when from a low cross by Gibbs on the left, Giroud struck the outside netting of the left post, with the Gunners ending as they started to round off their first win over Chelsea in the league for five years.