Premier League - Chelsea shoot down Gunners
Sun, 03 Oct 18:03:00 2010
Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points with a win 2-0 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Didier Drogba scored his sixth goal of the season with an outrageous backheel to give Chelsea the lead five minutes before half-time, before Alex scored a rocket of a free-kick five minutes from the end.
Ivory Coast striker Drogba has now scored 13 goals in 13 appearances against the Gunners in all competitions, but none like his effort here. The much-improved Ramires spied Ashley Cole's run down the left and picked him out with a slide-rule pass. The England left-back squared a low ball to Drogba, who knocked the ball in off the near post with his heel as he span in front of a bamboozled Sebastien Squillaci.
The goal was a blow for the Gunners, who had begun the match in confident fashion and could have been ahead right from the off when Bacary Sagna's cross from deep was sent wide by a diving header from Marouane Chamakh.
The Moroccan's effort took a slight touch of Alex, and from the resulting corner Squillaci's flick-on came to Laurent Koscielny, who put his header over the bar from close range.
The match continued in that same high tempo, high quality vein, with Arsenal's midfield faring better than expected against their more muscular blue-shirted counterparts.
The champions had decent chances of their own, with Michael Essien glancing a header from a corner wide and Drogba forcing Lukasz Fabianski into action at the near post after another penetrative pass from Ramires.
A tighter start to the second half finally gave way to a flurry of action around the hour mark. Ramires denied Chamakh an effort with a well-timed tackle in the area before Samir Nasri flashed a dangerous ball across the six-yard box that neither Chamakh nor Arshavin could reach.
Right away at the other end Nicolas Anelka left Squillaci for dead and took the ball around Fabianski, but the keeper had sent the former Arsenal striker wide enough to send his shot into the side-netting.
Arsenal forced plenty of corners in the latter stages, with Chamakh sending a header wide from one of Nasri's deliveries.
Chelsea almost killed the match off when they broke from another corner, but Ramires had just strayed offside when he latched on to Anelka's through ball.
However, the Blues wrapped up the win over their London rivals five minutes from time when Alex fired an unstoppable free-kick with the outside of his boot that swerved round the wall and into the top corner to seal a fourth straight victory over the Gunners for Carlo Ancelotti's side.Tony Mabert / Eurosport