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Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea


BlueLion.

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mhstand1.jpgSunday 29 November 2009, the FA Premier League, the Emirates, North London

Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea thrashed Arsenal to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.

After Manchester United beat Portsmouth 4-1 at Fratton Park yesterday, Chelsea's lead was cut to just two points, but a comprehensive victory over London rivals Arsenal sees Carlo Ancelotti's side renew their five point advantage over the Red Devils.

Didier Drogba opened the scoring with a deft finish on 41 minutes, before an own goal by Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen moments before half-time gave Chelsea a commanding lead at the interval. Arsenal mounted a second half fight-back but Andrei Arshavin's finish was rightfully disallowed after a foul by Eduardo. Drogba completed a stunning victory with an equally-brilliant freekick deep into the second half.

The win means Arsenal are eleven points behind Chelsea, though the Gunners have a game in hand. Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti was quick to praise his team's excellent team ethic, and was complimentary towards the hosts who made it "very difficult" for the visitors at times.

It was Arsenal's first defeat at the Emirates since their 4-1 at the hands of the Blues back in May under the tenure of Guus Hiddink, and the encounter was made even feistier by Nicolas Anelka, Ashley Cole and William Gallas all lining up against their one-time employees.

Cole was at the centre of torrents of abuse from the Arsenal faithful, but it was fellow ex-Arsenal star Nicolas Anelka who was at the centre of the game's first talking point, when he was seemingly hauled down inside the penalty area as he looked to pull the trigger. Chelsea had had a decent claim for a penalty kick, and moments later Drogba headed straight at Manuel Almunia in one of the half's better opportunities.

Frank Lampard was back for the Blues after missing their last two games, and the Chelsea ace was at the heart of everything good the visitors were producing. Cole; centre of a chorus of boos from the supporters, rached through after being played in by skipper John Terry, and his teasing cross was met by Drogba on 41 minutes to open the scoring.

It was a tidy finish from the Ivorian, and moments later a second devilish delivery from Cole had Chelsea finding the back of the net. This time the England defender whipped in a first-time ball after combining with his namesake; Joe, and Thomas Vermaelen could only look on as he poked the ball beyond his own goalkeeper.

A sudden double blow had Arsenal against the ropes as Chelsea reached the interval without being seriously troubled by Arsenal.

Wenger responded by bringing on Theo Walcott, and the ex-Southampton man had an immediate impact on Arsenal's approach play, though the hosts were denied a route back into the game when referee Andre Marriner ruled out an Arshavin strike after Petr Cech had been obstructed.

Branislav Ivanovic, Terry, Cole and Ricardo Carvalho were all magnificent at the back for Chelsea and their midfield and strike force were also enjoying splendid performances. Arsenal were having a hard time breaking down the Blues' formidable defence - clearly missing Dutch forward Robin van Persie.

The only sour note for Chelsea was an injury to Ashley Cole, though Yuri Zhirkov had marked his return to full fitness in midweek against Porto, and Paulo Ferreira proving to be an able replacement in the closing moments.

Lampard nearly deflected in a Drogba shot that had bounced off Gallas but Almunia made a good save to push the ball away to prevent Chelsea from increasing the lead, but he was helpless as Drogba powered home a sumptuous freekick on 86 minutes to complete the perfect afternoon for the Stamford Bridge outfit.

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Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traoré; Song (Walcott 46), Denilson; Arshavin, Fábregas ©, Nasri (Rosicky 65); Eduardo (Vela 56)

Chelsea (4-1-2-1-2): Cech; Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry ©, A Cole (Ferreira 72); Mikel; Essien, Lampard; J Cole (Deco 67); Anelka, Drogba (Malouda 87)

The TalkChelsea.net Star Man was Chelsea's number 11; Didier Drogba

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Havent felt so happy for a while. Absolutely fantastic.

Before the start said I'd settle for a point. With Drogba on fire and a fantastic all round performance all expectations exceeded.

All the gooners could do in the Immigrant stadium was boooo Ashley -ironically that, and chucking a camera at FatFrank actually fired the team up.

Fanatsatic day, soured by a bit of trouble outside, but can live with that...

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Mikel really became the new Makelele. Amazing how good he is...

Felt so good being the only Chelsea supporter in a pub full with Arsenal-Supporters.

I think i did the Mourinho-ssshhhhh at the end

Lol. Wound them up a bit then ?

Yup Mikel did well keeping Fibreglass and Arse Shaving in check.

Good report btw Alex....

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