Chelsea v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: March 22, 2014 12.45 PM BST
A lot was made of Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game, and how fantastic would it have been if to celebrate this milestone he was able to get not only his first win over Mourinho, but hand the Chelsea manager his first loss at Stamford Bridge? The actual result could not have been further from that though, Arsenal’s Premier League hopes taking a hammer blow for this season, after a 6-0 drubbing.
A man down and 3-0 behind after a quarter of an hour, it was an embarrassing performance from the Gunners. The team really failed to turn up for Wenger’s 1000th match, and they should be extremely disappointed with not only today’s result, but their individual performances as well.
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Despite not starting brightly, Arsenal had a great chance to take the lead after just 4 minutes. Rosicky played Giroud in with a clever pass, but the Frenchman scuffed his shot, making the save far easier for Cech than it should have been.
Chelsea replied almost immediately, Chamberlain losing the ball needlessly in midfield, a Chelsea counter attack ensuing. Schurrle raced forward, playing Eto’o in, who curled a shot past Szczesny. 1-0 Chelsea.
Moments later Chelsea were in again, Schurrle this time going alone. He shot through Koscielny’s legs, and in at the far post past a motionless Szczesny. The Arsenal keeper could have done better, remaining rooted to the spot, seemingly believing the German was going near post.
After a quarter of an hour, it was 3-0 to the home side, but the goal wasn’t the real blow for Arsenal. A Hazard shot (that looked to be going just wide) was deflected out of play via the hand of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. The referee, Andre Marriner, pointed to the spot after a very long pause, and produced a red card from his back pocket. Amazingly the card wasn’t for the Ox though, and Keiran Gibbs looked on in disbelief as he was given his marching orders. He, Chamberlain, and the rest of the Arsenal 11 implored Andre Marriner to reconsider, Chamberlain explaining “It was me!”. Marriner wasn’t to be persuaded though, Gibbs ordered off the field.
Hazard stepped up, and slotted the ball calmly down the middle. The game over already, a disastrous opening 15 minutes for the Gunners.
The remaining 10 men almost held on until half time, but with 3 minutes of the 45 remaining, Chelsea got in for their 4th. Fernando Torres (who came on to replace an injured Eto’o) broke down the left; now facing Arsenal substitute Thomas Vermaelen. He squared the ball across the box for Oscar, who knocked the ball past Szczesny from close range. 4-0 Chelsea. It was
Arsenal were marginally better in the second half, but certainly not enough to contend with a dominant Chelsea side while down to 10 men. After a decent spell from Arsenal, a sloppy pass in midfield from Rosicky gave Oscar a chance to grab his second. The shot was fairly tame, but jumped up off the surface right in front of Szczesny. The Polish shot stopper made a complete hash of it, palming it into his own net. 5-0.
The 6th was soon to follow, second half substitute Mohamed Salah getting his first goal for Chelsea. The January signing making a good run to escape the offside trap, and calming slotting it past Szczesny for the 6th and final nail in Arsenal’s Stamford Bridge coffin.
The final whistle couldn’t have come soon enough for Arsenal, but when it finally did come, it was nice to see that many fans had stayed right until the end to support their team and their manager.
on the defeat…
It was a nightmare and I take full responsibility for it. What is important is to give a response on Tuesday night and that is it.
on what went wrong…
I don’t believe it is the time to talk too much about that. The players are deeply disappointed as we all are. I think let us prepare for the next game
on the sending off…
The referee made a mistake because he missed the identity of the player. He has not seen what happened at all. He gave a corner. Maybe it was a penalty. But it was not Gibbs.
on whether it was a sending off offence…
I don’t know I have not seen it. If it is a deliberate handball yes. If it is not a deliberate handball then no.
on the title race…
It leaves it in a very bad situation. But we want to respond. We had two difficult away games at Tottenham and Chelsea. If we had played two draws we’d have two points. Having won one we have three points. But today is a huge disappointment of course. When you don’t turn up in a game if this stature – nobody takes that easy
on whether he still believes…
We have to win the next game. That is what we have to focus on now and give a strong response.
Here are some of the top tweets from today’s game:
“Urgent:please help us find Keiran Gibbs. Missing presumed dead.”
“Let’s see the character in the next 65 mins…”
“Ref: ‘Gibbs, you’re off!’
Ox: ‘But ref, it was me!’
Ref: ‘Shut up Walcott, get on with the game.’ ”
“The players should have something on their shirts and shorts that differentiates themselves from each other. Like numbers or names.”
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Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
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