FULL-TIME: Chelsea aren’t any pushovers and at this rate, they will grow in confidence. Three away points at The Emirates is a fantastic effort and to do it without their legendary midfielder Frank Lampard shows that the team is moving on to the next generation. Petr Cech was fantastic in goal, keeping out efforts from Podolski and Giroud. Arsenal though, can consider themselves unlucky— they attacked with panache and speed and have got nothing for their efforts.
82 minutes: So much invention from both teams, but still no goal. Di Matteo will go back with three points but he won’t be mighty happy with the final ball. For Arsenal, this threatens to become a frustrating home defeat. Gervinho just offside the ball is put in from the right.
75 minutes: Olivier Giroud has been brought on. Can he do something? Well, he certainly takes a shot which deflects off a Chelsea defender and almost beats Cech… but the Czech keeper is in no mood to let this lead slip and produces a fantastic save.
67 minutes: Arsenal are stopping at nothing now. Even though possession stats say they trail Chelsea 48 to 52 per cent, they are on a constant threat. But don’t write off a Chelsea goal as yet. Not with Torres playing on the shoulder of the last man and running at every possible opportunity.
60 minutes: Podolski rose highest in the box as a cross was swung in from the left, but Cech is up to his task and saves with his fingertips. Arsenal are desperately attacking already and it looks like Chelsea might eventually break with such pressure.
GOAL!! 53 minutes: Disaster for Arsenal. Vermaelen gives away the freekick some 25 yards out and Mata puts it in the danger area… and Laurent Koscielny, in his stride, has bundled the ball into his own net. Own goal that one and Chelsea lead 2-1.
50 minutes: David Luiz gets booked for a dive. One cannot help but wonder why Chelsea continue to do it– Oscar did is last week and now Luiz. The match has lost none of its flavour… still as fast.
Koscielny having a nightmare. Shouldn’t have dropped Mertesacker. Need his height and experience. #Arsenal
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) सितम्बर 29, 2012
HALF-TIME: Arsenal have incessantly attacked after Chelsea went ahead via a Torres striker and substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain provided the perfect cross for Gervinho to slam home the equaliser. Half-time comes at a good time for Chelsea but the Gunners will surely come back with their tails up for the next 45 minutes.
GOAL!! 43 minutes: Cross comes in from the right and Gervinho stops it before letting the ball bounce… swivels and hits a brilliant snap-shot into the roof of the net. Arsenal are back in this at 1-1.
40 minutes: Hazard shows why he’s called a flair player! He runs into the box byline on the right, stops the ball and then executes an incredible robbana cross, but it’s cleared away.Reminds us of Cristiano Ronaldo’s similar cross which Ruud van Nistelrooy scored from. Chamberlain then crosses brilliantly at the other end but Luiz is up to the task.
35 minutes: Just a slight lull in the speed of play. Chelsea are pressing all over the field though. Arsenal’s fullbacks are attacking but they cannot get the crosses in regularly.
Terry coolly chests Gervinho’s header back to Cech inside six-yard area. Chants of “One England captain” from the Chelsea fans. #bbcfootball
— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) सितम्बर 29, 2012
27 minutes: Torres with another great chance! He’s been put through and is one on one with the keeper. He tries to round him but Mannone’s done well to get a foot in before he can pull the trigger. It’s all happening at The Emirates.
GOAL!! 20 minutes: Juan Mata gets a freekick on the right and curls one in towards the far post. Luiz misses the header but Fernando Torres holds off his marker, gets his foot around him and diverts an expert finish past Mannone. 1-0 to Chelsea.
15 minutes: Abou Diaby, who has just taken a fine shot after some good combination play with Cazorla could have to come off early. He looks injured and Oxlade-Chamberlain is already warming up on the sidelines.
10 minutes: Good start for both teams. Arsenal have also had an attempt on goal as Gervinho sets up Cazorla after about a million stepovers. The shot though, is off target. Chelsea are also playing some quick snappy football in the middle of the park.
5 minutes: First shy at goal comes from David Luiz as he takes a long-range freekick which Mannone comfortably collects. Torres then sends a whizzing low cross into the box but no one can quite reach it.
Arsenal: Vito Mannone, Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski, Gervinho
Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Giroud, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou.
Chelsea: Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, John Terry, David Luiz, Ramires, Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Obi Mikel, Fernando Torres.
Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Lampard, Moses, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.
Arsenal have won 36 of 75 league encounters at home against Chelsea. The Blues have 19 wins travelling to Arsenal. A couple of milestones beckon Arsene Wenger as he will finish 16 years as Arsenal manager on Monday. A win today and it will be his 350th league win with the club.
A fan might complain, but Arsenal have lost just two out of 21 league matches and look pretty strong going into this one. The return of skipper Thomas Vermaelen will be a further boost.
Chelsea haven’t conceded in more than 300 minutes of football and there’s something in this for John Terry too— he is one strike shy of 50 Chelsea goals.