A display of clinical finishing and some woeful defending saw Chelsea thoroughly beat Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates on Sunday. The Blues perceived loss of composure on Wednesday was nowhere to be found in Sunday’s performance as they very efficiently exposed Arsenal’s weaknesses in the center of defense for their four goal performance.
However, it was Arsenal, 18 seconds into the match. that had the brighter start through the young England international Theo Walcott and the typical Arsenal passing game. A one-two with Robin van Persie would give Walcott the opportunity and his shot would go over the bar.
Arsenal’s beautiful passing game would be on display again in the 8th minute when Walcott would again be played in, this time by Samir Nasri, only to see Petr Cech save from a tight angle. Walcott would again be granted another chance in the 18th minute, with Abou Diaby cutting a ball back, but Walcott’s side foot would end up wide of the target.
In the 28th minute, Arsenal would be punished for wasting their early chances. Didier Drogba would play a cross into the box from a free kick and Alex rose to head home, giving Chelsea the lead much to the despair of Arsenal who had largely dominated possession.
11 minutes later, Nicolas Anelka would give the Blues a 2-0 advantage when he picked the ball up in midfield beating Nasri, raced forward, and unleashed a shot from 25 yards that would dip under Lukasz Fabianski at the bottom corner.
Just before the half, Anelka would almost have a chance to finish off the match, picking up Florent Malouda’s pass 10 yards out. This time Fabianski would get down and save the shot.
No changes were made to either side after the break and it was Chelsea that would begin to take the match over. Their direct style of play was once again rewarded as they would take a 3-0 lead on 48 minutes via a Kolo Toure own goal. John Mikel Obi’s long pass over the top would find Ashley Cole. Cole’s cross towards Drogba would be deflected past Fabianski by Toure.
Arsenal would change their style of play on the hour mark, introducing Nicklas Bendtner for Diaby in the 60th minute and Emmanuel Adebayor for Walcott in the 68th minute. The changes would be rewarded as Bendtner would pull a goal back for Arsenal on 70 minutes with a header provided by Bakary Sagna. Moments later, Bendtner would get another chance for a header, only to see Cech save, and Arsenal would begin to press for another goal.
Arsenal would once again be made to regret their missed chances in the 86th minute as Frank Lampard would play in Malouda. Malouda’s initial shot would be saved and fall to Anelka. Anelka’s shot rattled the near post and broke to Malouda to stab home to finish off the match 4-1.