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The Gunners Give Chelsea the Blues

Theo Walcott scores against Chelsea

Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea

Match Report Match HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference

With Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool earning victories in the game week, the onus was on Arsene Wenger’s men to keep up with the leading pack. After the faltering start to the campaign, the Gunners had gathered some momentum with wins over Watford, Hull and Southampton but their resolve was to be tested against a ‘big’ team in the form of Chelsea. The visitors had a bright start to the campaign with three wins from three but their away draw with Swansea was followed by a home loss to Liverpool, revealing the cracks in the defense.

Arsenal attacked their South West London neighbors right from the onset but they had to thank Gary Cahill for a defensive blunder that gifted them the opening goal. The English center back mistimed his intended pass to Thibaut Courtois that was anticipated by the effervescent Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean bore down on goal, waited for Courtois to commit himself, before chipping the ball over the hapless goalie to make it one nil to the Gunners.

Arsenal made a fast start to the game as Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring following a mistake by Chelsea's Gary Cahill

The fans were still basking in the euphoria of grabbing the lead but the team doubled their money when Mesut Ozil combined with Hector Bellerin that squared Theo Walcott for an easy tap in. On the day Wenger made his 20th anniversary, Sanchez scored in his 100th Arsenal game and Walcott scored on his 350th. These lads sure have a sense of occasion.

Conceding those two early goals opened Chelsea up and they did their bit to reduce the deficit but with a calamity like David Luiz in the defense, you would expect more gaping holes, and they were punished when Sanchez combined with Ozil to put the Gunners three up before halftime. Going 3-0 up against Chelsea is something that has not happened in a very long time and it sent the fans into delirium but there was a second half to look forward, and it was important for the lads to keep their concentration in check.

Up stepped Kieran Gibbs, who came up for Alex Iwobi and did his bit to protect Nacho Monreal with minimal fuss. There was a moment when Diego Costa was close to pulling the trigger but Gibbsy made a great interception. Sanchez looked spent and the boss brought on the bearded Olivier Giroud to wind down the clock but Petr Cech had to remain alert to parry a Michy Batshuayi shot late on. The team held on for a famous victory and you could see how it meant to them. Chelsea was one of those bogey teams that have made life quite uncomfortable for Wenger and it was wonderful.

The defending was virtuoso with the Kostafi combination keeping Diego Costa in their pocket for the entirety of the game. The calmness at the back was very welcome and I’m happy to see Bellerin and Monreal picking form too.

On the flip side, there is concern over the fitness of Francis Coquelin. Despite Granit Xhaka’s goalscoring exploits, Le Coq retained his place ahead of the Swiss big-money signing but succumbed to a knee injury and left the field in clutches. Sadly, Wenger also confirmed that it was the same knee he hurt last season, and I’m hoping he wouldn’t be out for a long time. Yes, there is depth in the forms of Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny but ‘Coqzorla’ had formed a formidable partnership in midfield.

All focus would be shifted to the Champions League encounter against FC Basel. More on that in the coming days.


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The Chelsea Hoodoo Continues…

Chelsea striker Diego Costa celebrates his 23rd-minute goal against Arsenal after poking a Branislav Ivanovic cross into the net

Arsenal 0 Chelsea 1 (Diego Costa 23′)

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference 

With Leicester’s convincing win over Stoke City, the onus was on Arsenal to turn on the style against a Chelsea side that has been a thorn in their flesh for as long as I can remember. It’s surprising to know that the Gunners had not recorded a victory against the Blues since that bizarre Robin van Persie-inspired 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge. Since then it has either ended as a draw or Chelsea grabbing a win and shockingly, Arsenal has failed to score in their last six league encounters with Chelsea.

So with the Blues in bad form and the Gunners at home, it seemed like a really nice time to break the hoodoo, bearing in mind that a victory would also take Arsenal to the top of the table. I was quite surprised to see Theo Walcott leading the team then I learned that the club was honoring the Englishman for spending a decade – such class.

The game itself was a cagey affair but the moment that turned the game on its head arrived when Per Mertesacker’s lack of pace was exploited yet again as he scythed Diego Costa down and he was the last man, leaving the ref no choice but to brandish a red card.

Mark Clattenburg shows Per Mertesacker the red card after the Germany international hauled down Costa as he ran through on goal

The fact that Mertesacker was leaving the pitch wasn’t bad enough but the boss’ decision to sacrifice Olivier Giroud caused some bewilderment. Yes, he was rumored to have carried an ankle injury in the buildup to the game but losing the French forward was a big wrench because the Gunners lacked a focal point in attack. Deploying Walcott as the center forward was meant to be a good move but the forward couldn’t contend with Chelsea’s strong defense.

To add insult to injury, Chelsea grabbed the lead just five minutes after Mertesacker received his marching orders. A swift cross from Branislav Ivanovic was neglected by Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel was behind Diego Costa that fired the ball first time beyond Petr Cech. The Gunners huffed and puffed but the best chance of the half arrived when Aaron Ramsey dinked the ball over the Chelsea rearguard to Mathieu Flamini of all people. When the usage of the head would have been the best option, the Flam attempted a Shaolin-esque kick and looped the ball over the bar.

Flamini blazed the ball over the crossbar from close range, his effort proved to be the last kick of the first half at the Emirates Stadium

In the second half, the chances were few and far between with Cech making a handful of saves from some Chelsea attacks but there was some encouragement when Alexis Sanchez came on for Joel Campbell and the forward looked very sharp, making some insightful moves and working in tandem with Nacho Monreal to create some attacks from the left.

However, Chelsea held on as the Gunners lost all three points to Guus Hiddink’s side, easing their relegation woes but for the Gunners, they had lost some ground on the title race, as they are currently three points behind Leicester with a lesser goal difference as well. The Gunners will now be hoping for Liverpool to do them a favor next week Tuesday, while they get the chance to exert some revenge on Southampton but focus will be moved to the FA Cup, as Burnley comes to town on Saturday for the fourth round of the competition.

Even without Mourinho, the Gunners couldn’t still find a way past Chelsea and with more points dropped, their title credentials will be questioned again. However, there are 14 more games to be played and Arsene Wenger knows that his team is still in a very good position. The only problem is that Manchester City and Tottenham are gaining ground as they continue to pile up favorable results.

We have to move on and see how things pan out.


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Chelsea Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups

When both teams clashed in October, Chelsea ran out as 2-0 winners but there was so much controversy in the game. Following Leicester City’s impressive 3-0 win over Stoke, the Foxes are three points clear of the Gunners, so Arsenal has get maximum points against Chelsea if they want to return to the top of the table.

The Gunners will be hoping that their impressive home form will be to their advantage, as they have conceded just three goals at home in the Premier League this season, and that came in the opening fixture against West Ham and Yaya Toure’s strike against Manchester City. Since then, they have made the Emirates a fortress. With the Gunners getting three points against their rivals like Manchester United and Manchester City this season at home, they can receive a psychological boost if they add Chelsea to this list.

Since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho, the Blues have been unbeaten, but they haven’t won much games, as they continue to get silly draws here and there. Another draw won’t do both sides any good though – Arsenal need a win to return to the summit of the table while Chelsea need one to ease themselves from their relegation struggles as they are just four points off 18th-placed Newcastle.

Arsenal Team News


According to the manager, he is still throwing caution to the wind regarding the fitness of Alexis Sanchez. He has also confirmed that Francis Coquelin has began full training but he’s still a few games away from match sharpness. Tomas Rosicky recently featured in an Under-21 game and the manager had some good news about Danny Welbeck, that he can return to full training next week.

The game would also mark the return of Mesut Ozil and his laceless boots, as the German schemer missed out the draw against Stoke with an inflamed foot. Arsene Wenger compared Ozil to the legendary Dennis Bergkamp and a piece was published on the official site. The boss also hailed Petr Cech, that is set to lock horns with his old teammates yet again. Cech had a stormer when both teams played in the Community Shield and I’m hoping he’d get a clean sheet today.

Arsenal Injury / Suspension News

Jack Wilshere (ankle), Danny Welbeck (knee), Santi Cazorla (knee), Francis Coquelin (lack of match fitness), Alexis Sanchez (lack of match fitness), Tomas Rosicky (lack of match fitness)

Arsenal Predicted Lineup

Arsenal 4-3-2-1 football formation

Chelsea Team News


The Blues will be boosted with the news that Eden Hazard has been declared fit for the encounter, even though he has been in torrid form this season. There is also need of a potential move for SC Corinthians Alexandre Pato, and they would be hopeful to seal a deal before the transfer window shuts.

Diego Costa has started scoring again too, which is a positive for the team.

Chelsea Injury / Suspension News

Radamel Falcao (muscle)

Chelsea Predicted Lineup

Team Form


  • Last Five Games: W W W D D
  • Last Result: Stoke 0 – Arsenal 0
  • Leading Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud (18)


  • Last Five Games: D W W D D
  • Last Result: Chelsea 3 (Costa 64′, Fabregas 66′, Terry 90′) – Everton 3 (Terry o.g. 50′, Mirallas 56′, Funes Mori 90′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Willian (8)

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 0 win.


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