Match Report

The inspirational finishing of Didier Drogba and the power of Alex produced the goals that decided the London derby and made it five straight wins over Arsenal.
They know all about him, they heard all the talk before the game but still they can't stop him. A first-half when both sides found space in the opposition half and saw chances come and go was drawing to an end when Didier Drogba converted an Ashley Cole ball from close range to score his 13th goal in 11 starts against the Gunners.
However if Stamford Bridge was expecting more of the same, even contest between the sides in the second-half it was disappointed as the away side took greater control of the game in a way that will have Arsene Wenger, if true to past form, claiming some sort of moral victory but their Achilles heel was exposed and they couldn't finish the pressure off.
Chelsea missed the chance to extend our lead near the hour-mark when Nicolas Anelka missed the type of chance you would put your house on him scoring but the Blues weren't made to pay, and we also suffered a couple of erroneous offside calls that prevented further goals.
Chelsea v Arsenal

Alex smashed in a free-kick with five minutes left on the clock and then it was the home team's turn to spurn openings. It was a Chelsea-Arsenal game with so much familiar about it, even with new players in both sides.
Carlo Ancelotti kept faith with the 11 that had started the defeat at Man City so Ramires tasted this London derby for the first time. Arsene Wenger made one change from his setback against West Brom the same day, Jack WIlshere returning to midfield with Emmanuel Eboue making way, and in a tactical tweak he pushed Abou Diaby into an attacking midfield role, and not without an impact.
Chelsea v Arsenal

Arsenal soon showed Chelsea would have to work hard for the three points by issuing a vigorous wake-up call after just 28 seconds.
Sagna crossed towards the penalty spot and Chamakh dived in front of Alex to head just wide. It didn't get any more secure for the Blues when the corner that followed flicked off Malouda and was headed over from just two yards out by Koscielny.
Drogba left Sagna on the seat of his shorts in his first physical contest and then fired a second-minute free kick well over.
Chelsea wee testing the new-look Arsenal rearguard with aerial balls. Malouda looped a shot over after their central defence dithered in dealing with a JT punt upfield.
It was true end-to-end stuff in the opening stages with Cech asked to save down low from Arshavin on seven minutes.
Drogba was looking very lively and popping up on the right, he skinned Clichy and belted the ball across to where Malouda lost out to Koscielny.
Then the Ivorian was only a yard or so away from finishing off a scintillating counter attack that was begun by Essien charging away from a foul challenge by Wilshere.
On 18 minutes the Essien-Drogba corner combination could have paid off again when the Ghanaian met the delivery with a thumping header but he diverted it wide.
A run of Chelsea chances came to an end on 27 minutes when Arshavin was afforded space to shoot from wide out on the left and Cech executed one of his saves of the season so far to tip the ball away from the top corner.Then Nasri cut inside Ramires and let fly as Terry slid in, but this time the attempt was off target.
On 34 minutes Essien and Drogba combined in open player, Drogba leaving his marker on the floor as he burst away onto a pass down the right-hand side of the area. The shot was accurate but a good height for Fabianski to save.
The breakthrough came on 39 minutes and goes down as Ramires's finest moment in a Chelsea shirt so far.
He won the ball deep inside the Arsenal half and after receiving it back off Mikel, drove a perfectly weighted ball through the Arsenal defence for Cole to run on to and strike a first-time ball in towards the near post.
There was only one way for Drogba to score and he delivered. Diverting it off his heel, where fortune had favoured Carlos Tevez last week, so it did Chelsea this time as the ball bounced off the inside of the post and in.
Chelsea v Arsenal

Drogba after running away behind the Shed End goal in celebration, pointed to the sky, presumably a sign of sympathy for his manager's bereavement. Ashley Cole in the Shed End/East Stand corner enjoyed the goal too.
Chamakh tried to con the ref into awarding a penalty as he fell over Cech's stationary body early in the second half, and Arsenal caught Chelsea napping and won a corner on the break, one of three in quick succession as they again were sharpest out of the dressing room.
The pressure kept coming as a Diaby shot deflected off Cole and dropped wide of the Chelsea goal.
Chelsea v Arsenal
There then came a tale of two penalty decisions. Koscielny won the benefit of the doubt when he took the ball and Drogba at the same time in the area and then Ramires made a goal-saving challenge on Chamakh and again referee Mike Dean waved play on.
Arsenal were well on top yet ironically this was the spell when Chelsea could have gone a long way to putting the game to bed.
Squillaci dawdled as he ran the ball back towards his own goal, Anelka picked the pocket of his compatriot and went wide of Fabianski in text-book style but then with the goal gaping rolled his shot just wide.
On 69 minutes, Ashley Cole rifled Anelka's pass into the net but the whistle had gone for offside. Replays showed the Chelsea left-back was level with the last Arsenal defender.
On 72 minutes there was a direct swap of Ferreira on for Ivanovic and shortly after Chelsea finally broke the shackles to threaten the Arsenal goal once more.
Chelsea v Arsenal

Mikel it was who brought the ball under control and then the excellent Essien found the run of Anelka. This time his aim was true and although Fabianski could only push the ball back into play, it evaded Drogba's charge into the box.
Referee Dean had allowed the game to ebb and flow by showing restraint with his whistle and let at least two fouls go without a booking that many refs would have punished, but finally brought out the yellow when Ferreira brought down an attacking Rosicky.
Chelsea had a big escape when Rosicky sent over a cross soon after and Chamakh headed wide from six yards before the home team had every right to feel aggrieved over an offside flag whenRamires was played clean through. He had been a yard behind the defensive line.
Arsenal were looking stretched at the back when the Blues could push forward and Kosceinly was booked after he dragged Anelka to the ground 30 yards out.
Alex and Drogba lined up behind it but it always looked likely to be the Brazilian's turn. On Tuesday he hit the post, today he first found the gap left by Malouda pulling out the wall and then the top corner with an absolute screamer.
Chelsea v Arsenal

There were 85 minutes played. That was the game won, and Essien should have made Arsenal suffer further but their keeper saved one-on-one as the Ghanaian tried to chip over him.
The Pole had flapped once in the first half when he somehow pushed a ball from out wide back in front of his goal, but he did well again before the close when saving a powerful Malouda drive.
Stamford Bridge warmed up for one of those 'One Step Beyond' dances that follow our biggest home wins, but if there was anything that could put a slight dampener on the day it was more injuries.
A feature of the first half had been Arsenal players requiring treatment after seemingly routine challenges with some of Chelsea' strong men. But now it was Blues shirts leaving the pitch with neither Mikel nor Alex finishing the game. We were down to 10 men during stoppage time.
At least there is now a two-week international break for recovery, an interval we enter four points clear of the pack.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic (Ferreira 72), Alex, Terry (c), Cole; Essien, Mikel (Sturridge 88),Ramires (Zhirkov 82); Anelka, Drogba, Malouda.
Unused subs Turnbull, Van Aanholt, McEachran, Kakuta.
Scorers Drogba 39, Alex 85.
Booked Ferreira 79.
Arsenal (4-4-1-1): Fabianski; Sagna, Squillaci (c), Koscielny, Clichy; Wilshere (Emmanuel-Thomas 80), Song, Diaby (Rosicky 69), Arshavin (Vela 87); Nasri; Chamakh.
Unused subs Szczesny, Djourou, Denilson, Eboue.
Booked Koscielny 84.
Referee Mike Dean
Crowd 41,828.
Shots on Chelsea 6 Arsenal 5
Corners Chelsea 9 Arsenal 10
Fouls Chelsea 7 Arsenal 13
Offsides Chelsea 7 Arsenal 2


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