Hello. Chelsea might have something that no other London club has, a captain found guilty of racial abuse a European Cup, but they still want more. A man like Roman Abramovich is never satisfied. Now he wants what Arsenal have: he wants Chelsea?s football to win over the neutrals and there could be no better place than the Emirates for Roberto Di Matteo?s new-look side to strut their stuff. For years, this has been a battle between beauty and brawn, Chelsea?s powerhouses regularly outmuscling Arsenal?s artisans, Didier Drogba battering them into submission. Yet Drogba has gone now and this is a Chelsea team built around the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar, players who would not look out of place in an Arsene Wenger side. It?s not a fight, it?s a beauty contest.

The shift in focus could help an increasingly slick Arsenal, because it is not always advisable to engage them in a football match. Certainly not if they play as well as they did at Manchester City last Sunday, although it wasn?t just the passing that impressed against the champions, it was the quality of their defending that caught the eye too, even without Wojiech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen. How to explain the improvement in Arsenal?s defence? Most have put two and two together and come up with the influence of Steve Bould. Indeed they?ve arguably been more impressive at the back than they have been in the final third so far this season, with Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud still finding their feet in English football. Boring, boring Arsenal.

Kick-off: 12.45pm.

Team news: John Terry starts for Chelsea and will silence the critics by scoring the winner. But Frank Lampard is on the bench, which will surely raise questions about whether Roberto Di Matteo, who has named an extremely bold side, has lost the dressing room. Arsenal make one change from the draw with City, Thomas Vermaelen replacing Per Mertesacker in the centre of defence.

Arsenal: Mannone; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Diaby; Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski; Gervinho. Subs: Mertesacker, Santos, Giroud, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou, Martinez.

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Lampard, Moses, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Jamie Redknapp is surprised that Frank Lampard is on the bench. I wonder why.

An email. ?Chelsea very much a work in progress as the cliche goes,? says Martin Braonain. ?Pre season they were not convincing at times but we did have a nice run of games against ?lesser? clubs and AMadrid rumbled us (well falcao did). Looking forward to how the back line and Mikel play. Still no fear at the Emirates.?

They weren?t too convincing in the end against Juventus either. Whereas Arsenal have passed difficult tests against Liverpool and Manchester City. And Stoke.

Here come the teams. In the tunnel, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Juan Mata share some Spanish Banter. The El Bantico.

Peep! We?re off, Chelsea getting us underway and attacking from left to right. They keep the ball for all of eight seconds, a poor pass from Ramires immediately conceding a throw-in. There have been better starts. Loud boos predictably greet early touches from John Terry and Ashley Cole.

2 min: This fixture was a shocking goalless draw last season. None of that today, please! ?5 Live just said that the Arsenal mascot snubbed John Terry,? says Mark Coale. ?I only wish they had meant Gunnersaurus and not the little kid.?

3 min: An early chance for chance for Chelsea, Hazard brought down 35 yards from goal. David Luiz sizes it up and spanks an ambitious effort straight at Mannone, the young Italian dealing with an awkward bounce right in front of him.

4 min: This has been a strong start from Chelsea. Torres scampers down the right flank and flashes a fine cross across six-yard box. Mannone stays rooted to his line but it was too far ahead of Mata in the middle. Torres looks over with a rueful look on his face. He?s never been on the winning side against Arsenal.

5 min: Now it?s Arsenal?s turn to threaten, Ramsey firing high and wide from 25 yards out. All the signs are this is going to be an entertaining end-to-end match.

7 min: After seven minutes of booing, it seems the Arsenal fans are already bored with taunting John Terry and Ashley Cole. And if a man is tired of that, he is tired of life. There have been more intimidating atmospheres.

9 min: Arsenal are yet to gain a foothold in this match, with a snappy Chelsea quick to shut them down in their own half. I still question whether this is necessarily Arsenal?s best attacking combination, especially with Ramsey on the right. Ashley Cole has been all over him so far.

10 min: This time Ramsey drifts into the middle and finds Gervinho on the right. His first cross is blocked, not that there were too many red shirts in the area, but he gets another chance. He decides to lay it back to Cazorla, who slashes well over the top from the edge of the area. As well as Arsenal keep the ball, they?re still not quite there in the final third yet. But you?d expect it to come in time.

12 min: The resurgent Diaby drops the shoulder to beat one man and then repeats the trick on a second Chelsea defender to earn space for the shot. His rasping drive from 25 yards out is straight at Cech though. There?s been little in the way of clearcut opportunities yet, but there has been plenty to admire in the way both teams are playing.

14 min: No one is going to win more free-kicks this season than Eden Hazard.

15 min: ?How does Wenger expect Giroud to grow in confidence and form if he just benches him regardless of promising performances?? asks Matthew Sharpe. Well this team played very well against City last week. Giroud will get his chance but there?s value in bedding him in slowly.

17 min: Arsenal have been forced into an early change. Diaby, who has struggled so much for fitness, injured himself when he took that shot a few minutes ago and on comes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He will presumably move to the right, with Ramsey dropping inside.

19 min: Hazard plays a one-two with Torres but is sent flying by a late if innocuous challenge from Vermaelen, who gets a stern talking-to from Martin Atkinson. Chelsea have a free-kick on the right.

GOAL! Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea (Torres, 20 min): This was absolutely woeful defending from Arsenal. Bould out! Mata curled the free-kick in from the right and any number of Chelsea players could have scored from it, with Luiz astonishingly left unmarked six yards from goal. He couldn?t reach but on the left side of the six-yard box Torres beat Koscielny to the ball and hooked an outstanding improvised volley into the top-left corner.

23 min: Martin Atkinson has to wave away appeals for penalties at both ends. First Arsenal claimed that Mikel gave Cazorla a sly push in the back after a cross from the left. It would have been soft. Chelsea broke and Torres was suddenly clear on goal after making a Nemanja Vidic out of Laurent Koscielny. He tried to take the ball round Mannone but just as he drew his right foot back to shoot, he was clipped by Koscielny, causing him to go down. It should be a penalty to Chelsea but again Atkinson waves play on.

26 min: Arsenal really got away with one there. They?re very lucky not to be two goals down. Koscielny probably wouldn?t have been sent off though, because there were covering Arsenal defenders and it wasn?t a goalscoring opportunity because it was Fernando Torres.?Thank you Dan Smith of Sunderland,? says Sasu Laaksonen, referring to Diaby?s substitution.

28 min: A cross from the left finds Gervinho at the far post but his header back across goal is just chested back to Cech by Terry, as cool as you like. ?Quick!? says Matt Dony. ?Knee-jerk reaction! Zonal marking is the worst system in the world! The worst thing in the world! Even though a man was tight to Torres, it?s the system to blame, not the individual. Foreign muck.?

29 min: Torres has the ball in the net again but the goal is correctly disallowed for offside. He was played through by a really sharp first-time pass from Mata and then drove past Mannone ? who didn?t exactly cover himself in glory with a feeble attempt at a save ? but he was a yard beyond the last defender. ?I can?t think of anything more psychologically damaging than getting benched in favour of Gervinho,? says Ian Dickinson.

32 min: Vermaelen has a pop from 45 yards out. Oh dear.

34 min: Chelsea are caught out by a quick free-kick from Arsenal on the left but Ivanovic gets back to stop Gervinho at the expense of the corner. And then clears the corner.

35 min: Aaron Ramsey is booked after catching Oscar, who rolls about and should win an, etc etc. ?Why was it a penalty Jacob?? says David Berkley. ?Torres kicked Koscielny.? I disagree. Torres was about to shoot and was stopped from doing so by Koscielny.

37 min: Oh my. Mata slips a pass to the onrushing Hazard on the right. He bursts into the area and as he reaches the byline he sends the sliding Gibbs skittering off into the distance by stopping and duping him with a beautiful turn, before coming up with a rabona cross just for good measure. Koscielny heads away. It wasn?t as good as this, mind you.

39 min: Oscar is booked for one foul too many. Meanwhile Chelsea fans are riling the locals by pointing out that Ashley Cole has won a European Cup.

40 min: Jenkinson and Cazorla combine on the right to set up a shooting opportunity 12 yards from goal, but he takes to long and sees his effort blocked by Ramires. Arsenal have come up with very little in the final third.

GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (Gervinho, 42 min): But now they?ve come up with something and it?s a terrific finish from Gervinho, not usually noted for his ruthlessness in front of goal. Arteta found Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right and his low cross came to Gervinho eight yards out, Chelsea?s centre-backs having dropped too deep. Gervinho had his back to goal and still had a lot to do however, but he quickly controlled the ball and then swivelled to crash a shot into the top-right corner in one movement. What a goal machine.

45 min: Suddenly Arsenal are rampant, with Chelsea under the cosh. Jenkinson fires another cross in from the right and Chelsea clear with some difficulty, before Podolski?s charge into the area from the left is stopped by Luiz. There will be three minutes of stoppage time.

45 min+1: Chelsea remain a threat though. Oscar finds space on the edge of the area and his low drive flashes just past the left post, the officials failing to spot that it took a deflection off Vermaelen on its way wide and awarding Arsenal a goal-kick.

45 min+4: With the final kick of the half, Torres somehow wriggles out of an extremely tight spot on the right before dragging a low shot into the side-netting.

Half time: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea. Well that was fun.

46 min: Arsenal get us going again. There are a few red seats dotted around the stadium, supporters making the most of the half time refreshments on offer. Hic!

47 min: Gibbs pokes a pass through to Podolski, whose burst into the area is halted by Luiz. Chelsea break and somehow Torres wins a corner despite losing the ball on the halfway line. Not quite sure how that happened.

48 min: Sideshow Dave is booked for a risible dive in the Arsenal area. It wasn?t quite up there with Morten Gamst Pedersen?s award-winning effort here a few years ago but it had the lot, an anguished cry and a hilarious leap through the air after a fair challenge from Gervinho. Martin Atkinson was having none of it, despite Luiz?s claims that he wasn?t really looking for a penalty.

50 min: Great play from Podolski, who takes out two Chelsea defenders with a surging run into the area on the left. His low ball across goal is met with a poor clearance by Cole, the ball knocked straight back to Cazorla but he slices high and wide with his left foot. He probably had more time than he realised there. ?Koscielny effectively stopped Torres shooting by getting between Torres and the ball,? David Berkley. ?That?s allowed, surely.? Don?t you have to, y?know, touch the ball though?

52 min: Vermaelen is booked after buffeting Torres. His look says ?Who? Me?? but he knows. Chelsea have a free-kick in a similar position from where their goal came.

GOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (Mata, 53 min): Arsenal concede another horribly soft goal from a set-piece, although it was a terrific delivery from Mata. He curled it deliciously into the corridor of uncertainty with his left and Koscielny, sliding in, only succeeded in confusing Mannone, who reacted too late as the ball bounced into the left corner. I blame Steve Bould.

55 min: ?I remember the Pedersen dive ? he even had the gall to look over his shoulder (to check the ref?s line of sight) before he did it,? says SB Tang. ?Unbelievable.?

57 min: Chelsea fans are crowing, Arsenal?s are silent. ?He stopped Torres shooting by, not so much getting between man and ball, as running behind man and catching his leg on the backswing,? says Matt Dony. ?Once he?d got into that position, it couldn?t be helped, but he shouldn?t have been there in the first place. Case closed, ithankyou.?

59 min: What a save from Petr Cech to deny Podolski. This all came from Ivanovic and Luiz messing up a throw-in to hand possession back to Arsenal on the left. Gibbs dinked a cross into the middle and Podolski, in between Luiz and Terry, flicked a looping header towards the far corner, only for Cech to palm it away. Ramsey then spanked a drive well wide from the right.

62 min: Ramsey provokes the ire of the Arsenal crowd by giving the ball away with three sloppy passes in the space of a minute. Arsenal stay on the attack though and Jenkinson is fouled by Cole this far outside the area on the right. That was so close to being a penalty. Ivanovic heads the free-kick away. You wouldn?t expect Chelsea to concede against Arsenal in that situation.

65 min: A lightning counter-attack from Chelsea ends with Oscar?s feeble drive being collected by Mannone following a string of poor passes from Torres, Oscar and Ramires. Having broken with four or five attackers against an exposed Arsenal defence, that was such a waste.

66 min: Gibbs sends a cross into the area from the left and Luiz, facing his own goal, stretches out a leg to divert it inches past the left post.

67 min: Arsenal use up their final substitutions, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott replacing Aaron Ramsey and Lukas Podolski. ?Looks like we?ve already got to that stage of the season where Ramsey is burnt out,? says Sacha Brady.

69 min: Torres loses the ball with so frequently and often in such hapless fashion. I suspect this team won?t be the finished article until they sign a new striker. He just seems to lack that crucial decisiveness at important moments.

71 min: For the last minute we?ve been able to hear the instructions of ? I assume ? Roberto Di Matteo on the touchline. ?Move the ball! Move the ball!? he shouts as Chelsea stroke it about at the back. Then, as a high ball was sent towards Ivanovic: ?Go on! You win it ? well done!?

73 min: How on earth did that stay out? Giroud?s shot from the left took a deflection off Luiz but although Cech was going the wrong way, he managed to stick up a hand and push the ball agonisingly past the left post. It looked like it was going to drop in. Giroud?s wait goes on.

74 min: Chelsea replace Oscar with Victor Moses, who had a wonderful game here when Wigan won here in April.

76 min: Chelsea have the ball right where they want it: in Arsenal?s half. Arsenal are flat. ?Well, there?s no point Di Matteo shouting anything more tactically specific,? honks Matt Dony. ?That all comes from Terry.?

78 min: Arsenal?s frustration grows. They?re being keep at arm?s length by Chelsea who will be pleased to see this: Kieran Gibbs taking aim from 30 yards out sending his shot soaring into the stands.

79 min: Mata and Torres play a lovely one-two on the edge of the area and Mata is brought down by Gibbs inside the D. An excellent opportunity for Chelsea to put this match to bed. Mata will take it.

81 min: Mata?s free-kick goes straight in the wall but it still had a devastating effect, Giroud and Koscielny clashing heads as they both attempted to block the shot. Gary Cahill comes on for the hobbling David Luiz.

83 min: Ramires brings down Arteta on the left. A free-kick to Arsenal in a promising position. Cazorla dinks it in, Cech gets nowhere near it and Koscielny?s header clangs against the post. Although the flag is up for something or other, signalling a free-kick for Chelsea.

85 min: Chelsea are looking to shut this down now. The highly promising Ryan Bertrand replaces Juan Mata. Up the other end, Moses runs on to Torres?s flick and loops a clever volley over the bar.

88 min: Arsenal are offering next to nothing now. They look beaten. To be honest, they?ve looked beaten since Mata?s goal.

89 min: Gervinho darts in from the left and tees up Cazorla, who places his left-footed effort over the bar from the edge of the area. That was a really inviting chance. He?s had a disappointing game this afternoon.

90 min: There will be four minutes of Arsene Time.

90 min+1: What a miss from Olivier Giroud! Oxlade-Chamberlain slipped him in behind the Arsenal defence with a glorious pass, he took it round Cech and then sliced his shot into the side-netting, the big galoot. That was awful. What a chance. That?s not going to do Giroud?s confidence any good at all.

90 min+2: Ramires is booked for doing something illegal.

90 min+4: Bertrand does brilliantly on the left, beating Jenkinson on the left before pulling the ball back to Hazard, who glides past one man and then sees his low shot deflected behind. The points are surely Chelsea?s.

Full time: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea. The full-time whistle blows and a huge roar goes up from the Chelsea end. Their unbeaten run goes on and they are now four points clear at the top of the table, but Arsenal have suffered their first defeat of the season. They would have snatched a point but for a shocking late miss from Olivier Giroud but if he needs any inspiration that his luck will turn, he need only look at the identity of Chelsea?s first scorer: Fernando Torres. Thanks for reading. Bye.

Source : Guardian.Co.Uk


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