Saturday, 4 February 2017

CHELSEA 3-1 ARSENAL! 12 points clear at the top of the league and London is Blue!

Marcos Alonso, Eden Hazard and
Cesc Fabregas were all on target as
Chelsea defeated Arsenal 3-1 at
Stamford Bridge to move 12 points
clear at the top of the Premier
League table.
Alonso opened the scoring in the
13th minute and Hazard added an
excellent second eight minutes into
the second half before Fabregas
made it three against his old club,
with Olivier Giroud pulling one back
for Arsenal, as the Blues took a
major step towards the title.
It was Arsenal who created the first
chance of the game inside the
second minute, with Alex Iwobi
picking up the ball on the edge of
the box and seeing his strike deflect
just wide of the goal.
Chelsea fashioned their first
opportunity after 11 minutes when
Pedro found Gary Cahill inside the
area with a free kick, only for the
centre-back to head his cross over
the bar.
The hosts, however, managed to
break the deadlock two minutes
later, with Alonso beating Hector
Bellerin to a loose ball to head
home the rebound after Diego
Costa had first crashed his own
header back off the crossbar.
Chelsea, in control of the game at
this point, nearly made it two soon
after with Pedro playing in Costa,
only for the striker to fire an effort
into the side netting.
The Blues kept up the pressure
against the visitors and created
another opportunity after 32
minute when Alonso found Pedro in
the box, with the Spaniard then
forcing Petr Cech into a save.
Arsenal improved towards the end
of the half and could well have
equalised through Gabriel, but the
unmarked defender saw his header
tipped over by Thibaut Courtois
after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had
whipped in a cross.
The Gunners then had another
opportunity to draw level on the
stroke of half-time as Mesut Ozil
picked up the ball unmarked inside
the box, but dawdled in possession
before eventually striking a low hit
at goal that Courtois was able to
save.
Chelsea did not have to wait long to
double their lead after the restart,
with Hazard finding the back of the
net in style in the 53rd minute,
driving from his own half towards
goal, while shaking off Francis
Coquelin in the process, before
gliding into the box and slotting
past Cech.
Arsenal brought on Giroud and
Danny Welbeck in an attempt to get
back into the game but struggled to
create anything clear-cut until the
77th minute when the latter
planted a header on goal which
Courtois did brilliantly to tip round
the post.
The Gunners came close again from
the ensuing corner with Shkodran
Mustafi arriving at the near post
unmarked before failing to hit the
target with a header.
There was still time for a third late
on for Chelsea, with Fabregas
getting in on the act against his
former side, sending the ball into
an empty net from distance after
intercepting a poor clearance from
Cech.
Giroud scored a consolation goal
for Arsenal deep into stoppage
time, heading in a Nacho Monreal
cross, but it was too little, too late
for the visitors.
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