English Premiership

Blues destroy Gunners

2009-05-10 19:08
Nicolas Anelka (File)

London - Chelsea found the perfect cure for their European misery as the Blues won 4-1 against Arsenal on Sunday to guarantee a top-three finish in the Premier League.

Guus Hiddink's side arrived at the Emirates Stadium still smarting from their controversial Champions League exit to Barcelona, but first half goals from Alex and Nicolas Anelka followed by a Kolo Toure own goal and Florent Malouda's late effort helped salve the wounds from Wednesday's defeat.

Although Chelsea's biggest victory at Arsenal since 1970 mathematically keeps their title challenge alive, more importantly it seals a place in next season's Champions League group stages and condemns Arsenal to fourth place and the pressure of a qualifier, potentially against a formidable opponent from Italy, Spain or Germany.

Nicklas Bendtner got one back for Arsenal but defeat capped a miserable week for Arsene Wenger's team, who lost their 21-match unbeaten run in the Premier League five days after being brushed aside by Manchester United in Europe.

Hiddink had resisted the temptation to take Didier Drogba out of the firing line following his rant at referee Tom Henning Ovrebo in the aftermath of Barcelona's last-gasp victory.

Wenger was less forgiving to Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who was dropped after another lacklustre display against United.

Arsenal's Theo Walcott raided down the right dangerously in the early stages, forcing Petr Cech into action when he met Samir Nasri's astute pass with a close-range shot that the Chelsea keeper parried for a corner.

Walcott was at the heart of an equally incisive move that should have led to the opening goal. Nasri turned to pick out Walcott and his low cross was perfectly weighted for Abou Diaby. But with just Cech to beat the French midfielder scuffed tamely wide.

Diaby tried to make amends as he teased Alex with a powerful run and cross that gave Walcott a clear sight of goal. Once again, poor finishing let the hosts down as Walcott side-footed wide.

Those misses came back to haunt Arsenal as the Blues snatched the lead completely against the run of play.

Inevitably it was a moment of controversy involving Drogba that produced the 28th minute goal. He went down easily under pressure from Cesc Fabregas, earning the Arsenal captain a booking when he protested Drogba had dived.

From the resulting free-kick, Drogba curled over an inviting delivery that Alex, climbing above Mikael Silvestre, met with a powerful header which beat Lukasz Fabianski via the crossbar.

Chelsea had become the first side to score a league goal at Arsenal since Robbie Keane struck for Liverpool in December.

Fabregas's frustration poured out and he was fortunate to escape a second booking for a lunge on Malouda moments later.

There was worse to come as former Arsenal forward Anelka increased Chelsea's lead in the 39th minute.

Taking possession just inside the Arsenal half, Anelka made a surging run towards the penalty area and, with the Gunners defence backing off, he lashed a fierce swerving strike past Fabianski.

Chelsea's sheer size and power had worn down Wenger's more fragile talents and the visitors scored again in the 49th minute with the assist coming from another former Gunner.

Ashley Cole, taunted as usual by the home fans, made a forceful run down the left and, when he crossed into the penalty area, Toure diverted the ball into his own net.

Bendtner provided a brief respite from the gloom in the 70th minute when he rose to power Bacary Sagna's cross past Cech.

But Malouda put the seal on Chelsea's day - and Arsenal's heaviest Emirates defeat - when he tapped-in after Anelka's shot hit a post in the 86th minute.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

West Ham striker dies

2014-04-18 18:33

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.