Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal: As It Happened
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Lampard 16' (pen)
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar (Bertrand 72'), Mata, Hazard (Marin 89'); Torres (Ba 81')
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Ba, Terry, Bertrand, Ake, Marin
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Coquelin (Ramsey 59'), Diaby (Arshavin 75'), Wilshere; Walcott, Cazorla, Giroud
Subs: Manone, Koscielny, Santos, Jenkinson, Frimpong, Ramsey, Arshavin
LIVE BLOG END
Thanks for joining me today, as two of the Premier League's most entertaining teams did battle on a snowy afternoon in London.
Stick around for analysis of this match and all the other fixtures this weekend. I'll be back in this space shortly with six things we learned from Chelsea's victory.
If you're in America, have a great morning and enjoy NFL championship weekend. Wherever you are, enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I hope I'll have your company again in the future.
Mind the gap, Arsenal. Hurt by poor refereeing decisions, a tepid first half performance proved to be too much to recover from and a resilient second-half fightback was for naught.
Chelsea get a crucial victory in the chase for the Champions League, and more pressure will be heaped on Arsene Wenger to buy. The Gunners have just one point in January so far.
90+5'—Ooh, Giroud heads it just over the bar after some repeated crossing. That looks to be that.
90+4'—Oh, wonderful tackle by Gary Cahill. Stole the ball off Walcott's feet, corner again.
90+3'—Ramires heads it out of play, corner again.
90+3'—Marko Marin does well to get a throw-in on the right side, but Arsenal get it back eventually and attack again.
90'—Arsenal attacking ever more desperately, but Chelsea are defending ever more resolutely.
Five minutes of stoppage time.
Marko Marin is on for Eden Hazard.
89'—Ooh, Arsenal were nearly in there, but Cole cynically fouled Sagna as he and Walcott both broke into the box, and the Gunners get a free-kick. Cole gets a yellow.
Vermaelen fizzes the free-kick wide, and that chance goes begging.
87'—Ashley Cole trips Santi Cazorla on the right wing, and Arsenal will have a precious free-kick here.
85'—Incredible play by Thomas Vermaelen!
Wojciech Szczesny came way off his line to meet Ba on the left and the striker easily skated past him, but Vermaelen positioned himself perfectly in goal to deny him with his legs.
Heroic. And Arsenal still have a chance.
83'—Poor touch from Andrey Arshavin, who shows the rust characteristic of a man who has not played Premier League football in two months.
Arsenal attacking frantically in an open game, but nothing doing.
Fernando Torres is relieved by Demba Ba. Now Arsenal have a truly in-form striker to contend with.
80'—Offside called on Juan Mata, though Chelsea have regained some of their prior luster.
Oh, outstanding defending from Thomas Vermaelen, as Ramires raced raced past on the counter. Without a clutch challenge in front of the penalty box, that could have been Chelsea's third.
Ramires hit Wilshere in the face during that move, but that's just another call missed today.
Andrey Arshavin, of all people, replaces Abou Diaby. A wildcard if there ever was one, but Arshavin can still change games.
75'—Delightful bit of footwork from Aaron Ramsey, and he wins a free-kick on the left side.
Ryan Bertrand relieves Oscar in a logical defensive move to shore up Chelsea's defense.
71'—For all of Arsenal's energy and desire, though, they are still a goal behind, and their chances of drawing or winning are dwindling by the minute.
71'—Oh, by the way:
11 - Theo Walcott has now scored 11 goals in his last 15 appearances for Arsenal (in all competitions). Contracted.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 20, 2013
70'—Great goalkeeping from Wojciech Szczesny. Fernando Torres sprinted onto the ball, galloped into the box and Szczesny plucked the ball right off his feet.
Demba Ba's warming up.
68'—Santi Cazorla with a left-footed drive hits the wall and the ball goes out for a corner.
Wilshere delivers a poor ball, Chelsea counter quickly but Arsenal cut it out with more ease than they have all game.
67'—Foul called on Ashley Cole just outside the box, on the right side. Dangerous spot. Anyone but Theo Walcott can take this.
65'—Aaron Ramsey fouled by Fernando Torres in Arsenal's half. Chelsea losing a bit of their momentum now. An Arsenal goal in the next couple minutes could really make for a great finish.
The Gunners are pinging the ball around Chelsea's defence with a rhythm they have seldom found.
63'—After the goal, there was an Arsenal substitution:
Aaron Ramsey on for Francis Coquelin, who looked to be carrying a knock.
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