Arsenal Thrashed at Emirates as Chelsea Equal All-Time UWCC Record
Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) saw another defence today as champions Chelsea took on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Both teams came into this match on the back of demoralising defeats in the Champions League semifinal, prompting some people to dub this as a "third place playoff" for Europe's premier club competition.
Both defeats in midweek were hard to take for very different reasons. Arsenal were blown away by Manchester United, with some fans claiming that this showed the huge gap that had grown between the two clubs in the most startling way yet.
It was just the fact that they lost, but it was the fashion in which Arsenal lost, seemingly rolling over and allowing United to dominate, that most upset the supporters.
Chelsea, on the other hand, felt cheated out of their semifinal. The referee came under much criticism, but with no Tom Ovrebo to put under the spotlight today, it would be all eyes on Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack, the two Chelsea players most criticised for their reaction to the last-gasp defeat.
The match passed without any major incident, however, and in the end it was Chelsea who bounced back the strongest, ending Arsenal's 21-match unbeaten run in the league with an emphatic 4-1 win.
Despite the final score, it was Arsenal who started much the better team, and looked have put their European woes behind them.
Theo Walcott and Robin Van Persie linked up well early on, with the Dutchman squandering a good chance, only to be flagged offside anyway.
Walcott himself went close soon after, before turning provider again, this time Abou Diaby failing to convert the Englishman's cross.
It seemed just a matter of time before Arsenal would score, however, a view further enhanced when Alexander Song saw his effort fly just wide.
For all their dominance, however, Arsenal could not hit the back of the net, and they were soon punished by Chelsea.
Drogba's free-kick found the head of Alex, who beat Lukas Fabianski via the crossbar from 15-yards out. Chelsea had taken the lead against the run of play, and the goal seemed to take a little of the fight out of Arsenal.
Nicolas Anelka compounded Arsenal's growing misery ten minutes later with a 25-yard strike against his old club, all but sealing the win for Chelsea inside a first-half in which they had been, on the whole, outplayed.
The clinical finishing of Chelsea punished Arsenal more than anything, but the Gunners did get a man on the score-sheet just after the half-time interval.
Unfortunately, it was at the wrong end as Kolo Toure bundled the ball into his own net to kill the game off.
There were brief signs of a possible late resurgence from the home side, with Walcott again coming close, and hope was raised further still when Nicklas Bendtner rose well to head in Bacary Sagna's cross.
Petr Cech had to be alert to save from Mikael Silvestre as Arsenal refused to roll over again, before Emmanuel Adebayor tumbled in the box, claiming a penalty.
Not for the first time this week, the referee waved the penalty claims away, and Phil Dowd was proved right in this decision by the replays, which clearly showed that Adebayor had dived.
Barely a minute later, Chelsea had gone up the other end of the field and scored. A lovely through ball from Frank Lampard found Florent Malouda through on goal, but his shot was well saved by the legs of Fabianski.
Anelka's effort from the rebound struck the post, but fell kindly into the path of Malouda who tucked it away from a couple of yards out.
Replays showed that the Chelsea winger was actually offside when Anelka hit the ball, but the goal didn't make much difference to the final outcome of the match.
The result means that Chelsea are now guaranteed a top three finish in the league, which means a spot in the Champions League group stage in next year's competition. Arsenal will finish fourth, meaning they have to qualify to get to the same stage next season.
The result also means that Chelsea have now defended the UWCC title nine times during their second reign, equalling Fulham and Manchester United's all-time record. This means that, in their next match, they will break the record for amount of UWCC title defences, becoming the first team to reach double figures..
Kolo Toure's own goal means he is only the second player to net at the wrong end in UWCC history, the other being Jamie Carragher.
It was Arsenal's third attempt at winning the UWCC title, and the third time they have failed, making them, along with Aston Villa, the least successful team in UWCC history.
Of the 46 voters in the poll, 54.3 percent of them correctly predicted that Arsenal wouldn't be able to beat Chelsea, so well done to the majority!
Liverpool 1-3 Chelsea (Chelsea become new champions)
Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea
(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship)
Chelsea's next title defence comes next Sunday as they host Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League. Can Blackburn become the best team in the world?!
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