Chelsea defeated Arsenal 6-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in a game most significant for Kieran Gibbs being sent off by referee Andre Marriner for a handball actually committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
On the occasion of Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game in charge of the Gunners, there was much optimism that his side may be able to close the gap on table-toppers Chelsea to one point.
But it was not to be. Jose Mourinho's Chelsea romped to their win and look more and more likely to claim the league title.
Trailing 2-0 within the first seven minutes, Arsenal's problems were exacerbated when Oxlade-Chamberlain threw a hand at an Eden Hazard shot. Marriner gave a penalty and then rightly issued a red card. However, he dismissed the wrong man, and Twitter reacted appropriately—bemused, bewildered and amused:
Despite this horrendous gaffe, the result can hardly be disputed, with the Blues on a different level to a poor Arsenal side.
Goals from Samuel Eto'o, Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Mohamed Salah and a double from Oscar saw Chelsea stretch their lead at the top to seven points from second-place Liverpool.
And they deserved their win, as the stats from the game showed:
The result means that Arsenal look to be falling off the pace in the title race and may have to target winning the FA Cup if they want to claim their first piece of silverware since 2005.
Most aggravating for Arsenal fans will be the fact that they do not seem to be able to beat the other title challengers, as The Guardian's Daniel Taylor pointed out:
It was an inauspicious result for Wenger on this landmark occasion and one that will need to be examined closely.
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