Stamford Bridge, England

Attendance: 41784

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  • Juan Mata 6'
  • Frank Lampard 16' PEN

2 - 1



  • Theo Walcott 58'
  • 90'

  • 90'

    Stay with ESPN FC for full commentary of Tottenham v Manchester United, which is on after a pitch inspection at snowy White Hart Lane. Every bit as snowy as the scene at Stamford Bridge.

  • 90'

    And that's the final whistle - Chelsea win 2-1, but Arsenal produced an unrecognisably better second-half performance and will feel they could have snatched a point from 2-0 down.

  • 90'

    Final seconds, and Chelsea win a free-kick. That should be just about it now.

  • 90'

    The ball is crossed back in, Giroud heads it and it's only fractionally too high, landing on the roof of the net.

  • 90'

    Chelsea under siege. Yet another Arsenal corner...

  • 90'

    Cech punches, Mata clears, Giroud plays it back and a great Cahill challenge stops Walcott from finding a shooting chance.

  • 90'

    The corner is cleared for another corner. Late Arsenal pressure - will it yield any reward?

  • 90'

    It comes to nothing, though. Back come Arsenal. Giroud crosses, and Chelsea put that one out for a corner. Good chance, but not enough Gunners attacked Giroud's cross.

  • 90'

    Cech takes a goal-kick long and Marin wins a throw deep inside the Arsenal half.

  • 90'

    There will be five minutes of stoppage time, and the Chelsea fans don't like that news one little bit.

  • 89'

    Mata takes, Bertrand blasts the follow-up, and appeals for handball are waved away. Giroud takes a very ambitious shot from distance at the other end, and that's no problem for Cech.

  • 88'

    Last two minutes of normal time, and there's a big cheer from the Chelsea fans as Ba wins a free-kick inside Arsenal territory.

  • 87'

    Hazard is off and Marko Marin on. Hazard twinkled in the first half, but wasn't much in the picture after the break.

  • 87'

    Vermaelen takes it low, looking for the far post, but there's not enough curl on the ball to guide it inside the post.

  • 86'

    Wilshere will take. It's poor, but Chelsea lose it and Cole brings down Sagna on the edge of the box. Another, more dangerous, free-kick for Arsenal.

  • 85'

    Cole brings down Cazorla on the touchline down the Arsenal right. Dangerous free-kick for Wenger's men - and time is running out...

  • 85'

    Chelsea seem to have settled down again, and Ba's arrival has certainly re-galvanised them in attack.

  • 84'

    That would have sealed it beyond any doubt. Ba again does superbly, drifting past Gibbs down the right, but can't get the cross in.

  • 83'

    Ba breaks the offside trap and races into the area from the left. He goes round Szczesny, but Vermaelen makes a crucial and excellent goal-line block to keep Arsenal in the game.

  • 82'

    Arshavin runs the ball behind as he tries to make ground down the Arsenal left. Cech kicks long towards Ba, but Hazard is crowded out as he tries to pick up the pieces.

  • 81'

    A shade under ten minutes left for Chelsea to hold on or for Arsenal to find an equaliser.

  • 80'

    That's the end of the afternoon for Fernando Torres. Demba Ba is on to replace the Chelsea striker.

  • 80'

    Equally uncharacteristically, Mata loses the ball to Mertesacker after a hurried pass.

  • 79'

    Cazorla, uncharacteristically, passes the ball straight out of play for Arsenal.

  • 77'

    They can't make the most of the break. Wilshere took a knock in losing the ball there, but should be OK.

  • 76'

    Arshavin on and Diaby off for Arsenal, who will again come forward with Wilshere...

  • 76'

    He does, but the shot is pretty easily smothered by Szczesny.

  • 75'

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  • 75'

    Wilshere dallies and loses the ball, which falls to Torres. He could go for goal here...

  • 74'

    Gibbs breaks dangerously down the left again for Arsenal, but this time Chelsea snuff out the threat.

  • 73'

    We're edging towards the final 15 minutes, with the game in the balance in a way that didn't seem possible at half-time.

  • 72'

    Ramires has a go from outside the area. It's parried, but Mata is offside as he chases the rebound.

  • 72'

    Ryan Bertrand is on for Oscar as the Chelsea interim coach makes a defensively-minded switch.

  • 71'

    More excellent play from Torres, this time on the right. He tries to square the ball across the area, and it's blocked and bobbles away.

  • 70'

    Wilshere crosses low from the left for the Gunners, and Chelsea - whose earlier poise has deserted them - scrape it away.

  • 69'

    Demba Ba is warming up - is Benitez about to ring the changes up front?

  • 68'

    A rare moment of threat in this half from Chelsea.

  • 67'

    Gibbs crosses for Arsenal, but there's nobody there. Torres does brilliantly to get past his man at the other end, but the touch is heavy and the chance disappears.

  • 67'

    It's another poor delivery, cut out by Lampard. Surely it's not too much to expect for a Premier League corner-taker to be able to beat the first man with a corner?

  • 67'

    Cazorla strikes at goal. It's blocked by the wall and flies behind for a corner.

  • 66'

    What can the Gunners make of this one?

  • 65'

    Mata is booked for kicking the ball away after Cole fouls Walcott on the edge of the box to concede a dangerous free-kick...

  • 65'

    Tetchiness from the home fans, noise from the away ones.

  • 64'

    Sagna, Walcott and Diaby try to fashion a chance, but the ball is cut out on the edge of the area.

  • 63'

    Ramsey is fouled by Hazard in midfield as Chelsea try to get going again.

  • 62'

    You can imagine that, the way this is going, a few Chelsea fans will be casting their minds back to the loss of that 2-0 lead at home to the Saints.

  • 61'

    Mata floats in a free-kick for Chelsea, but this one is easily cleared, and there's a slickness about Arsenal at the moment as they break again. The Blues clear.

  • 60'

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  • 60'

    Another Arsenal chance, but this time the shot drifts wide of the post.

  • 59'

    Walcott also looked as though he was nursing a problem, but seems to be OK now.

  • 58'

    Ransey is on and Coquelin, who has taken a knock or two, off in an Arsenal change.

  • 58'

    GOAL: He produces a fine finish, clipping the ball coolly past Cech to put Arsenal right back into the match.

  • 57'

    Here come Arsenal again - Cazorla slips the ball through to Walcott, who is onside...

  • 56'

    At the other end, Torres does well to set up Lampard on the edge of the area. He swipes a shot, which is blocked.

  • 55'

    His cross is a good one, but Giroud can't get enough on his header.

  • 54'

    The Blues have yet to get going after the restart, and here come Arsenal again with Gibbs down the left after some neat build-up.

  • 53'

    On this occasion, however, the flag is up, and Chelsea play the ball upfield.

  • 52'

    Giroud, back in the game, tries to break forward for Arsenal...

  • 52'

    Giroud takes a knock, but is gingerly back to his feet.

  • 51'

    If Arsenal can translate this start into a goal relatively soon, we'll have a different sort of match altogether.

  • 50'

    Suddenly, the visitors are winning the loose balls. As if to prove the point, Torres is harried out of possession, but that doesn't lead to anything much for Arsenal this time.

  • 49'

    It has drawn a response from the travelling fans, too - this is much more like what they would have been expecting to see.

  • 49'

    Wilshere chips through, and Walcott is onside on the right of the area. He drills in a shot, which is too close to Cech. Two chances in a minute.

  • 48'

    A welcome sign of encouragement for the Gunners, who were out early for the second half and already look more purposeful than for most of the entire first period.

  • 47'

    The ball is half-cleared, and Mertesacker thumps a shot which is straight at Cech. That could have got Arsenal back into it early on.

  • 47'

    Walcott is fouled by Cole, and Arsenal have a free-kick on their right. Early chance...

  • 46'

    We're under way in the second half - what can Arsenal do?

  • 45'

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  • 45'

    And that's half-time - Chelsea 2-0 up and in utter control. But that's what you would have said about their first half against Southampton... and look what happened after the break that day.

  • 45'

    We'll have a minute of added time. Then it's all down to Wenger - can he galvanise his team and get them into a game in which they have been a very clear second best?

  • 44'

    The ball falls to Torres in space on the right of the area. He has time to control, but tries a first-time volley and swipes it wildly into the stands.

  • 43'

    Two minutes or so to the break, and Chelsea have another free-kick, midway inside Arsenal territory...

  • 43'

    Mata and Hazard almost bring off the most impudent link-up of the day, but the Belgian's backheel just eludes his colleague inside the area.

  • 42'

    Another Chelsea corner. This one is scuffed in and scuffed out by Arsenal.

  • 41'

  • 40'

    Ramires is adjudged to have fouled Coquelin in midfield. That didn't look a foul, but the Arsenal free-kick brings no reward.

  • 39'

    Another Chelsea cross comes in towards Lampard. Mertesacker - one of the few Gunners to have done a decent first-half job - gets rid of the ball.

  • 38'

    Sagna rejoins the fray with a little over five minutes remaining until the break.

  • 37'

    Wilshere floats the free-kick deep, and it amounts to nothing much.

  • 36'

    Sagna is down after an innocuous-looking challenge from Oscar, which nevertheless brings a free-kick. Wenger's looking unhappy with that, and unhappy with pretty much everything in the first half so far. As well he might. Sagna limps off, temporarily.

  • 35'

    Straight to the other end. Ramires breezes past Gibbs to get into the area but then blasts a shot in the vague direction of the Kings Road and the District Line tube. Shame, that - he'd done superbly to get into that position.

  • 34'

    Good play again from Giroud, holding the ball up well and helping his team-mates usher in Sagna down the left again. Again, the Blues defence stands firm.

  • 34'

    A great touch by Giroud works space for Arsenal but, as Walcott breaks into the area, the linesman raises his flag for offside.

  • 33'

    Ramires finds Oscar on the left with a fine crossfield ball. Szczesny paws the cross away.

  • 32'

    This one leads to half a chance for Giroud to get something but - in keeping with the afternoon so far - Chelsea are the stronger and more determined, and they don't let him threaten Cech's goal.

  • 32'

    Lampard is there to put the ball out of play for another of those.

  • 31'

    Here comes Sagna down the right. He wins an attacking throw...

  • 31'

    That, though, is to take nothing away from Chelsea, who have been everything the Gunners haven't - bright, sharp and purposeful.

  • 30'

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  • 30'

    This must be one of the worst half-hours of Arsenal's season so far. They're really not in this match at all.

  • 29'

    Lovely link-up by Cole and Oscar down the left, with the latter's cross just about blocked and then just about scrambled away.

  • 29'

    Crossfield to Sagna, and then Diaby and Walcott - who has hardly been in the game - link for Arsenal, but to no avail as Chelsea's disciplined defence does its thing once more.

  • 28'

    Sagna dawdles, creating yet another scare for his team, but Torres is unable to get on the end of the cross.

  • 27'

    Mata has been splendid. He crosses from the right, targeting Torres, and Mertesacker does his bit for Arsenal.

  • 26'

    Cazorla has his ball across the area intercepted. Every time Chelsea do that, they seem to break - and so it is again, as Torres is given just too much to do by a pass down the right.

  • 25'

    Oscar, Hazard and Mata link. They're all a joy to watch, quick feet and sharp movement. They work the ball to Lampard who - for once - is crowded out.

  • 24'

    Arsenal clear long, and again it's so easy for Chelsea defensively. They've had a pretty low-stress afternoon so far.

  • 23'

    Free-kick to Chelsea on their right, which Mata will curl into the area... but he curls a poor ball over everyone's heads and out of play on the other side.

  • 22'

    Arsenal win another corner. Again it's poor, and Chelsea flood forward from Cech's catch and throw. Mata is only just blocked with Arsenal stretched once more.

  • 21'

    Lovely play from Hazard, who makes space for himself inside the penalty area, only to scuff his final effort.

  • 21'

    Sagna tries in vain to get something going, but curls his cross to nobody at all.

  • 20'

    Azpilicueta charges forward, but that threat is snuffed out.

  • 19'

    You get the feeling this could be beyond doubt before half-time if the home side carry on like this - they look constantly threatening.

  • 18'

    Ramires leads another Chelsea charge, feeding Mata on the right. This time, Arsenal scrape it away.

  • 17'

    How much different might things have been for Wenger and his team if Giroud had found the net with that early chance?

  • 16'

    GOAL: Lampard strokes the kick home, and Chelsea are in total control of this game.

  • 15'

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  • 15'

    Szczesny gets a yellow card, and Lampard will take this...

  • 15'

    PENALTY TO CHELSEA: The Gunners give the ball away and, from the break, Chelsea get Ramires in. He's brought down by the keeper, and it's a penalty.

  • 14'

    Arsenal, with the exception of the move from which Giroud missed, have yet to really string anything together.

  • 13'

    Chelsea play it long towards Lampard, and Mertesacker ushers the ball away with Torres again lurking. The ball falls to Oscar, who volleys high and over.

  • 12'

    Groans from the crowd as the Spaniard's attempt to find a colleague is woefully misjudged and floats behind.

  • 11'

    Mata finds another fine ball to Torres on the left. He'll make his way into a crossing position.

  • 11'

    It's his turn to fire in a fierce effort, which Szczesny tips away with Torres waiting.

  • 10'

    Good stuff, this - a bright, open start. Here comes Ashley Cole, and Mata is lurking with intent once more. Hazard picks it up and drifts into the area on the right...

  • 9'

    The Chelsea keeper then backs up his save with a comfortable take from the flag-kick.

  • 9'

    The ball comes to Cazorla, who fires in a fierce effort that Cech tips away.

  • 8'

    Arsenal come again, with Diaby trying to force his way through...

  • 7'

    And he'd probably have been pretty furious that less than a minute elapsed between Giroud's miss and Mata's goal.

  • 6'

    Beautifully controlled by Mata, who gave the keeper no chance at all. Coquelin had been challenged by Ramires just before the goal and was down - Arsene Wenger looks furious about that. He looks furious about a lot of things, though.

  • 6'

    GOAL: End to end, and Juan Mata bursts into the area. Unlike Giroud, he takes his chance, blasting the ball high into the net. Superb finish from the Spaniard.

  • 5'

    Walcott puts Giroud through beautifully, but he drags his shot wide of Cech's far post. The best chance of the game by a mile, and an escape for Chelsea.

  • 5'

    Mata tries to guide a dangerous ball through to Oscar, but it's cut out and Arsenal go to the other end...

  • 5'

    Five minutes in, and it's all Chelsea at the moment.

  • 4'

    Arsenal just can't keep the ball at the moment, and Vermaelen has to step in to keep Torres from getting away down the right this time.

  • 3'

    Lampard plays it in and Ivanovic is the man who gets to it, but he can only steer his header comfortably over the top.

  • 2'

    It breaks down, and Torres leads the Blues charge. Mertsesacker brings him down, and it's a free-kick to Chelsea.

  • 2'

    Diaby on the ball for Arsenal, who thread it out wide to the right...

  • 1'

    The ball falls to Lampard outside the area, and he whacks a shot over the bar. Very positive start from the home side.

  • 1'

    Oscar then goes to ground inside the area, but Atkinson's not interested. Good sound from the crowd in these opening seconds, too.


    Chelsea get things started, and the ball is played long towards Torres.


    Martin Atkinson is the man in the middle this afternoon, and he's poised to get us under way.


    Five minutes to kick-off in a snowy west London - let's see what the next 90 minutes bring.


    The atmosphere at the Blues' home that night wasn't the happiest - again - and it will be interesting to see how the crowd react if Chelsea get off to a difficult start this afternoon.


    Last time out at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against Southampton - a superb result for the visitors, who responded by sacking their manager on Friday.


    Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger's line-up looks like this: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Coquelin, Diaby, Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Ramsey, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Frimpong.


    Here are the line-ups in full, starting with the home side: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Terry, Ba, Bertrand, Ake.


    Arsenal, meanwhile, are unchanged from their FA Cup victory over Swansea, with Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both out through illness.


    John Terry also has to settle for a place on the bench despite suggestions that he might have made a return to the starting line-up.


    Rafa Benitez has put his faith in Fernando Torres for the visit of Arsenal, dropping in-form Demba Ba to the bench despite revealing that he had been considering playing both strikers.


    Live commentary will appear here from 13.30 GMT.


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