Chelsea landed a hammer blow to Arsenal’s title chances after they ran out 6-0 winners in Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of the Gunners. That rout has put seven points between Chelsea and Arsenal, and maintained Chelsea’s lead at four points.
Arsenal conceded twice in the opening seven minutes, first to Samuel Eto’o and then to Andre Schurrle after two perfectly executed counter attacks. A penalty from Eden Hazard extended that lead to three after Kieron Gibbs was bizarrely sent off despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain conceding the spot kick with an obvious hand ball.
Brazilian playmaker Oscar scored either side of the half time break to inflict further misery on Arsenal, then substitute Mohammed Salah completed the rout after some terrible Arsenal defending.
The result goes down as Jose Mourinho’s biggest ever Premier League victory, but the build up to this game was all about his opponent Wenger. After 18 years at the club the Frenchman was managing Arsenal for the 1000th time. He was looking to celebrate that by beating Mourinho for the first time, and end the Portuguese’s unbeaten league record at Stamford Bridge.
Those hopes took a blow very early on in the game. Oliver Giroud saw his goo1d chance saved by Petr Cech, and then Chelsea broke away and took the lead from a neat finish by Eto’o with just five minutes on the clock. Two minutes later Schurrle latched on to Nemanja Matic’s through ball and doubled the lead.
Oxlade-Chamberlain then pulled off a save that any keeper would have been proud of to block a shot from Hazard, even though it was going wide. Referee Andre Marriner strangely sent off Gibbs instead, getting the two mixed up. Hazard stepped up and slotted the penalty home, effectively wrapping up the points.
Chelsea weren’t done though, with Oscar tapping in a Fernando Torres cross three minutes before half time. Oscar also scored the 5th, with Wojciech Szczesny at fault after the Brazilian’s long range shot slipped past him. Mohammed Salah beat the offside trap before slotting home.
After the game Mourinho was delighted with the performance, but he still refused to call his side title favourites.
“We came to kill and in 10 minutes we destroyed them. The way we started, the way we pressed them and recovered the ball, it was fantastic. Everyone in the stadium felt it would be an easy Chelsea win after only 10 minutes and it was then easy and comfortable.”
When asked if they were favourites for the Premier League crown Mourinho replied, “No. Obviously not. We go match after match. We play Crystal Palace next and after that we go to Paris. It’s a different situation to Arsenal. It’s a different situation to Liverpool, and Manchester City are also not in that situation. We are happy to be in that situation.” We bet you are, Jose!
LCN Man of the match: Oscar