Chelsea's physical play and ruthless finishing were the difference as the visiting Blues beat Arsenal, 3-0, and restored their five-point lead over
Manchester United at the top of the English Premier League. The game was decided late in the first half on almost identical plays. On the first Ashley Cole
cross was side-volleyed by Didier Drogba
into the Arsenal goal. On the second, Belgian Thomas Vermaelen
cross into his own goal.
Drogba completed the rout with a second goal of his own on a free kick late in the second half.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
was aggrieved that a goal by Andrei Arshavin
early in the second half was disallowed for a foul by Eduardo
on Petr Cech
"It was a Chelsea player stopping the ball," Wenger said. "The referee made a massive mistake when you start
the second half at 2-1 instead of 2-0 it's psychologically important."
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti
rejected suggestions that his team's
muscle won the game.
"We have a physical quality," the Italian said, "but we have other qualities too. Our midfield won the game and we defended with intelligence. It's true that
Arsenal kept the ball for the first half but when we got possession we were very good on the counterattack."