AS ARSENAL AND CHELSEA clashed at the Emirates, we went minute by minute.
Full time: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
12.14 – We’ve been handed the team sheets and I think many Arsenal fans will be surprised at Gervinho’s inclusion over Olivier Giroud who had such an impressive game midweek.
Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Diaby, Cazorla, Ramsey, Gervinho, Podolski. Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Djourou, Santos, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres. Subs: Romeu, Lampard, Moses, Turnbull, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.
12.20 – That looks a very strong Chelsea line-up and I don’t think they’ve travelled across London to settle for a draw today.
They are, perhaps, a little light on midfielders who will track back but can Arsenal take advantage?
Let us know how you think the game will go in the comments below.
12.40 – Just realised that, in yesterday’s Fantasyland, I predicted this would be a 1-1 draw so I better stick to that.
Seeing the team sheets though, I fancy Chelsea could win this.
However, it has been Arsenal’s best ever defensive start to a Premier League season under Wenger and if they can keep that up, you never know.
12.46 – And we’re underway.
12.48 – The first chance of the game goes Chelsea’s way as David Luiz hits a long rang free kick straight to Arsenal’s replacement keeper Mannone.
12.52 – A wild shot from Aaron Ramsey ends up about 20 rows back from Peter Cech’s goal after Arsenal’s first period of sustained possession.
It looks like this could be quite an open game, though it is very early stages.
12.56 – Two Chelsea players are coming in for boos from the Arsenal crowd.
Care to guess who?
12.59 – 13 minutes gone at the Emirates and I think Eden Hazard has just hit his first wayward pass of the season.
It’s difficult to know which team is on top here. Both have settled well but without creating any real chances.
13.03 – Substitution: Abou Diaby is being forced off for Arsenal after just 16 minutes.
He’s being replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and it appears as if he injured himself taking a long range shot earlier in the game.
13.06 – GOAL: Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea
Arsenal are punished after Vermaelen fouled Hazard to give away a silly free-kick.
Mata’s wonderfully floated ball was found by a wide open Fernando Torres and if he hadn’t scored, Terry and Luiz were both there to capitalise.
Calamity defending from the home-side
13.11 – It could so easily have been 2-0 to Chelsea there but the referee waves away Torres’ penalty claims and, on replay, the Spanish striker had a case.
At the other end, Arsenal fail to capitalise from back-t0-back corners as they look to get back into this game.
13.14 – Gervinho had a great chance to level it for Arsenal with a header from six yards but could only find John Terry with a tame effort.
Chelsea almost punish them immediately but Torres was offside by about a half yard and the assistant referee rightly calls play back.
13.21 – YELLOW: The game’s first yellow goes to Aaron Ramsey after a wild lunge on Eden Hazard.
There’s a bit more effort being put in by Arsenal right now. They’re generally first to all the 50-50s since the Chelsea goal but have yet to create a really clear cut chance to equalise.
13.25 – YELLOW: It’s one all in terms of yellow cards as Oscar picks up his second booking of the season.
13.27 – Here’s that Torres goal from earlier and you really have to ask what the Arsenal defenders were doing to leave so many Chelsea players open.
13.29 – GOAL: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
The Arsenal fans may have been critical of his selection before the game but Gervinho has just made it 1-1 with a beautifully taken goal that finds the roof of the net, leaving Cech with no chance.
13.35 – Half-time:
Despite some pressure from Chelsea towards the end of the half, we go in at the break 1-1.
It’s been an interesting game so far with both sides capitalising on the few chances they’ve had.
Given that both entered the game as the Premier League’s best defences, that’s hardly much surprise.
13.44 – Here’s a picture of Gervinho celebrating his equaliser. He looks as happy as I was at keeping him in my fantasy football team!
Arsenal’s Yao Gervinho celebrates scoring their first goal of the game
(C) Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images
13.49 – And the second half is under way at the Emirates.
13.52 – YELLOW: David Luiz picks up Chelsea’s second booking of the game for a blatant dive in the Arsenal area.
13.54 – Great play by Podolski creates a decent chance from eight yards for Cazorla but he skews his shot wide.
Arsenal have started the second half the brighter and are really trying to take the game to their London rivals.
13.58 – GOAL: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (Mata)
Vermaelen picks up Arsenal’s second booking of the game and, as with the free kick he gave away in the first half, Chelsea capitalise to take a lead.
While not exactly against the run of play, you feel it’s harsh on the home team.
14.02 – DJ and Arsenal fan John Kelly echos the views of most Arsenal fans after that goal:
14.04 – Peter Cech denies Podolski his fourth goal in five appearances with a great save from a point blank header.
Down the other end, Arsenal finally defended a set piece.
14.06 – The referee has been conned into giving Arsenal a free kick in a dangerous area after Jenkinson dived over Ashley Cole’s outstretched leg.
Justice was served though as Arsenal weren’t able to create a chance from the set-piece.
14.11 – Arsenal look set to ring the changes with a double substitution that sees Walcott and Giroud replace Ramsey and Podolski.
The Podolski substitution is a strange one as the German has looked dangerous every time he’s been on the ball.
With 23 minutes left, however, Wenger may feel as if he has little choice but to roll the dice.
14.15 – Here is Mata’s goal that is the difference between the two sides.
14.20 – Oscar has gone off for Chelsea and been replaced by Victor Moses.
With 15 minutes left, it’s difficult to see a way back for Arsenal.
Chelsea haven’t exactly dominated, but they are beginning to boss the midfield and run down the clock.
14.28 – Chelsea’s David Luiz Juan Mata have been replaced by Cahill and Bertrand with just over five minutes to go in the Emirates.
A well-worked move involving almost the entire Arsenal team wins Arsenal a free kick in a good position.
However, while Cazorla’s free kick caused havoc in the Chelsea area, Gervinho had strayed offside.
14.33 – There’s no urgency about Arsenal here at all.
Two minutes left and their a goal down to the league leaders and they are playing like a team sitting on a three goal lead.
Santi Cazorla’s wild shot from the edge of the area just another example of the poor decision making that has dogged the home team since Chelsea took the lead.
14.35 – The fourth official shows that there’ll be four minutes of injury time here.
Grioud finishes off a well-worked Arsenal move by rounding Cech but his shot can only find the woodwork.
14.40 – Full time: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
And that’s all she wrote folks.
Chelsea have been good value for their win and controlled the game once their second goal went in.
For Arsenal, well they’ll have to work on defending set-pieces during the week, that’s for sure.
14.42 – So that’s all from me at the Emirates.
Thanks for joining me and be sure to keep Sean company as he covers all the 3pm games here.