Chelsea claim fourth straight win over Arsenal

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0

Chelsea moved four points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League after a goal in each half from Didier Drogba and Alex earned them a vital victory over London rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba backheeled Ashley Cole's low cross into the net at the near post five minutes before the break for his 13th goal against Arsene Wenger's side in 11 starts.

Defender Alex settled the contest with a powerful 30-yard free-kick in the 85th minute to hand the Gunners their second successive league defeat.

The tempo was set when Arsenal almost took the lead in the opening minute, with Bacary Sagna's.right-wing cross headed just wide by Marouane Chamakh.

Referee Mike Dean adjudged that the ball had deflected off a Chelsea defender and when the corner found its way into the six-yard box, Lauren Koscielny headed over from two yards out.

It was a wake-up call for the home side who responded with a Drogba free-kick that ballooned over the crossbar.

In the ninth minute, Chelsea almost opened the scoring when John Terry found Florent Malouda in the inside left channel but the France international's audacious chip was just over.

Arsenal hit back immediately with Andrey Arshavin forcing Petr Cech into a save when he cut inside from the left wing and unleashed an angled drive.

In the 19th minute Chelsea squandered another chance to open the scoring when Michael Essien rose unmarked in the six-yard box but headed Drogba's corner wide of the target.

Cech saved Chelsea in the 28th minute when he dived to his left to tip Arshavin's fierce 20-yard drive around the post.

Arsenal were enjoying as much of the possession as their hosts and Samir Nasri was a yard wide after outwitting the Chelsea defence on the edge of the penalty area.

Chelsea's frustration was growing and it was made worse then Drogba and Malouda were spotted arguing with each other in midfield.

But it clearly had an effect as in the 34th minute Lukasz Fabianski pulled off a great save to deny Drogba after the Ivory Coast striker had been put in the clear by Essien.

It was end-to-end stuff and a typical fast-flowing London derby that had everything but a goal - until the 40th minute. It was no surprise when the scorer turned out to be Drogba.

It was a superb move which led up to his finish. A quick free-kick eventually saw Ramires put Cole through on the left and when the former Arsenal full-back crossed the ball, Drogba backheeled it into the net at the near post.

The Gunners should have equalised in the 58th minute when Chamakh opted to take one touch too many on the edge of the penalty area and Ramires was able to block the danger.

But Chelsea should have made it 2-0 moments later when Anelka robbed Sebastien Squillaci and rounded Fabianski but the France international sent his shot into the side-netting.

In the 64th minute, Cech was alert enough to take the ball off the feet of Chamakh after Nasri's clever ball looked to have put the Arsenal man in with a clear opportunity to score.

Arsenal replaced Abou Diaby with Tomas Rosicky in the 71st minute as they looked for more invention in front of goal - and Rosicky soon forced Cech into a fine save.

However, Chelsea wasted another chance to kill off the game in the 73rd minute when Anelka raced clear of the Arsenal defence but his shot was somehow kept out by Fabianski.

Chamakh failed to hit the target from six yards when he sent a firm header just past the right-hand upright with 10 minutes left - and five minutes later Alex put the outcome beyond doubt when he crashed a 30-yard free-kick into the roof of the net.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam