Chelsea win despite Gunners fightback

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1

Chelsea came through a tense second half to secure a hard-fought derby victory.

Juan Mata’s emphatic finish and Frank Lampard’s penalty put them in command before Theo Walcott’s goal 13 minutes after the interval hauled Arsenal back into the match.

Having surrendered a two-goal lead at home to Southampton in midweek, the pressure was then on the Blues to avoid a similar outcome.

They clung on – and almost grabbed a late third when substitute Demba Ba rounded keeper Wojciech Szczesny only to see his shot kept out by defender Thomas Vermaelen.

Mata, who scored Chelsea’s winner at Arsenal earlier in the season, put them ahead after only six minutes in the snow at Stamford Bridge.

Believing Francis Coquelin had been fouled by Ramires in midfield, the Gunners switched off and Cesar Azpilicueta lifted the ball towards Mata, who controlled it beautifully before holding off Bacary Sagna and firing home.

The opener came shortly after Olivier Giroud had missed a great chance for Arsenal, dragging a shot wide after being set up by Walcott.

Once in front, Chelsea – with Fernando Torres preferred to Ba in attack – took control and doubled their lead after Ramires was brought down by Szczesny, who escaped with a yellow card.

Lampard tucked away the resulting spot-kick – his 195th goal for the club.

Ramires and Torres had chances to put Chelsea three ahead before the break but both blazed wastefully over – Ramires after doing the hard part by going past Kieran Gibbs.

Arsenal improved – they could hardly have got worse – and Petr Cech was twice called into action early in the second half, saving from Per Mertesacker and Walcott.

But Walcott made no mistake on 58 minutes, sprinting clear of Branislav Ivanovic and shooting past Cech after being put through by Santi Cazorla.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar (Bertrand 72), Hazard (Marin 88), Mata; Torres (Ba 81).
Subs not used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Ake.





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