Terry’s slip hands Arsenal amazing win

Chelsea 3 Arsenal 5

It looked like being a show of defiance, but John Terry ended up falling flat on his face – literally.

Unruffled by the furore surrounding him, Terry scored in a dramatic encounter at Stamford Bridge only for his horrendous mistake to lead to the first of two late goals for Arsenal’s hat-trick hero Robin van Persie.

With five minutes remaining, Terry slipped while trying to retrieve a poor pass from Florent Malouda, allowing the in-form Van Persie to round goalkeeper Petr Cech and put the Gunners 4-3 up.

Van Persie struck again in stoppage time, cutting in from the left and rifling in his seventh goal in three matches and his 28th in 27 Premier League games.

Chelsea had opened the scoring when Frank Lampard headed home Juan Mata’s cross, before Van Persie levelled with a simple finish after being teed up by Gervinho.

Terry nudged in Lampard’s 45th-minute corner to restore his team’s lead, but Arsenal stormed back after the break.

Andre Santos latched onto Alex Song’s excellent pass and fired through Cech’s legs, and Theo Walcott’s amazing solo goal put the North Londoners in front.

Mata appeared to have rescued a point for Chelsea with a brilliant strike from the edge of the penalty area, but Terry’s blunder handed the points back to the visitors.

Lampard put Chelsea ahead

Amid a Football Association inquiry into allegations Terry racially abused QPR’s Anton Ferdinand during last weekend’s west London derby – which Chelsea’s skipper strongly denies – manager Andre Villas-Boas made it clear he had no qualms about selecting the centre-back.

Terry responded by underlining his importance, producing an impressive first-half display and finding the net. The afternoon was panning out as he and the Bridge faithful would have hoped.

He was also involved in the opener, hitting a long ball to Mata, whose excellent delivery from the right enabled Lampard to register his sixth goal of the season.

The breakthrough, which arrived in the 15th minute, came after Arsenal had missed two excellent opportunities to go ahead.

First, Walcott sprinted past Ashley Cole and crossed for an unmarked Gervinho, who scuffed his shot horribly wide.

And when Walcott again got the better of Cole and picked out Van Persie, the Dutchman was also unable to hit the target – unlike Lampard at the other end a minute later.

Lampard then turned provider for what should have been Chelsea’s second, threading through a perfect pass for Daniel Sturridge only for the striker to slice his effort wide.

Gervinho and Van Persie punished that error – and atoned for their own earlier misses – by combining for the first equaliser.

Mata scored a superb equaliser

After being found by Ramsey’s wonderful through-ball, Gervinho might have attempted to score himself but instead drew Cech towards him and then laid the ball across for Van Persie to get his first of the afternoon and continue his remarkable scoring run.

Chelsea thought they had regained the lead when Sturridge netted after being set up by the fit-again Ramires, but the offside flag was quickly raised.

There was no doubt, though, about Terry’s goal on the stroke of half-time – or that Per Mertesacker was badly at fault for losing his man.

But when Jose Bosingwa also went Awol four minutes after the interval, Santos took full advantage and Walcott’s incredible goal then put Arsenal ahead.

Walcott beat two defenders, slipped, quickly got up and beat a couple more before smashing past Cech.

Fernando Torres, back for Chelsea after a three-match ban, appealed in vain for a penalty after a challenge from Laurent Koscielny, and Arsenal also had appeals for a spot-kick waved away by referee Andre Marriner when Bosingwa tangled with Gervinho.

Villas-Boas’ side made it 3-3 after a mistake by Santos. He gave the ball straight to Raul Meireles and the Chelsea substitute duly found Mata, who found the net in fine style.

It seemed Mata had managed to upstage Walcott, Van Persie and perhaps even his captain.

But what followed will ensure that Terry remains the man in the headlines.