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Chelsea emerged victorious at the Emirates today, scoring two goals from sloppy Arsenal play, and Arsenal could not find a way back in the second half, despite chances, and took their first loss of the season.
0 - 1 Torres 21'
1 - 1 Gervinho 43'
1 - 2 Mata 53'
Arsenal couldn't find a way through against a Chelsea side that soaked up pressure and took two goals from chances they had on free kicks, and the Gunners sustained their first loss of the season this morning at the Emirates.
The match started off pretty open, David Luiz' free kick causing Vito Mannone no trouble on three minutes, while Aaron Ramsey had a wild shot two minutes later. Arsenal were sitting deep when not in possession, soaking up as much of the Chelsea creativity as they could. Gervinho laid it back to Santi Cazorla on ten minutes, but the Spaniard put his shot over the bar from a tough spot.
Diaby tested Petr Cech and his hamstrings with a shot on 12 minutes, which Cech saved no problem. Diaby, however, would try to carry on, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would replace him on 17 minutes. Ramsey slid in to Diaby's spot in the middle, while Ox took up on the right.
Chelsea won a free kick on 20 minutes after a Thomas Vermaelen foul, and they would make it count. Arsenal's marking wasn't very good, and Fernando Torres held off Laurent Koscielny to hook his leg around and kick the ball past Mannone.
1-0 Chelsea, 21'.
The game got weird after that. Koscielny let the ball bounce too much after a minor Arsenal penalty shout at the other end, and Torres nearly made him pay again, tripping over the ball under pressure from Koscielny as he was about to shoot. Arsenal were all over the place, diving into challenges that they were missing, passing to nobody in particular.
Aaron Ramsey earned a yellow for a late tackle on Oscar on 34 minutes. Arsenal were struggling to make any connections. Luckily, for all of Arsenal's diving in, Chelsea weren't generating much with their numbers on the counter either, although Eden Hazard was doing his best, all flair on display, Recoba-ing from the byline to be headed away by Koscielny on 38 minutes.
Oscar got a yellow a minute later for persistent fouling. Torres raked his studs down Ramsey's ankle, stamping on him, two minutes later, but no whistle came.
Just when it looked like the half would arrive with Arsenal in the hole, Ox got free on the right. His low drilled pass into the area was controlled well by Gervinho (yep) and drilled home on the turn from ten yards into the roof of the net by Gervinho (yep).
Arsenal were flying now, three minutes of added time left to go. Torres hit the side netting just before Martin Atkinson blew for half time.
The second half started, David LUiz earning a yellow for simulation, undeservedly, as his own man tripped him up, before Ox slashed a shot well wide on 49 minutes. Kieran Gibbs released Lukas Podolski, who squared to nobody, but the clearance came to Cazorla who shot wide from another tough angle.
Chelsea got a free kick on 53 minutes after a Thomas Vermaelen yellow card, and Juan Mata stepped up to take it. He flashed it over the wall towards the far post, and as it came through, Laurent Koscielny got the slightest, maybe crucial, touch off his shin, and it went it past Mannone.
2-1, Chelsea, 53'.
Arsenal were looking enterprising, still, nonetheless, and Podolski had a header towards goal on 60 minutes that Cech had to palm away from the top corner. Chelsea earned a free kick shortly afterwards that was headed away from danger. Arsenal were still pushing, David Luiz putting a cross just wide of his own post from Gibbs on 66 minutes.
Arsenal rang the subs a minute later, Ramsey and Podolski coming off for Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud. (Gervinho should have been the one to come off). The game immediately went off the boil, Arsenal not stringing any passes together. Victor Moses came on for Chelsea.
73 minutes on, Giroud shot and Luiz deflected, the ball looping enticingly towards goal, but Cech was able to reverse and plam it behind just in time. Neither side really did too much until Mata won a freek kick on 80 minutes just outside the area. It was a terribly dangerous position, but the wall did its job, Koscielny picking up an injury in the process. Gary Cahill replaced Luiz.
Arteta won a free kick on 83 minutes, and Giroud hit the far post with his header, but the linesman ruled for offside anyhow. Ryan Bertrand replaced Mata.
87 minutes, nothing on for Arsenal. Chelsea were just soaking things up now. Arsenal came forward anyway, 89 minutes, Gervinho cut back for Cazorla, who flashed his shot just over the bar from 18.
There would be four minutes of added time.
Giroud had a golden chance on 91 minutes, skipping past Cech, but he pushed a little too wide and could only hit the side netting with his shot.
He should've scored. He didn't. Chelsea saw the match out. Onto Olympiacos.