By Randy Osae
For the second time in a week, Arsenal were humiliated on home patch as a result of been outgunned rather than outplayed.
Ludicrous defending and profligate attacking scripted the story as Chelsea eased to a demoralizing 1-4 thumping – ending a sequence of a 21-game unbeaten league run by Arsenal.
Again, Wenger and his men took another harsh lesson on their football’s formula and as far as weeks go, this one might have conveyed the towering bridge between Arsenal and their once arch-rivals among the Premier League’s elite.
They will have to clarify that notion next season.
As Wenger will say; they will have to come back stronger.
And they seemed to have come back stronger from the distress of midweek when the first 27 minutes of today narrated nothing but typical Arsenal cruise control.
They had glued the ball to their feet, piling back-foot pressure on Chelsea and spurning chances right at the mouth of goal until…until…deja vu.
Fabregas fouled Drogba from a similar area to where Ronaldo stunned on Tuesday. Chelsea’s Ivorian did not aim at Arsenal’s stopper though. He floated the ball onto Alex’s head and through the help of the crossbar, Fabianski was beaten anyway.
Sometimes life does not cease to be cruel, and despite Arsenal’s perseverance, they would go into the interval 2-0 down…again.
Anelka burst through and whipped a 25-yard effort through the hosts’ back line and beyond Fabianski’s stretch on 39 minutes.
Same old story.
Arsenal’s goalkeeper denied the former Gunner from registering Chelsea’s third right before the break but despite half-time’s rest of momentum, the blues still had 0-3 coming.
Minutes into the second-half, Cole spearheaded a surge from the left which frightened Kolo Toure. And with Fabianski equally anxious to prevent Drogba from turning home the low cross, the Ivorian attempted to swiftly clear the ball to safety.
But it was a naive attempt. And the ball rolled into his own net.
The curtains were closing but the second-half had only began. So there had to be some sort of response from Arsenal to make this match worth the watch at least.
Indeed, they could have made it a classic.
Van Persie hesitated to finish off a clear-cut opportunity before Walcott somehow missed the goal’s far corner from no man’s land.
It was sickening for Wenger as indeed the majority still keeping faith, and so Diaby, Song and Walcott were withdrawn for Bendtner, Adebayor and Denilson respectively.
No other substitute had been itching to participate more than Bendtner did. After the Dane’s shameful night-club antics days ago, he knew this was best time to make fans forgive and forget.
And he did his fair share by thumping a header past Cech on 70 minutes to cause many daring to dream of a comeback which he nearly single-handedly forced with another tempting header from that same area later on.
Van Persie also tested Cech with his head, before Silvestre scrambled and missed from point-blank range.
A second goal and Arsenal surely would be turning the tables.
It could have been gifted had the referee rewarded Adebayor’s somehow foul/ somehow dive around Cech. But immediately after, Chelsea concluded this horrible story.
They moved again towards the other end and penetrated Arsenal’s faint wall again. Malouda was one-on-one with Fabianski but failed to score and after Anelka rebounded onto the post and back into his way, he poked it home.