x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Arsenal overcome Chelsea 3-1

The Gunners scored three goals in the space of ten minutes to end a barren spell against the Premier League champions that stretched back to November 2008.

Arsenal overwhelmed the Premier League Champions Chelsea 3-1.
Arsenal overwhelmed the Premier League Champions Chelsea 3-1.

LONDON // Arsenal scored three goals in ten minutes to overwhelm the Premier League Champions Chelsea 3-1 and put a two-year barren spell against their London rivals to rest.

Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott found the net for the Gunners, who last beat Chelsea in November 2008 and hadn't previously scored against the same opponent since May 2009.

Despite Branislav Ivanovic pulling one back by heading in Didier Drogba's free kick in the 57th minute, Chelsea couldn't come back against a team it had beaten in their last five matches in all competitions.

"We concentrated on pressing, everyone was pressing - we didn't give Chelsea any space at all," Walcott said. "Everything went well. We made Chelsea look average at times. We played some great football and wanted to do it for the fans, because in recent years against Chelsea we've been disappointing."

Arsenal go to Wigan on Wednesday two points behind Manchester United in second place, while Chelsea are six points off the lead and have slipped to fourth just behind Manchester City.

"The result had a double impact," the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "Mathematically, it keeps us in touch with the leaders of the league, and psychologically it was important. We were questioned about our capability of winning big games."

The win ends Arsenal's miserable run against United and Chelsea, who have shared the Premier League trophy between them since the Gunners last lifted it in 2004. Arsenal previously failed to beat either team in their last 11 encounters in all competitions.

But the loss compounds the problems facing Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose side began with five wins in succession but have now failed to win in the league since November 10.

"We're in a difficult moment," Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said, seven months after his side won the league and FA Cup. "The table is not good but this is the reality. We have to wake up. Now we are sleeping."

In contrast, Wenger praised his players for being disciplined and mature.

He added: "The focus of the team was good, even when we had to be less adventurous at some stages ... let's hope that it strengthens our belief that we can challenge for the championship and it strengthens our belief we're on the right way."