Premier League - 4th-5th February 2017

06th Feb 2017

Sport

Chelsea Savage Arsenal As Blues Nearly Out Of Sight In Title Race

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-1 to move Chelsea twelve points clear on top on Saturday as Arsenal could find no answer to Chelsea’s midfield power.

The Blues outshone, outsmarted and outclassed an Arsenal team that were below par in a game where Chelsea’s midfield rearguard of Matic and Kante were insatiable winning almost everything that came their way and Eden Hazard was simply sensational with one of the goals of the season following a mazy run from the halfway line beating four Arsenal players before racing into the penalty area and with 5 Arsenal players around him managed to strike the ball past helpless keeper Petr Cech.

Chelsea dominated throughout the match and had swathes of important possession as Arsenal were outgunned in all areas of the pitch. It was like watching men against boys as Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger looked down from high up in the stands following his touchline ban for pushing a refereeing official last month and it must have been difficult viewing as his team were torn apart.

As early as the 13th minute Chelsea took the lead as Victor Moses and Pedro combined beautifully down the right with Pedro sending in a pinpoint cross to Premiership leading scorer Diego Costa. His vicious header came looping back off the crossbar and there was Marcus Alonso who’d left his marker Theo Walcott for dead and headed into an empty net although the unfortunate Victor Bellerin so often berated at least went up for the challenge in the wake of Walcott being ten metres away from Alonso and was caught nastily in the head. Bellerin was stretchered off and the entire Arsenal team could have joined him as they failed to make any inroads into the game.

In the 53rd minute it was basically game over. Costa won a header on the halfway and Belgium international Eden Hazard picked it up and went on a dazzling run leaving Arsenal defenders outwitted on his way, shrugging of the challenge of Coquelan and leaving him in a heap on the floor. Carrying on his run into the box he danced around two defenders and hit in a low shot past Cech that the international goalkeeper had absolutely no chance with.

Cech was unfortunately at fault for the third when he made an uncharacteristic mistake mishitting a back pass entirely and allowing Cesc Fabregas only recently on as a substitute with an open goal from 25 yards. The former Arsenal hero beat ironically the former Chelsea hero with a relaxed and competent finish that emphatically sealed the victory for the Pensioners.

There was still time for Arsenal substitute Olivier Giroud to get on the score sheet and get a consolation goal for the Gunners as he headed in a super cross for Monreal. Unfortunately it was far too little too late for the red and white shirts.

Despite Arsenal having 57% of the possession at Stamford Bridge and more corners and set pieces in total you would never have known that from watching the game as the Blues were stunning and at times sheer class and utterly ruthless.

Is the title sewn up for Chelsea, on this outing, yes. They are simply too good for the rest of the chasing pack, the consistency is outstanding and the midfield breathtaking. With players such as Marcus Alonso, Victor Moses and Pedro seemingly coming out of the woodwork this season and players under Jose Mourinho now rejuvenated under Conte such as Eden Hazard and Diego Costa it would be a brave man to bet against the Blues regaining the title.

Weekend Premiership Round Up

Game of the day had to be at Goodison Park where Everton beat Bournemouth in an absolute thriller of a match. Romelu Lukaku scored four as the Blues made the South Coast team look all at sea. Yet once again Bournemouth gave the game a real go even when trailing 3-0 at half time. They attacked Everton from the outset of the second half and King netted a double to bring the game back in Bournemouth’s reach at 3-2 before Lukaku’s 3rd and 4th of the afternoon put the game out of their reach. Arter still was able to get a consolation goal in the last minute for 5-3 only for Ross Barkley to nab a sixth goal for the Merseysiders. A cracking scoreline to a cracking game.

Sunderland would argue they were the team of the day as they destroyed Crystal Palace 4-0 at Selhurst Park and few would argue with them. David Moyes men opened the lead after just 9 minutes when Kone scored and it took until the 43rd minute for Sunderland to tear Sam Allardyce’s team to shreds whereby Jermaine Defoe scored an excellent brace after Ndong had made it two nil. So big Sam would have hoped to have gone in at half time just the one goal down those three goals in as many minutes 4-0 was just too much. Palace it has to be said were woeful while for Sunderland there was a glimmer, just a glimmer of hope for the rest of the season.

Talking of glimmers of hope Hull City beat Liverpool 2-0 thanks to goals from N’Diaye and Niasse with six minutes left on the clock to condemn Liverpool to yet another defeat and leave their title hopes in tatters as manager Jurgen Klopp has had a dreadful 2017 so far.

Southampton lost at home again this time 3-1 to West Ham as Andy Carroll notched again and the only positive for the Saints was debutant Gabbiadini scoring his first goal for the club and being pretty sharp throughout the match.

While others fell away in the title charge Spurs at least concertinaed the gap to Chelsea back to 9 points after a Harry Kane penalty was enough to beat an at times breathtakingly boring Middlesbrough 1-0 at White Hart Lane.

Watford were back to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Burnley while James Morrison’s 6th minute goal was enough to edge West Brom over Stoke City. Manchester City beat Swansea 2-1 and Leicester lost 3-0 at home to Manchester United to leave Swansea and Leicester in a 6 team battle for relegation.