Arsenal hammered Chelsea 3-1 with a commanding performance to go second in the table behind Manchester United in Monday's late game in the English Premier League (EPL). Goals from Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott sealed Arsenal's first victory against Chelsea in five games, as Branislav Ivanovic's goal failed to spark a Chelsea comeback.
Chelsea had the better of the opening encounters but Arsenal held on and gradually got into their stride as the first half wore on. Just before half-time, Alex Song shot into the far post from inside the area to give the home side the lead.
Chelsea were expected to come out with all guns blazing in the second half, but it was the Gunners who piled pressure on the Blues defence. Arsenal's swift counters saw them score two goals in as many minutes, as they found it all too easy to crack an over-committed Chelsea defence.
Skipper Cesc Fabregas scored the decisive second goal after Michael Essien's pass to his defence inadvertently allowed Walcott acres of time and space. The winger unselfishly fed Fabregas who had the easiest finish.
Fabregas then returned the favour two minutes later, when Arsenal countered, with a perfect through ball for Walcott to race on to. The Englishman finished impressively into the far post to send the home fans into ecstatic delirium.
However, a Chelsea set-piece saw Branislav Ivanovic reduce the deficit raising hopes amongst visiting supporters of an unlikely comeback. But the Blues lacked drive and determination and Arsenal's victory was rarely threatened.
With the defeat, Chelsea have taken only six points from their last eight games - their worst run since 1998. Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted that his side must wake up if they are to stand any chance of retaining their title.
There is a lot of disappointment because the difficult moment continues, said the Italian.
We are losing position in the table. We have to wake up immediately.
I think we have a possibility to come back and fight for the title but we cannot have this type of performance in the future. We don't have to think about the title, we have to think about moving on from this moment. We have to prepare well for the next game (against Bolton) and try to win.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was, obviously, elated with victory claiming the win had a double impact. He said, The win had a double impact. It keeps us in touch with the leaders. It is also the psychological impact because we were questioned about our ability to win big games.
I'm happy with the desire in the team. We kept good discipline in the team for 90 minutes and put in a real team performance. Two years ago with the same players, we were maybe battered by Chelsea. Last year we felt we were getting closer.
Maybe we played a bit with the handbrake. It was a slow learning process that we got out of our system tonight. Cesc Fabregas said we were maybe scared to win. There was a strong word, but maybe there was something in it.
We didn't see that tonight. It was a locked game at the start, but the first goal gave a huge advantage. We are not bullied any more, that is for sure. It's always very difficult to say because every game is different, but I feel we have matured over the last two years.
Wenger though said he would be shocked if Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti would get sacked after a miserable run. The gunners boss said, I personally rate Ancelotti very highly and I can't believe that (his job would be under threat).
The win sends Arsenal to second spot on the table two points behind Manchester United, although the reds have a game in hand. Chelsea languish in fourth spot in the table with 31 points and need find some form if they are court hopes of retaining the title.