Gunners hit for SIX by rampant Blues on Wenger’s 1,000th game as Gibbs is mistakenly sent off after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s handball on the line
There was a bizarre case of mistaken identity as Arsenal embarrassingly capitulated in Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge in a 6-0 loss to Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Wenger was last month called ‘a specialist in failure’ by Jose Mourinho and remains without a victory in 11 attempts against his nemesis after a spectacular implosion and an horrendous mistake by referee Andre Marriner.
The Frenchman watched on helplessly after two goals in three first-half minutes from Samuel Eto’o and Andre Schurrle gave Chelsea a handsome lead inside the first 10 minutes before Marriner sent off Kieran Gibbs for a handball committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Eden Hazard’s shot was handled in the area and, despite Oxlade-Chamberlain appearing to approach the official to admit wrongdoing, Gibbs was shown a red card in a decision which continues the debate over the use of television replays.
Contrast: Chelsea players celebrate their sixth goal scored by Mohamed Salah
Early lead: Samuel Eto’o celebrates scoring the opening goal after just five minutes at Stamford Bridge
Hammer blow: Schurrle strikes from just inside the area to put Chelsea 2-0 up early on
Milestone: Arsene Wenger celebrated his 1,000th game in charge with a disastrous defeat
Admission: Oxlade-Chamberlain even approached Marriner to tell him it was he who handled the ball
Why me? Gibbs looks frustrated as he departs the pitch after being sent off
Dejected: Arsenal gave themselves a mountain to climb after going 2-0 down inside seven minutes
Rampant: Oscar (left) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the fourth
Chelsea: Cech 7, Ivanovic 7, Terry 6, Cahill 6, Azpilicueta 8; Luiz 7, Matic 7, Schurrle 8, Oscar 8 (Salah, 67), Hazard 8, Eto’o 7 (Torres, 10)
Subs not used: Schwarzer, Lampard, Mikel, Ba, Kalas
Goals: Eto’o 5, Schurrle 7, Hazard pen 17, Oscar 42, Oscar 66, Salah 70
Arsenal: Szczesny 6, Sagna 5, Metesacker 5, Koscielny 5 (Flamini, 45), Gibbs 6; Arteta 4, Rosicky 5; Oxlade Chamberlain 4 (Jenkinson, 45), Cazorla 5, Podoloski 5 (Vermaelen, 23) ; Giroud 5
Subs not used: Fabianski, Sanogo, Kallstrom, Gnabry.
Sent off: Gibbs
Referee: Andre Marriner 4
*Player ratings by Adam Crafton at Stamford Bridge
Hazard converted the penalty to give the Blues a 3-0 advantage after 17 minutes as once against the Gunners imploded at the home of a title rival following the heavy losses at Manchester City and Liverpool.
Oscar added a fourth before the interval, a fifth after 66 minutes and his replacement Mohamed Salah struck his first Chelsea goal as the Blues responded from the controversial loss at Aston Villa in emphatic fashion.
Stamford Bridge revelled in the success, roaring ‘Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay’ and ‘specialist in failure’.
Marriner has previous at Stamford Bridge this season, awarding Chelsea a controversial last-gasp penalty against West Brom in November when it appeared Ramires dived.
Hazard scored on that occasion to earn a draw in a result which preserved Mourinho’s unbeaten Premier League record at home, which now stands at 76 matches.
The only saving grace on this occasion was that the decision did not appear to impact on the result and it is likely that Oxlade-Chamberlain will serve the suspension if Arsenal appeal or the Football Association intervene.
With eight games remaining, Chelsea top the standings having played more matches than their three rivals, but Wenger’s title chance seems to have slipped and regaining the FA Cup won in 2005 appears to be the Gunners’ only opportunity of ending their silverware search.
Six and out: Most Arsenal fans stayed until the end of the match despite the embarrassment
Six up: Mohamed Salah slots past Szczesny in the second-half to compound Arsenal’s misery
Bow down: Salah celebrates after scoring his first goal for Chelsea in the win
Stand-in keeper: Chamberlain dived to his right and got the faintest of touches on the ball
Not needed: The handball was intentional but not necessary, with the ball going wide
The wrong man: Oxlade-Chamberlain protests with the referee, telling him ‘It was me’
Mourinho made his ‘failure’ barb – referring to Wenger’s eight-year trophy drought – after the Frenchman suggested anyone playing down their team’s title chances was doing so for fear of falling short.
It ended the truce which had broken out in Mourinho’s absence from the Premier League and, ahead of their third meeting of the season, Mourinho stopped short of joining those paying tribute to Wenger ahead of his landmark match.
Wenger’s 500th game was a loss to Chelsea in August 2006 and there were warnings in the opening skirmishes of a repeat as Schurrle and Eto’o exposed gaping holes in the Gunners defence.
Aware: Oxlade-Chamberlain looks guilty after handling the ball on the goal-line
Mistaken identity: Gibbs (left) is shown a red card despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s handball
Start of the riot: Samuel Eto’o superbly curls home the opener after five minutes
Petr Cech was at full stretch to turn away an Olivier Giroud effort before a direct run from Schurrle led to the opening goal.
Schurrle fed Eto’o, who turned Oxlade-Chamberlain outside and then in before curling left-footed across Wojciech Szczesny for his 11th goal of the season, all of which have come at home.
Soon after it was two after Nemanja Matic dispossessed Tomas Rosicky and found Schurrle, whose shot through three bodies found the corner of the net.
Three’s up: Eden Hazard celebrates with Fernando Torres after putting Chelsea 3-0 up
Helpless: Oscar wheels away in celebration as Arsenal fans behind the goal look distraught
Fourth: Oscar slots home from close range after Fernando Torres’ low ball into the six yard box
Goalmouth: Oscar finished superbly under pressure from Laurent Koscielny
Slotted: The ball nestles into the top corner of the net from Oscar’s right foot
Record-breaking victory: The win was Jose Mourinho’s biggest as Chelsea boss
After the 6-3 loss at the Etihad Stadium and 5-1 defeat at Anfield, the sinking feeling on a Saturday lunchtime was familiar for the Gunners.
The win was Jose Mourinho’s biggest as Chelsea boss, and the Blues’ heaviest win over Arsenal
Worse was to follow when Hazard’s shot beat Szczesny and Oxlade-Chamberlain dived to his left to handle the shot, which was going wide.
Marriner awarded a penalty and thought the offender was Gibbs, seemingly refusing to be persuaded otherwise by Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Hazard converted the spot-kick after the mayhem had subsided.
Thomas Vermaelen went on for Lukas Podolski, but the Gunners leaked a fourth three minutes before half-time when Fernando Torres, on for the injured Eto’o, crossed for Oscar to tap in.
Credit: John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta congratulate Petr Cech after his save just before the first goal
Opener: Eto’o stands tall as Chelsea fans celebrate behind him
Running on: Schurrle stretches for the ball as Sagna looks on at Stamford Bridge
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Laurent Koscielny did not reappear for the second half as Wenger made two further substitutions in an effort to stop the rot.
Torres had a mazy run halted by Per Mertesacker and the ball broke for David Luiz, whose shot was saved by Szczesny, while there was a rare Arsenal attack which saw Santi Cazorla flash a shot across goal after 60 minutes.
Arsenal’s miserable afternoon continued when the defence backed off and allowed Oscar to shoot from the edge of the area, with Szczesny less than convincing in being beaten for a fifth time.
Salah replaced Oscar and soon after netted under Szczesny after racing on to Matic’s lofted pass, completing the rout.
Captured: Szczesny dives at the feet of Fernando Torres as the strike slipped through
Touch: Giroud looks to control the ball under the watchful eye of John Terry
Forward: Fernando Torres drives through the Arsenal midfield in the second-half
Shielded: Oscar vies with Oxlade-Chamberlain during the first-half at the byline
Through the legs: Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla battle for the ball
Tussle: Nemanja Matic of Chelsea and Tomas Rosicky of Arsenal battle for the ball
The boss: Arsenal fans hold up a sign to mark Arsene Wenger manager of his 1000th game at the club
Source : Daily Mail