By Feargal Brennan
A hat trick from Arsenal Captain Robin van Persie handed Arsenal a 5-3 victory over Chelsea in dramatic style in their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge. Two late goals from van Persie sealed the win for Arsenal, who showed remarkable resilience and composure to win at Chelsea for the first time since 2008.
The result sees Arsenal recent revival continue, as they move up to 6th in the table, while Chelsea remain in third.
The game began at break-neck speed as both sides showed real attacking threat in the opening quarter, with young striker Daniel Sturridge offering Chelsea’s main threat. While Arsenal saw both van Persie and Gervinho miss excellent chances to give the visitors the lead. Arsenal lack of cutting edge was punished on thirteen minutes as Chelsea took the lead through Frank Lampard. The veteran midfielder ghosted into the Arsenal box and headed precisely home Juan Mata’s cross.
Arsenal responded positively as both Gervinho and Theo Walcott began to cause Chelsea more problems, with the former setting up van Persie for his first goal after thirty six minutes. The Ivorian’s run was picked out by Aaron Ramsey, who squared for van Persie to tap in with ease. Arsenal seemed to be in the ascendency as the half wore on- however John Terry’s header on the stroke of half time saw the Blues in front at the break. The Chelsea skipper, embroiled in so much controversy this week thrust him into focus once more, rising above Per Mertesacker to squeeze home a header from Lampard’s corner.
Arsenal’s nerve appeared to be in for a real test at the start of the second period, and were given they were given the perfect start from Brazilian full back Andre Santos. Santos has enjoyed an extended run in the first teamof late, and he showed fine composure to fire a strike through the legs of Petr Cech following a surging run.
Drawing level for the second time Arsenal looked primed to take control of the game, pulling into a 3-2 lead as Walcott netted. Walcott, impressive throughout, did well to remain on his feet after bundling through the Chelsea defence and beat Cech at his near post. The lead certainly looked to show how the tide was turning in the Gunners favour.
However despite Arsenal’s impressive show of resolve, Chelsea were not finished and Mata popped up on eighty minutes to throw the tie wide open once more. The Spaniard engineered space for himself twenty five yards from the Arsenal goal, and fired past Szczesny.
But it was van Persie who had the final word, firstly netting a composed finish following a slip by Terry, before completing his personal treble and sealing the win with a left-footed strike in injury time.
The result is another step in the right direction for Arsenal, while the defeat is Chelsea’s second consecutive League defeat.