There were about three sure goals that the woodwork kept away from Chelsea. Lampard and Essien were the victims. Arsenal went ahead with a Flamini goal in the 78th minute that probably would have been kept away by a better goalkeeper than Hilario. Arsenal was under strength without the services of Henry, Toure, Gallas, and Rosicky. In Chelsea terms that would be minus Drogba, Terry, Cole, and Lampard. This is immaterial, when you have a third string goalkeeper like Hilario, the first thing that Arsenal should have done was to test him more with long range shots. This is something that should come up in the post mortem.
Just when it looked like Arsenal would pull off a improbable win, Wenger substitutes Van Persie for Ljungberg. I have no idea why. A more defensive player would have been a better choice for the often injured Ljungberg who has half his speed nowadays. Some of Wenger's choices are becoming very debatable this season but to be fair he really does not have the players. Arsenal had Kolo Toure serving a suspension and William Gallas injured. Anyways, the result is that Arsenal in the last 12 minutes or so ceded the ball to Chelsea and a neat little pass found an open Essien whose 35 yard screamer bent in and found the back of the net. That cannon shot would have found the back of the net if you had lined up the whole Arsenal defense across the goal line. It was all Chelsea after that.
The young Arsenal defense looked shaky and although Clichy and Senderos did their best, they gave away the ball far too many times. Chelsea's superior bench strength paid off with Robben bringing some much needed speed down the left opening Chelsea's game.
Emmanuel Adebayor continues to be the most over rated player. Wenger should bench this dud with the smirk till he comes to the realization that he is not the only one on the field with ball skills. The problem with Adebayor is that he does not have the power of Drogba, a free kick like Persie, the speed of Walcott, and he does not use his height to head the ball. Without his ball skills, Adebayor is a one trick pony and a lazy one at that. Pundits sometimes mistake that for langour.
Jose Mourinho kept his record of not losing at Stamford Bridge intact. He has won 38 games and drawn 8. Chelsea are now 10 points off the pace with Man Utd in first place. They have an opportunity to reduce it to 7, with the game against Newcastle on Wednesday.