Hot Drog gives Gunners the Blues
Didier Drogba scored twice to help Chelsea claim a significant 3-0 win at Arsenal and go five points clear at the top of the Premier League. Carlo Ancelotti's side have been in imperious form this season and Sunday's triumph at The Emirates means the Blues have collected 36 out of a possible 42 points available to them this season. Chelsea's first two goals came in a devastating four-minute spell at the end of the first half, with both strikes created by former Gunners star Ashley Cole, who first set up Drogba and then watched on as Thomas Vermaelen turned the ball past his own goalkeeper. Drogba then killed the game off with a 25-yard free-kick four minutes from time as the Blues not only re-established a five-point lead at the top, but also ensured they set a new club record of scoring in 28 consecutive games in all competitions. On a rain-drenched afternoon, it was the Gunners who first got to grips with the conditions when Andrey Arshavin headed back across goal but Cesc Fabregas saw his volley crowded out. But the Blues were soon on the attack and when Frank Lampard's sublime throughball played in Nicolas Anelka, the striker appeared to be pulled back in the area by fellow Frenchman Bacary Sagna. Referee Andre Marriner waved away the muted penalty appeals. Chelsea continued to have the lion's share of possession and with the pressure mounting, they made the breakthrough four minutes before the interval when Ashley Cole's cross picked out Drogba and the powerful Ivorian angled his volley beyond Manuel Almunia and in-off the crossbar, and then the post. And in the final minute of the half the Blues doubled their advantage when another Ashley Cole cross was turned into his own net by Vermaelen, the unfortunate Belgian turning the ball past Almunia in a near-identical finish to Drogba's strike just minutes earlier. The Gunners made a bright start to the second half and were unfortunate to see a goal chalked off when Petr Cech's clearance found its way back to Arshavin. The Russian then hooked a tidy volley into the back of the net but his strike was disallowed after Eduardo was adjudged to have fouled Cech in the build-up. But it was Chelsea who were almost celebrating a third just after the hour mark when Almunia dived full length to push Lampard's intentional goal-bound deflection out for a corner. Arsenal continued to push but the Chelsea rearguard held firm and when Drogba curled home his second four minutes from time it was game, set and match.