|Classic Derby Grit|
Arsenal came back more confident than at first and Van Persie forced a fine kick save within a minute of resuming play. Chelsea were on the back foot, and a lively Gunner midfield took advantage. Song drifted a ball out to an attacking, unmarked Santos who guided his shot past the keeper, leveling the game once more. At 55 minutes, Arsenal climbed up to the driver's seat when Walcott scored his fourth of the campaign. The England winger was brought to the pitch, but his speedy recovery caught the drowsy Chelsea defense unaware. A slick shot and control of the game had gone to the visitors. Appropriately, the visitors section erupted and on the afternoon it was the traveling Arsenal fans who set the tone at Stamford Bridge. Even from the telecast, you could clearly hear the familiar Arsenal chants throughout most of the match. The goal brought on another heavy bout of Chelsea pressure and after fifteen minutes, the boss decided on a double substitution: Rosicky & Jenkinson on, Walcott & Djourou off. Chelsea leveled the game almost immediately. A fine strike from Juan Mata eluded the defense and as time evaporated, there was precious little left for a response. The match was not over and the indomitable Gunners would recapture their lead with only five minutes remaining. On a routine back-pass, John Terry lost his footing and the ever-present Van Persie snatched the ball and strode down the final third by his lonesome. Exhibiting trickery, the Dutchman danced around Cech restored the Gunner's lead. With the story all but told, RVP sliced home another in stoppage time to complete his hat-trick, leaving Stamford Bridge in disarray and ruin.
|Three goals for the Flying Dutchman!!!|
Arsenal are back. Undeniably, unmistakably back. This was a monumental test, and the Arsenal passed with flying colours. The Gunners continue climbing the table and cutting the gap creating by the season's disappointing start. Next on the docket: Marseille visit the Emirates in the Champions League. This is yet another crucial test for the rebounding North London side. A win here will almost secure the group and their recent form forecasts a strong showing this evening in the Champs League encounter.