Premier League

December 12, 2004



2 - 2


Premier League

16:05 +00:00, December 12, 2004

Highbury, England

Referee: G Poll

  • 90'

    Honours even. A game in which the best football was played in the first half. But it was a deserved result. As it stands Chelsea remain five points clear of their London rivals and go four ahead of Everton.

  • 90'

    Drogba and Campbell battle. The Arsenal man clears. And that's the last action of the game.

  • 90'

    Van Persie lurking on to an Henry flick. Terry clears. The crowd gets excited as Pires bears down on the ball but Cech gets there first.

  • 90'

    Flamini slides in on Robben. Arsenal still fighting hard. Stoppage time is upon us.

  • 90'

    A spot of head tennis reflects the pattern of the second half. It's not been pretty. Almunia hacks all the way to Cech.

  • 88'

    Pires makes a dive - he wanted a free-kick. Past sins dictate that he doesn't get it.

  • 88'

    Almunia takes a goal kick. Pires runs the ball out. Wenger looks uncertain on the bench.

  • 86'

    Robben misses the header completely. Arsenal clear and Chelsea have the ball back.

  • 86'

    Arsenal are fighting hard. Chelsea rocking back a little. They need to maintain a bit of possession. They get a corner through Duff.

  • 85'

    Flamini goes down under a tackle from Parker. Ref waves play on. Good choice too.

  • 84'

    Arsenal playing the better stuff at the moment. A goal for them looks more likely than for Chelsea.

  • 83'

    Fabregas gets a little time on the ball. He slides it to Van Persie but he pokes it wide. The goal was gaping.

  • 82'

    The subs combine straight away but Terry gets the better of Van Persie.

  • 82'

    Reyes and Bergkamp off - Clichy and Van Persie on for Arsenal.

  • 81'

    John Terry is the target again. And he's free to head on goal. His header is nodded on and over by Drogba.

  • 80'

    Arsenal corner won by Reyes. But it comes to naught and then Almunia flaps to give Chelsea a corner too.

  • 78'

    Robin Van Persie is imminent. Bit more Dutch skill to add to the mix.

  • 77'

    Scott Parker is on for Gudjohnsen. Bit more midfield ballast. Cole and Robben collide. And Cole is booked. He complains. God knows why - it was cynical.

  • 76'

    Arsenal carve out a truly glorious chance. Fabregas and Pires link to put Henry in front of goal with an open net. Has to be a goal. Instead it's blazed over. Coming to an 'own goals and gaffes' vid near you. Tres pauvre, Thierry!

  • 75'

    Robben on the burst cuts back in and shoots for goal. The Clock End laughs out loud as it welcomes his poor effort.

  • 74'

    Drogba gives the ball away - he's not been the only guilty man there.

  • 73'

    Foul by Lampard on Lauren. The Cameroon made the most of it but that was deserving of a yellow card.

  • 71'

    Drogba offside from a chipped Bridge pass. Bridge has hardly featured in the game so far - he scored the winner in the European Cup remember.

  • 70'

    Henry creates a chance with the outside of his boot but Chelsea clear.

  • 69'

    This is a battle. More the Somme than the Charge of the Light Brigade.

  • 68'

    Robben again has the ball. Nice cross in but Campbell heads away.

  • 68'

    Robben shows true skill in cutting and weaving inside and out. His shot though is dragged into the side netting.

  • 67'

    Corner to Arsenal now. John Terry is limping. Cech comes out to deflect for a throw.

  • 66'

    Drogba and Campbell collide. The defender is penalised. Almunia claims the free-kick. Pires charges away and Drogba fouls him. Yellow card for the man from the Ivory Coast.

  • 64'

    Robben and Duff link well. But then Gallas' ball down the channel is to nobody.

  • 62'

    Terry cuts off a through ball from Reyes to Henry. Cech completes the clearance.

  • 61'

    Drogba got the ball but then fouled. Arsenal breathe a sigh of relief.

  • 60'

    Corner to Chelsea - more problems for Arsenal?

  • 60'

    Henry cuts in from the left but can't get a shot on goal. In fact Ashley Cole deflects the ball behind.

  • 59'

    Chelsea clear as Reyes tries to create something. Then Reyes is offside as Campbell dinks a ball through.

  • 57'

    Makelele dives into a tackle on Henry. He's penalised and ain't happy.

  • 57'

    It's getting scrappy. None of the flowing stuff of the first period.

  • 56'

    But he comes back on. Chelsea back to 11 men.

  • 55'

    Drogba takes a bash from Fabregas and falls heavily. A break in play as he's treated.

  • 54'

    Great ball from Terry to Duff but the Irishman fails to release Ferreira.

  • 53'

    Pires, again, wins a free-kick. Looked a dive again - as it was for the Henry free-kick.

  • 53'

    Another free-kick is aimed at Gallas. This time Campbell gets it away.

  • 52'

    The best teams retain titles - that's the rule. Arsenal will not retain theirs if they defend like that.

  • 52'

    Lampard all alone - no Arsenal player near him - but he's shocked at what a good chance it is and heads wide. Terrible defending from Arsenal.

  • 50'

    Another dead ball situation for Chelsea. This isn't taken quickly. In fact - it results in a corner.

  • 49'

    Chelsea play it back to Cech. A little more safe in their approach after that goal.

  • 48'

    Arsenal voices not quite as loud. Chelsea's fans in full voice.

  • 47'

    Lampard heads away the corner. Chelsea don't want to let this slip again.

  • 47'

    Bergkamp free-kick aimed at Henry but Drogba's hoof averts any danger.

  • 46'

    Arsenal get a taste of their first-half medicine. Chelsea deserved their goal for their efforts in the first 45.

  • 46'

    And an instant success for Chelsea. Ball launched from a free kick to Gallas. Great header across and Gudjohnsen flicked it over Almunia. 2-2!

  • 45'

    Bridge was needed down the wing in the first half. Drogba's presence will cause problems. Gallas goes to centre half and Gudjohnsen joins Drogba up front.

  • 45'

    Double change for Chelsea - Carvalho and Tiago off and Drogba and Bridge on.

  • 45'

    And there's the half-time whistle. Breath to be got back. It's been great so far. Plenty more to come too.

  • 45'

    Cole comes across to stop a ball that was meant for Gudjohnsen. Gallas had time to cross but showed why he's a defender.

  • 45'

    Robben outnumbered by Flamini and Fabregas. The young Gunners have done well this half.

  • 44'

    Mourinho impassive on the bench. Christ he's cool. Duff is less cool over a supposed foul on Cole.

  • 43'

    Makelele fouled by Henry. Gallas chips in a cross. Campbell heads away. Robben muffs an attempt at a pass.

  • 41'

    Robben is fouled. The ball will be launched into the Arsenal box. Almunia is equal to the task.

  • 40'

    Tiago offside as Duff lobs him through - poor decision as he wasn't offside at all. The referee is not popular in the Chelsea end.

  • 39'

    Robben and Cole collide. Arsenal manage to keep the ball. Off goes Reyes but he can't control it properly.

  • 38'

    Chance for Reyes to chip Cech is wasted. Nice try though.

  • 37'

    Gallas and Duff create a chance for a cross. Scooped ball but Robben couldn't get his head to it. His Beavis haircut could have done with some added quiff.

  • 35'

    Free-kick chance for Chelsea - Campbell gets that away and Arsenal break. Off goes Henry. Pires flails at the ball and Cech gets the ball ahead of Reyes.

  • 34'

    Tiago falls over when he had a chance to play a cross into the box. He's jeered for his troubles.

  • 33'

    Arsenal hustling hard - it's been all action. Campbell comes across to stop Gudjohnsen in a fashion that would be illegal anywhere else on the pitch.

  • 32'

    Lauren and Gallas square up. But then make up. Nice to see. The big hunks of love that they are.

  • 31'

    The crowd are going mad. The neighbours will be complaining - they're not used to this in these parts.

  • 30'

    This is turning into a great game. The hype is being lived up to. So far anyway.

  • 29'

    Not the first time that's happened. A deflection off the wall helped him. And the ref hardly made it clear to Chelsea. Perhaps they have a right to be angry.

  • 28'

    And he takes it quickly. Too quickly for Chelsea and Petr Cech. 2-1 to Arsenal. Chelsea apopletic with rage.

  • 28'

    Henry given a tough challenge by Ferreira. Pires wins a free-kick. Henry territory?

  • 26'

    Gudjohnsen again offside. The Arsenal offside trapworks - a la The Full Monty.

  • 25'

    Reyes loses the ball. Chelsea have played themselves back into this. Arsenal not quite as flowing as they once were.

  • 24'

    But now Robben cuts and curls past defenders. Nice vision to give it to Tiago. But the shot is blazed wide as Campbell pressured.

  • 23'

    A lull in play - and atmosphere - it's been breathless stuff so far.

  • 22'

    Flamini and Bergkamp force a half chance. But the shot is blocked.

  • 21'

    Terry hoofs away as Pires tackles Gallas. Anywhere did.

  • 20'

    Now the Icelander gets another chance. He lashes a looping ball at goal. Another good save from Almunia. The corner is palmed away by the Spaniard too.

  • 19'

    Almunia slides in to get in front of a ball to Gudjohnsen. It's helter skelter stuff.

  • 18'

    A frenzied spell of play. Henry nearly got on the end from a Pires ball and then Robben scampers away. He slides it to Gudjohnsen but a delay from the forward gives Arsenal the chance to clear.

  • 17'

    Terrible marking at the corner from Arsenal - not a new story.

  • 16'

    Robben takes the corner. Terry climbs unmarked to nod into the bottom left hand of the net. 1-1!

  • 16'

    Now Chelsea wake up. Terry slides it to Duff out on the left. Nice flick for Lampard - great hit and a great save by Almunia.

  • 15'

    Henry offside now from a looped Bergkamp ball.

  • 14'

    Flamini and Pires combine to launch Henry on a channelled run. His attempt at a cross is skewed behind for a goalkick.

  • 12'

    Gudjohnsen in an offside position as Makelele played him the ball. The Iceman is angry.

  • 11'

    Long pass out Gallas found the Frenchman well off the pace - Wayne Bridge would have got there.

  • 10'

    Long ball for Henry but Terry nods down to keeper Cech.

  • 10'

    Chelsea with plenty of the ball. Arsenal seem content to defend their lead.

  • 8'

    Chelsea attempt an overlap from Ferreira - but Arsenal are holding their line.

  • 8'

    Ferreira's cross is caught by Almunia - no early slip up from him yet.

  • 7'

    Chelsea enjoy possession but it's at the back and not up where they need to be. Long ball for Duff - the Irishman can't get to it.

  • 7'

    No booking - ref Poll trying to keep his cards in his pocket.

  • 6'

    Toure on the charge. Lampard stops him and then fouls Lauren with a hefty slide in.

  • 5'

    Mourninho looks a little shell-shocked on the bench. A rare treat is that.

  • 4'

    Pires smashes a shot but the whistle had already blown for an infringement.

  • 4'

    Terry tries to slide in Robben but there's an offside flag waving. A warning of what's to come from the Dutchman?

  • 3'

    Toure clears under pressure. Henry on the charge - he's flying already.

  • 1'

    75 seconds in and Arsenal have the lead. A series of betting slips are ripped up. Some are put away in order to be paid out. Great start for the Gunners. Well, it doesn't get better than that.

  • 1'

    Arsenal stroke it around with an element of calm. And then the ball is knocked down for Henry by Reyes. He smashes it goalward - great hit. 1-0 to Arsenal!


    Chelsea gets us underway at Highbury. Robben's rockin' already. But he fouls Lauren instantly.


    Wenger has plumped for Almunia - a decision he may come to regret - and has to rely on Fabregas and Flamini in midfield. Chelsea are unchanged for the fourth game in a row.


    It's Judgement Day - again. A few of them around these days but this is a vital game in the balance of power.