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Arsenal fail to reclaim EPL top spot after Chelsea defeat (Arsenal 0 Chelsea 1)

By Adeyinka Akintunde, Lagos on 24/01/2016

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Visiting Chelsea minutes ago denied Arsenal the chance to go back to the top of the English Premier League after running away with a lone goal victory at the Emirates Stadium, London. Diego Costa scored the solitary goal on 23 minutes, the result meaning that Arsene Wenger and his team have lost the first place on the league table to Leicester City, who now lead by three points at 47 points. Arsenal are now third on the log though with the same 44 points a second-placed Manchester City.

Diego Costa was subbed early during the Everton game, but was passed fit enough to lead the line for the visitors. Oscar stepped in for Pedro in the only change from that encounter, while Eden Hazard made a return to the matchday squad for the first time in three weeks with a spot on the bench, after his groin injury against Crystal Palace.

Mesut Ozil returned to the Gunners’ starting lineup, replacing the out-of-form Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the only change from the Stoke match.

Since a Robin van Persie hat-trick inspired Arsenal to a 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have not lost or conceded a goal against the Gunners, with five wins and three draws during that span. The Blues have become something of a terror team for Arsene Wenger, and he has an unfortunate record when facing Guus Hiddink in the Chelsea dugout. In May 2009, during the Dutchman’s first spell as Blues boss, he dealt Arsenal their heaviest-ever league defeat at the

Emirates with a 4-1 result.

The game began on a high note for both sides, and continued in that momentum, with no one wanting to make a mistake. But it changed when Per Mertesacker got a red-card on 18 minutes, after committing a foul on Diego Costa, leading to a controversial substitution from Arsene Wenger, removing Olivier Giroud for Gabriel Armado de Abreu.

On 23 minutes, Costa converted a cross from Branislav Ivanovic to a goal, with a shot.

Arsenal had more ball possessions, as at 35 minutes, and Theo Walcott even missed a sitter, from a ground shot, though it was ruled offside.

The second half began with both teams being careful, but Chelsea was denied a penalty when Laurent Koscielny brought down Cesc Fabregas. Costa strained his right leg on 67 minutes, and got a dislocation. Loic Remy came in to take his place.

Arsenal continued dominance, such that Nigerian John Mikel Obi needlessly fouled Sanchez and got a yellow card for that. The blues walked on a tight rope, holding on a tight rope.

•Photo shows Arsenal players leaving the pitch after a loss.

Source News Express

Posted 24/01/2016 8:01:46 PM

 

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