Yesterday’s Premier League games produced the usual drama and controversy.
In the early kick-off at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea defeated Arsenal 2-1.
The home side dominated the first half of the game, but Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud missed a gilt edge early chance to put the visitors into the lead.
Chelsea then went straight up the other end of the pitch and took the lead. Cesar Azpilicueta produced a superb cross and Juan Mata smashed the Blues into the lead on six minutes.
Santi Cazorla was denied by Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal with the Gunners second attempt on goal in the first half.
It was the visitors that found the second goal of the game though. A superb team move resulted in Juan Mata putting Ramires through on goal and Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny tripped the Brazilian. Referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot and showed the Poland international a yellow card.
England international Frank Lampard continued his goal scoring form by converting the resulting spot kick and put the Blues in complete control of the contest.
Arsenal came out stronger in the second half and produced a far more impressive display. Per Mertesacker and Theo Walcott were both denied early on in the second period by Petr Cech, but the Gunners did finally make the breakthrough on 58 minutes.
Santi Cazorla played a superb ball through the centre of the Chelsea defence and Theo Walcott broke the offside trap and kept his cool with a composed finish. There were further chances at both end of the pitch.
Chelsea’s club record signing Fernando Torres broke through on-goal only to overrun the ball. Substitute Demba Ba had a chance to clinch the points, rounding Szczesny before seeing an effort cleared off the goal line by Belgium centre-back Thomas Vermaelen.
Vermaelen also fired a free-kick wide, as the Gunners pushed for an equaliser. In five minutes of injury-time Gary Cahill denied Theo Walcott with a last-ditch tackle. French striker Olivier Giroud also headed wide, but in the end the Blues held on for a vital victory.
This game was a typical game of two halves. Chelsea completely dominated the first half and could have gone in at half-time out of sight. Arsenal just never turned up in the first period.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be disappointed with his sides’ first half display, but his charges came out like a different team in the second period. The whole team stepped up a level and showed something near their top level.
Had Wenger’s side started like they finished then they might have gone home with maximum points. Instead the Gunners went home with nothing to show for their trip to Stamford Bridge.
In the second game of the day Tottenham snatched an injury-time 1-1 draw against Manchester United at White Hart Lane. Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon was denied by David de Gea in the United goal, before United broke the deadlock on 25 minutes.
A good team move resulted in Tom Cleverley producing a pinpoint cross for striker Robin Van Persie to bullet a header past Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal. De Gea denied Gareth Bale an equaliser with his legs, but Spurs struggled to create opportunities in the first period.
However, David de Gea produced an outstanding save from Clint Dempsey in the second half, with the American through on-goal. United were denied a penalty kick with 20 minutes remaining, as Wayne Rooney looked to have been brought down by centre-back Steven Caulker.
Tottenham were denied an equaliser by a last-ditch tackle by Rio Ferdinand with Jermain Defoe bearing down on goal. Spurs kept going and in injury-time scored an arguably deserved equaliser.
David de Gea could only punch away to Aaron Lennon, who squared the ball to Clint Dempsey and the American fired low past De Gea. The draw leaves Tottenham four points clear of fifth place Everton in the race for the Champions League spots. Meanwhile United are five points ahead of champions Manchester City.
Will the draw at Tottenham be Manchester United’s title downfall?