LiveFT: Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Summary

  1. Mertesacker red for fouling last man Costa
  2. Costa finishes from Ivanovic cross
  3. Arsenal miss chance to go top
  4. Chelsea unbeaten in seven league games

Live Reporting

By Tom Rostance

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Good night

Another weekend that ends with Leicester top of the tree then.

No Premier League football this Monday, but you can us for the Championship game between Burnley and Derby and we shall see you all on Tuesday night.

Until then...

What's next

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea

Chelsea are on the road next Sunday, and live on BBC One, as they face MK Dons in the FA Cup.

'Costa is good at that...'

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "The referee was very quick to take the red card out. We coped with the decision well and should have had a draw at least. We had the chances to get a draw. Mentally we were focused. Sometimes when you lose you can still say 'well done' to the players.

On the red card: "I can't influence the decision of the referee. I thought it was harsh and we had to cope with it. I don't know what to say. It is a few games now that has happened. All we can do is keep our focus and fight. Yes [on Costa making the most of the situation] That is the game of the striker. Diego Costa is good at that.

[On taking off Olivier Giroud] "The fact is we needed to get strength on the counter-attack and needed pace. That is why I made the decision. 

"It is not a coincidence that after 23 games Leicester are still there. But there is a long way to go. What we take from today is that we are disappointed but have a lot of positives from our attitude and spirit."

PA

'Costa is good at that'

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

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Arsene Wenger has some fun and games with the TV cameras when discussing Diego Costa.

"He has got two players sent off this season," Wenger says.

"I am accusing him of nothing but those are the facts."

He then seemed to backtrack a touch saying that "that is part of a striker's game of course, and Costa is very good at that..."

'We needed luck'

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech: "It is disappointing to have lost the game. That was a major decision at the start of the game and gave the advantage to Chelsea. For 60 minutes, we were the better team and showed great character, we just needed a bit of luck to find the net.

"The referee made the decision to give the red card and he had a clear view, if there was contact then it was the correct decision because Per Mertesacker was the last man.

"They could sit back and control the game, we had to sit deeper and wait for our opportunities, in the second half we were more aggressive and I thought we did well. We had some half chances and some moment where we were close but could not find the equaliser."

Arsenal's mentality is the worry

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Ian Wright

Former Arsenal striker on 606

"Arsenal are three points behind, but it's the mentality that the team have at he moment, that is the worry. They have to realise there is plenty to play for, it is not over and they have to string some games together."

'The red card makes it easier'

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink: "Today the boys did their job very well. We tried to play as much as possible to stop them playing.

"You can react when a team loses a player by bringing on a striker but this Arsenal team are strong and they can outplay you even with 10. It was important to keep structure in the team.

"We had some very good attacks before the red card, Willian had a couple of good opportunities. The red card makes it a bit easier but Arsenal can play well with a man down.

"I like the team playing how they did today, regardless of the gap between here and fourth place. We still have two cups at stake. We were unbeaten in seven before this but it was not satisfying because a lot were draws. I hope we have made the first step to being unbeaten with pride."

Per v Messi?

Text us on 81111

Disappointing result but on a positive note; surely that is all the proof Wenger needs to not play Mertesacker against Barcelona for obvious reasons...hopefully.

Vince in London

Typical Wenger, signs a powerful midfielder and doesn't play him, we needed Elneny's strong tackling against Chelsea today. All credit to Chelsea for making Arsenal look average yet again as usual. When will Wenger learn to tactically beat them even without Mourinho?

Mick in Basingstoke

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Arsenal's former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech says that his current side were the better side for the last 60 minutes.

He also has no complaints over the red card shown to Per Mertesacker. 

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Christopher David: If we want to win the league we've got to be beating teams in the bottom half of the table, even with 10 men.

'A big win!'

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

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Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic: "It is a big win. We are in a bad position and every point is important. It is always hard playing Arsenal in this stadium but I think we deserved to win. I am sure, until the end of the season, that we are still a big team and we can win something. This win will give us more confidence for the future.

"When you have 1-0 in the last five or six minutes you want to keep that. When we sat back a bit they had some crosses. They had some chances but we deserved to win. Today was the real Chelsea."

What a turnaround!

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea are on the longest current unbeaten run in the Premier League (W3 D4). Who thought we'd be seeing this kind of form a couple of months ago!

AP

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You can listen to Ian Wright - and converse with the great man - on 606 right now. Tune in. 

'Arsenal have to bounce back'

Ian Wright

Former Arsenal striker on 606

"It is not title-winning form from Arsenal. That is eight points out of 18. The guys have to bounce back. The return of Alexis Sanchez is a positive so we have to focus on that.

"Per Mertesacker was the last defender, I am just surprised more people do not exploit Per like that.

"I suppose Diego Costa could have jumped over him but it was a foul and was a red."

What's next?

Arsenal

It's another home game up next for Arsenal as they host Burnley in the FA Cup next weekend.It's been a while since they lost a cup tie.

Frustration builds

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Arsenal have now gone six league games without a goal against Chelsea, their joint longest such run against another team in Premier League history. 

AFP

End of an era

Mathieu Flamini has lost his first Premier League match at the Emirates after 54 games.

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'We were on top'

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas on Sky Sports: "When it was 11 v11 we were on top. They had a chance with Mathieu Flamini before half-time but for the first 20-25 mins we were very good.

"I am nearly there. I am feeling sharp and my brain is quicker than the last few months. I feel under pressure but I am in more control. My team-mates make it easier for me. In the last year this is the best moment for me."

Reuters

Fight, fight, fight, fight - fight for fourth place

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea captain John Terry on Sky Sports: "It is a good three points and gets us up the league,. We've drawn too may of late so we needed to pick up three points

"Mentally we were sound and on top. As soon as they had the man sent off they sat back so we pressed up higher and won the ball back. We are delighted with the win.

"Anything is doable. Everybody is beating everybody else. It is a tough league and if we put a run together we have a good chance (of fourth). We will fight until there are no points to play for."

Reuters

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Michael Barker: So much for the Flamini Effect*

Andy Worsfold: When is Wenger gonna see that we need a decent centre half to partner Koscielny? Pathetic! 

Kurt Booth: Although I'm a Gooner, part of me wants Leicester to win it. They've played without fear - we seem so afraid of going top.

Eston Kimaswoch: This are kind of games that Arsenal should be winning; beating below the table teams, they're now imploding in their faces.

*Michael Barker is referring to Mathieu Flamini's long, long record of not losing a league game at the Emirates

'Opportunity: Missed'

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

John Hartson

Former Wales striker on Radio 5 live

"Chelsea have done the job, they were helped by the sending-off but it was an opportunity missed for Arsenal.

"Chelsea were disciplined, they kept the ball well, the back four were very good, they were rarely troubled. Courtois had a day off.

"Wenger took Giroud off and the fans cannot understand that."

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Cesc Fabregas says that Chelsea were in control before the Per Mertesacker red card, while John Terry says that mentally Chelsea shut off at times and were happy to be 1-0 up. 

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Petr Cech shares a hug with many of his former Chelsea team-mates as the Emirates empties out onto the cold London streets.

One for Guus Hiddink and the Chelsea fans to savour. 

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Max Cannon: Chelsea's worst season in decades, still take six points off us. The last three games are why we won't win the league. 

FULL-TIME

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

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But there's the full-time whistle! Not the best of games but a good win for Chelsea, and a great result for Manchester City and Leicester at the top of the tree.

That early red card was so, so costly...

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Corner - Arsenal send Petr Cech up...

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

John Hartson

Former Wales striker on Radio 5 live

"Arsenal throwing everything at Chelsea and leaving gaps at the back, it is what they had to do."

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Willian is in on the breakaway - A horrible shot across the bows...

Courtois save?

Arsneal 0-1 Chelsea

Was this Thibaut Courtois' only save of the game? It's certainly the closest we've come to an equaliser. 

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INJURY TIME

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

There are FIVE minutes added on from somewhere! Hector Bellerin flashes in a low cross but Chelsea survive. Arsene Wegner is puce. 

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Eamonn McGurk: Can Ramsey & Flamini please swap positions!

Alstallio: Leicester have gotta be the favourites now to win the league. they're the only team that wants it.

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Alexis Sanchez overcooks his pass out wide and it goes out. Is that curtains?

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

There is a save from Thibaut Courtois! He has to dive to his left to save a deflected flick from Mathieu Flamini, before Nacho Monreal pokes an effort well, well wide...

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

John Hartson

Former Wales striker on Radio 5 live

"Arsenal have had no efforts on goal, Courtois has not had a save to make. Yes they are easy on the eye but it is easy to defend against,"

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

It's been a very 'Mourinho-ish' performance from Chelsea. Approaching the final stages now, can Arsenal score?

I say that, Thibaut Courtois drops a free-kick after contact from Aaron Ramsey - but a red shirt can't hook it home...

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

John Hartson

Former Wales striker on Radio 5 live

"It has been a real struggle with 10 men against a team like Chelsea that keep the ball so well. That sending-off has really cost Arsenal, you cannot win with 10 men.

"Matic and Mikel have hardly moved, they don't need to, they are saying break us down as a six."

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Aaron Ramsey gives the ball away cheaply as Cesc Fabregas buys a free-kick. Game management.