Chelsea decisively shatter faint Arsenal title hopes
The Gunners were poor at Stamford Bridge14:40 Saturday 4 February 2017, 14:40 4 Feb 2017
Chelsea have continued their march towards the Premier League title as they saw off a poor Arsenal side 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Marcos Alonso, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas saw the Blues take control of the fixture before a late consolation from Olivier Giroud.
Arsenal knew a win was necessary to give themselves a chance of keeping their own Premier League title hopes alive after suffering a setback with a 2-1 home defeat to Watford in midweek.
Chelsea had drawn against Liverpool on Tuesday to keep themselves ticking over and knew a victory of their own against their London rivals would be decisive.
After a relatively bright opening from Arsenal, Chelsea struck the first blow on 13 minutes.
Diego Costa headed onto the crossbar and left wing back Alonso rose above Hector Bellerin to nod in the opening goal, although the aerial challenge led to the Arsenal full back's withdrawal through injury.
Chelsea's Eden Hazard, (10), is mobbed by his teammates after scoring his sides second goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Arsenal lacked urgency after that goal, although a second Chelsea goal would not arrive until the 53rd minute.
But when it arrived, it was of the sensational kind.
Hazard earned possession on the halfway line and embarked on a buccaneering run into the heart of the Arsenal defence. Dribbling past Laurent Koscielny in the box, the Chelsea winger then showed composure and he slotted the ball beyond Petr Cech.
The Arsenal goalkeeper was at fault for the third goal on 85 minutes as his poor clearance found ex-Gunners star midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who had come on as a second half sub for Hazard.
With the goal empty, open and inviting, Fabregas lobbed in with ease to make it 3-0.
Arsenal did muster a goal in stoppage time as Giroud found the net. But by then it was too little too late for Arsene Wenger's side.
Chelsea now go 12 points clear at the top of the table with Arsenal now left in a fight to preserve their Top Four place.
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