Premier League – Van Persie at the double for Arsenal

Robin Van Persie struck twice in three second-half minutes as Arsenal came from behind to defeat Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

2008-2009 Chelsea-Arsenal Denilson Robin van Persie - 0

Chelsea led through a 31st minute own goal by Johan Djourou before Van Persie struck in the 59th and 62nd minute to condemn the Blues to their second home Premier League defeat in four matches.

Although there was a hint of controversy about the first goal with referee Mike Dean indicating that Jose Bosingwa had played the Dutch striker onside when replays indicated he was a yard offside.

Arsenal started the match hesitantly but Chelsea were unable to carve out a clear chance and it was the Gunners who had the first good opportunity on 14 minutes.

Cesc Fabregas‘s shot was saved by Petr Cech‘s foot and former captain William Gallas, following in against his old side, just couldn’t apply the finishing touch to the rebound.

Frank Lampard then headed straight at Manuel Almunia when well placed before the Spanish custodian gifted Chelsea the ball which led to the opening goal.

After claiming a corner he threw the ball straight to a blue shirt and Bosingwa’s cross from the right was turned in at the near post by the sliding Djourou.

Arsenal came close to a quick reply but Cech dived full length to his left to palm away Van Persie’s shot and Chelsea were good value for their half-time lead.

But they were strangely muted after the break and failed to test Almunia with a single attempt. Their best chance spurned when the ball dropped to Lampard 18 yards out and he scuffed his shot past the post.

The equaliser came when Samir Nasri found Denilson and the young Brazilian threaded a pass through to Van Persie who smashed the ball into the top corner. The lack of an offside flag shouldn’t detract from the quality of the finish.

And soon after Adebayor won a great header as a free-kick was swung in and Van Persie’s shot on the turn went through Lampard’s legs and into the far corner.

Van Persie went looking for a hat-trick and curled a free-kick over the crossbar but they were scarcely tested at the other end.

Indeed they spurned a great chance to wrap things up in injury time when Denilson’s first touch was far too heavy allowing Cech to pounce.

However the Gunners made no mistakes in the dying seconds as they recorded their second successive victory over a title rival and Arsene Wenger’s side go fourth, seven points behind Chelsea.

Lee Walker / Eurosport

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