ANALYSIS - Chelsea outmuscle profligate Arsenal once again
Arsenal`s failure to take their chances and Chelsea`s power and clinical finishing proved decisive as the champions continued to dominate their London rivals in the Premier League on Sunday.
London: Arsenal`s failure to take their chances and Chelsea`s power and clinical finishing proved decisive as the champions continued to dominate their London rivals in the Premier League on Sunday.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintained that his side only had themselves to blame for their 2-0 defeat, and although he thought they dominated the game he conceded that teams that do not take their chances do not win matches -- let alone titles.
"Despite great energy we have to be more clinical to win championships -- you cannot lose a game like that," he told reporters.
"Their strikers were more clinical than ours and that`s what made the difference. I think Chelsea suffered a lot today and they were on the ropes for long periods.
"I feel sorry for my team because they had a fantastic attitude. I feel sorry for the fact that they were not rewarded.
"We dominated this game surprisingly easily but we go home with zero points -- and despite our quality that`s not good enough."
Where Arsenal fluffed their lines, Didier Drogba made sure he delivered his well-rehearsed cameo against his favourite opponents.
The powerful forward took his tally to 13 goals in 13 games with Arsenal with a fine strike late in the first half.
Defender Alex sealed victory with a blistering free kick as Chelsea pulled four points clear of the field at the top of the table and Arsenal endured a third successive Premier League match without a win.
The Chelsea fans goaded the visitors with jeers of "five years and you`ve won nothing" and unless Arsenal start to put goals away that run could well be extended.
They trail Chelsea by seven points and their chances of a first title since 2004 are receding.
Arsenal could have scored twice in the opening two minutes through Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny, while Andrei Arshavin forced a superb save from Petr Cech before Chelsea went ahead.
The visitors flattered to deceive with some attractive passing and movement from the likes of Jack Wilshere and Sami Nasri but Alex showed them how it should be done -- blasting in his free kick with the force of a bulldozer demolishing the side of a house.
Then there was Drogba who exposed defensive frailty in the Arsenal backline before scoring with a brilliant flick on the turn that went in off a post.
Chelsea beat Arsenal home and away last season without conceding a goal but assistant coach Ray Wilkins said the latest win was not one of their prettier performances.
"We battled, we worked hard for the points and got them," he said. "But there will always be Manchester United, and Arsenal who will be there or thereabouts and you have to beat them.
"I think Arsenal are a super side.
"They are one of the teams that scare me in that they can take the ball off us and not give it back. I was having a slight internal panic at one stage, and a little bit worried but you only have to look at what we have got on our team and you get over that worry."