Two set-pieces were Arsenal’s undoing today as Wenger’s men succumbed to their first defeat of the season at home to Chelsea.
The Gunners were slow to show up in Saturday’s early encounter and Chelsea capitalized. The blue’s pressure forced a free-kick midway through the first-half and when the ball was delivered into the box, Fernando Torres beat his marker Laurent Koscielny – kept in the line-up ahead of Mertesacker as Vermealen returned – to toe-poke the ball home.
Arsenal were up for the fight again now and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had replaced an injured Diaby right before the hosts went behind, teed up Gervinho who turned and blasted the ball into the net to level matters going into half-time.
That equalizer had promised an Arsenal comeback and indeed, the early moments of the second-half belonged to the north Londoners. But a moment of irresponsibility saw Vermaelen desperately give away a free-kick from which Mata scored.
Arsenal went back in search of a goal again but in truth, apart from a couple of incredible saves which Cech had to make from a Podolski header and Giroud’s deflected effort, the Gunners failed to trouble the visitors. A minute into stoppage time though, Arsenal found a golden chance to equalize as Cazorla set up Giroud. But the French-man, like he did against Sunderland, fluffed his line right infront of goal.