Drogba scored his 13th goal in 13 appearances against Arsenal to widen the gap at the top of the Premier League to four points, and now find themselves seven ahead of today's opponents.
Carlo Ancelotti kept faith with the same team that lost to Manchester City last weekend, no doubt keeping in mind that they have steam-rolled all others that have faced them beforehand.
Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, gave Jack Wilshere another chance to show everyone how he is maturing into a fine footballer, with Lukasz Fabianski still deputising for the injured Manuel Almunia.
An absolutely blistering start to the game saw Arsenal twice come within a whisker of a goal within the opening two minutes.
First Marouane Chamakh got ahead of John Terry inside the penalty area to connect with Bacary Sagna’s cross to attack the ball but his headed chance flicked off the boot of Alex and went inches wide. Then, from the resulting corner, Laurent Koscielny found himself unmarked two yards out but seemed as surprised as the Chelsea defenders and managed to head the ball over.
Terry nearly made amends for his previous lack of concentration but putting Florent Malouda through with a fantastic long ball and it was Sebastien Squillaci’s turn to dawdle as Malouda ran inside him to control the ball but with the ball failing to sit up properly for the Frenchman, his effort rose over Lukasz Fabianski and over the bar.
Now with their own tails up Chelsea again broke with Michael Essien, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka all combining with a wonderful one-touch charge on Arsenal’s goal, but it ended with Sagna conceding a corner.
Despite the end-to-end nature of the game, it was not until mid-way through the first half that either keeper was properly tested. Arsenal worked the ball from right to left to Andrey Arshavin, who was lurking 25 yards from goal. The Russian took one touch and let fly with a stunning half-volley towards the far corner, only for Petr Cech to make an equally beautiful one-handed save.
Keeping up with the nature of the game, Chelsea immediately hit back with their own attempt to break the deadlock, and Fabianski was also equal to it. Essien fed Drogba down the left flank and the Ivorian galloped into the area and hit a stereotypically powerful shot towards the near post but the Arsenal goalkeeper was also equal to it, getting down low quickly as an open Ramires screamed at his teammate for not squaring the ball.
With Arsenal playing, arguably, their best football of the season so far, the last thing they needed was to concede to undo all their fine work but that is exactly what happened. Ramires did extremely well in the centre of the pitch winning two tackle and playing in Ashley Cole whose low whipped ball found Didier Drogba six yards out, but with the ball slightly behind him, the striker improvised beautifully to pirouette and backheel the ball off the near post and into the net for his 13th goal in 13th appearance against Arsenal.
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