Chelsea back on top as Arsenal Draw with Villa

January 28, 2010 | Filed Under: Blog 

lampard goal Chelsea went top of the premiership last night with a 3-0 win over Birmingham at Stamford Bridge courtesy of a goal from Florent Malouda and a Frank Lampard brace. The win returned Chelsea to the top of the table with a game in hand over both their title rivals. It also ended Birmingham’s amazing 15-match unbeaten run.

Florent Malouda opened the scoring in just the 5th minute when he latched onto Joe Cole’s cross. Lampard added a 2nd just after the half hour mark with a expertly taken goal from about 20 yards out. Birmingham enjoyed a rare spell of possession after going two goals down but could not make it count.

Chelsea again dominated play for most of the 2nd half with Lampard capping off the night with another goal in the 90th minute. Malouda turned provider this time as it was his cross that the Englishman netted from. The loss meant that Birmingham remain at 8th position in the league table.

As for Arsenal and Villa who also playted last night this was aclose call with end to end of stuff for most of the game. Arsenal came close hitting the woodwork twice, once with Fabregas striking the post late in the first half, and then Rosicky seeing his close range effort coming back from the underside of the bar. Villa too had some glorious chances, with Stewart Downing finding himself all alone on the backpost late in the second half, but not showing enough bravery to head the ball into an empty net. In the end neither team could find a breakthrough and the game ended goalless, allowing Chelsea to overtake Arsenal in the League table.

There was to be another major concern for the Gunners with Thomas Vermaelen having to leave the game injured soon after the half hour mark. The young Belgian defender might have suffered a broken bone in his leg and could be a long term injury concern for Arsene Wenger, a huge blow considering Arsenal’s next three matches are against Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Vermaelen was replaced on the field by newly re-signed veteran Sol Campbell, and the former England defender had an excellent 55 minutes, before struggling at the end of the game when Richard Dunne raced past him and left him for dead. Campbell was fortunate that his foul on Dunne did not cost Arsenal dear.

Arsenal also lost striker Eduardo to a hamstring strain, ruling the Croatian out for sure against Manchester United on Sunday. The Gunners did welcome back Nicklas Bendtner and Samir Nasri from injury, with the former definitely adding a new dimension to their game with his size and physical presence, but the young Dane looked quite rusty and lacked the confidence to have a shot on goal when put through on goal on his weaker left foot very late in the game

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