Last Updated at 1:26 am, October 30th 2011
The full-time whistle goes and it brings to an end an extraordinary match. Arsenal had to come from behind twice but they have been awesome in the second half to secure a famous victory.
GOAL: Chelsea had no choice but to push forward and in doing so they left a gaping hole at the back, which Van Persie exposes to complete his hat-trick and surely seal a remarkable victory for Arsenal. The Gunners had an extra man as they broke forward but made no mistake as the Dutchman rifled in a ferocious strike, although Cech will again be disappointed to be beaten at his near post.
Four minutes of stoppage time have been signalled as Song receives a yellow card for a foul in midfield.
Wenger makes his final change of the afternoon and it is Vermaelen who comes on to replace Gervinho.
GOAL Terry's slip allows Van Persie a clear run on goal and the Arsenal striker shows the composure you would expect of such a world-class player as he calmly goes around Cech and slots the ball home with his right foot.
GOAL Mata brings it back to 3-3 with a stunning strike from distance that appears to take a slight deflection off Song before swerving past Szcsesny and into the top corner.
Walcott is taken off for the closing stages as Wenger brings on Tomas Rosicky.
A challenge between Ivanovic and Van Persie leads to players from both sides getting involved and the Chelsea defender picks up a booking.
Villas-Boas responds with a change of his own as Raul Meireles replaces John Obi Mikel, who has been very quiet.
Carl Jenkinson comes on for Djourou at right-back as Wenger makes his first change of the afternoon.
Didier Drogba has tormented Arsenal in the past but, as he is suspended, Villas-Boas calls on the equally powerful Romelu Lukaku for the closing stages. Ramires is the player to come off.
Sturridge has not enjoyed his best day and makes way for Florent Malouda as Villas-Boas shuffles his pack.
GOAL: Arsenal have turned the game on its head at the start of the second half as Walcott fires them ahead for the first time. A run from the England winger appeared to have come to an end when he slipped over 30 yards from goal, but he regained his footing quickly to skip past a couple of defenders and beat Cech again at his near post.
Szczesny rushes out of his area and brings down Cole, leaving referee Marriner with a big decision to make. The Arsenal keeper is shown a yellow card and that seems fair as there were defenders rushing back to cover and Cole would have had a lot of work to do to score even if he had gone round Szczesny.
GOAL Santos had an absolute shocker in the first half but he makes partial amends here with a cool finish from Song's pass to make it 2-2, although Cech should perhaps have done better at his near post.
The half-time whistle goes after a breathless opening 45 minutes, and it is Chelsea who have a slender lead. Both sides have had chances to score more but Arsenal's defence has looked particularly weak and the Blues will be confident of pushing on to seal victory.
GOAL Ramsey concedes a corner following a tackle on Cole and Lampard's delivery is prodded home by Chelsea skipper Terry. He did not make a great connection with his shot but it was directed right into the corner and it is a soft goal for Arsenal to let in, with Mertesacker again at fault.
GOAL: Arsenal draw level and, not surprisingly, it is Van Persie who gets his name on the scoresheet. But on this occasion it was a simple finish for the Dutchman and it is his team-mates who deserve much of the credit, after Ramsey played in Gervinho with an exquisite through-ball and the summer signing from Lille had the awareness to square it to Van Persie as Cech rushed off his line.
GOAL: It was only a matter of time before someone scored with the game so open, and it is Lampard who nods Chelsea into an early lead from Juan Mata's wonderful right-wing cross.
Just time for one more feedback, and Cian says: "I'm predicting not an easy but a comfortable win for us today, Lampard and Ramires I reckon. Would love a Torres brace or hat-trick, really show Liverpool what a mistake they made by selling him. COYB!"
Abhisheck writes: "I think Chelsea will win this and there will be goals. Both teams' defences are weak and I think Torres and RVP will both bag braces but near the end Terry or Lamps will bag us a winner. Final score Chelsea will win 3-2."
Lewis Emslie, aged 12, says: "I am a Chelsea fan and I think it will be easy for Chelsea today. 3-1 Chelsea, I think. Torres to get our 6,000th prem goal, Sturridge and Mata to get the others. RVP to get a consolation. Come on the Blues!"
This just in from our colleagues at Sky Bet: Chelsea are 2/3 favs to bounce back from their horror show at QPR. Arsenal despite their recent good run are a 4/1 shout with the draw at 3/1. Fernando Torres returns to lead the home attack and is 4/1 to score the opening goal and 5/1 to bag a brace. The in-form Robin van Persie is 7/1 to strike first and 14/1 to net a double.
Chelsea fan Ben is more positive about the chances of goals, writing: "I don't think the absence of Drogba will make us lose the game. Chelsea's attack is too strong for Arsenal who rely on one man; Robin Van Persie. I think it will be 3-1 for Chelsea with Torres, Sturridge and Mata scoring. (It would be nice to win 8-2 though!)"
Ryan has the most pessimistic view so far, saying: "I think with everything going on for both teams, I expect a timid display from both and don't really see Chelsea pushing up as much as us fans would want."
Stelios, who is following the game from Cyprus, writes: "I think both teams have something to prove today so we should watch a good game but not a lot of goals. I got Arsenal to win 0-1 or 1-2 with v.Persie scoring. Torres will be a menace in the Arsenal box but I don't think he'll score! If Arsenal win today, top 4 is guaranteed in my eyes!"
Josh Conway has a different view: "Arsenal will win 2-1, Torres will score first but Gervinho will equalise and RVP will score the winner late on! It will be a close game though."
Joe O'Hagan has been in touch to say: "Easy win for the Chelsea today, Torres to turn up and bag a brace with Mata running the show as always! Come on Torres!!"
Gabriel Sutton writes: "I'm a Birmingham City fan but I think Arsenal will win today. Chelsea will struggle without Drogba - his sending off was completely stupid and means their biggest goalscoring threat is sidelined. As for Arsenal, I saw them play against Stoke in a way I haven't seen them play in a long time - small echoes of that unbeaten season. That result, with a win over Sunderland could have been a sign of things to come for Arsene Wenger's men, but the question is whether that team can hack it in the big game. I think they can. Verdict- 1-2."
Ashley Smith is the first to get in touch, saying: "The Blues are going to walk it! 3-1 win and Torres will show his money's worth today with 2 goals. Mata will be at the heart of everything today and Sturridge will get on the scoresheet. Van Persie will score a late conselation goal for Arsenal."
Barclays Premier League
|6||West Ham United||12||18|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||12||13|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||12||8|