- Venue:Stamford Bridge
- Referee:Dean, M
FULL TIME CHELSEA 2-0 ARSENAL: Didier Drogba's brace is enough to take Chelsea back to the top of the table, while Arsenal played well but didn't have enough to break down their London rivals.
Tomas Rosicky seems to be brought down on the edge of the Chelsea area by Ashley Cole but no free kick chance for the Gunners.
Didier Drogba will not be getting that hat-trick now as he goes off to be replaced by Salomon Kalou for the five minutes of stoppage time.
A half chance for the Gunners as Samir Nasri puts in a decent cross but Cesc Fabregas heads wide.
Arsenal are still trying to work an opening but Chelsea have continued to stay tight at the back throughout this contest.
Joe Cole is booked less than a minute after coming on presumably for dissent at the award of the free kick against Yuri Zhirkov.
Yuri Zhirkov is now booked after breaking up an Arsenal attack with a cynical shove on Emmanuel Eboue.
Joe Cole is going to get the final few minutes in place of Nicolas Anelka.
Frank Lampard plays the subsequent free kick low into the middle of the penalty area but Nicolas Anelka cannot get a clean shot in and the ball flies high and wide.
Cesc Fabregas is now booked for a foul on Didier Drogba down the right side of the area.
Didier Drogba smacks a brilliant free kick off the Arsenal crossbar and Nicolas Anelka cannot convert the rebound. So close to his hat-trick.
Alexandre Song fouls Frank Lampard and picks up his ninth booking of the season to give Chelsea a dangerous free kick.
Carlo Ancelotti makes a change now with Michael Ballack the man to be replaced by Yuri Zhirkov.
Andrey Arshavin lifts the ball into the centre, Cesc Fabregas heads it down and Petr Cech does well to punch it away from his own goal under pressure from Niklas Bendtner.
More neat build up play by Arsenal but again when Samir Nasri crosses John Terry heads away. Arsenal come back straight away but again the Chelsea skipper clears.
Emmanuel Eboue feeds the ball out left to Nicklas Bendtner but his left-foot effort is too weak to trouble Petr Cech at his near post.
Chelsea win a corner diown the left side of the field. Florent Malouda whips it across and Michael Ballack heads it behind.
A final third change in quick succession for Arsenal sees Emmanuel Eboue on for Bacary Sagna.
Arsene Wenger makes a change here as Vassiriki Abou Diaby goes off with Tomas Rosicky coming on.
Chelsea are enjoying a foray forwards but Florent Malouda is flagged offside from Michael Ballack's pass.
Ricardo Carvalho is now off the field to get some treatment but it is now Chelsea who are on the offensive.
Alexandre Song puts another ball into the Chelsea area but again Petr Cech gets down well to gather.
Cesc Fabregas hits a great low free kick at goal but Petr Cech's heroics deny the Spaniard with a great save as William Gallas is inches away from diverting it into the net.
Arsenal have had significant possession in the past five minutes or so but they need to get a goal. They will get a chance here as Branislav Ivanovic brings down Nicklas Bendtner on the edge of the box.
John Terry has also had some treatment on that knock he picked up a moment ago but is back on to head away a cross, while Samir Nasri fires hopelessly wide.
Arsenal make a change here as Nicklas Bendtner is on to add some power to the attack in place of Theo Walcott.
Plenty of pretty passing by Arsenal but they just cannot get that break through in the final third.
Arsenal have some hope here as John Terry is limping after getting hurt in a challenge a minute or so ago.
Fair play to Arsenal they have not given up and are playing with a good spirit despite being two-down. They really need to get a goal though.
A great chance for Arsenal but Samir Nasri just delays his shot and allows Ashley Cole the chance to get his foot in and clears.
Vassiriki Abou Diaby does well to get in a block as Didier Drogba bursts down the left side of the area and pulls the ball back to Florent Malouda. Chelsea come back and Michael Ballack fires wide.
Manuel Almunia's uncertain clearance a moment ago just highlights how bad the conditions are getting with surface water and heavy rain coming down.
Chelsea almost barge their way through thanks to Branislav Ivanovic and then Frank Lampard but Nicolas Anelka delays his shot and William Gallas gets in a block.
Didier Drogba gets in a great cross from the right by line, Florent Malouda hits it first time and Frank Lampard almost back heels it into the net but it's too weak to beat Manuel Almunia.
Chelsea have their full set of players on the pitch now as Didier Drogba is back in the action.
Chelsea are down to ten men for the moment as Didier Drogba is being treated while Arsenal win a corner down the left. It's played short and eventually comes to Vassiriki Abou Diaby whose effort goes out for a goal kick.
Didier Drogba just opened up for a shot at goal with his left foot but slipped at the crucial moment and sliced his effort behind while hurting himself slightly in the process.
Bacary Sagna whips in a cross and Ashley Cole horribly slices it behind for a corner. Cesc Fabregas plays it in and Petr Cech gathers.
William Gallas concedes a corner down the right side. Frank Lampard plays it in but Thomas Vermaelen heads clear.
It's pouring with rain now as Gael Clichy tries to play a ball down the left flank but overhits it for a goal kick to Chelsea.
The second half is up and running with Arsenal hoping to somehow turn their superior possession into goals, while Carlo Ancelotti will just want more of the same from his men and Didier Drogba will look to grab a hat-trick.
HALF TIME CHELSEA 2-0 ARSENAL: A clinical brace from Didier Drogba has put Chelsea in command here against a toothless looking Arsenal, whose best chance was wasted by Andrey Arshavin.
Just a slight hold up here as Thomas Vermaelen and Florent Malouda clash heads and require some treatment.
Branislav Ivanovic needlessly fouls Cesc Fabregas to halt a break by Chelsea as Ricardo Carvalho was through in the right side of the Arsenal area.
Arsenal play a short corner but merely get pushed back towards their own half as Chelsea end up breaking.
Ashley Cole gets up to head a Samir Nasri cross out for a corner to Arsenal.
Arsenal come forward again, but Bacary Sagna's cross into the middle is kicked clear by John Terry.
Theo Walcott picks up a slight knock trying to dispossess Michael Ballack but he is okay to continue after some treatment.
Florent Malouda does well down the left but his low cross into the centre is hacked away by former Chelsea man William Gallas.
Gael Clichy hits a dipping effort from distance but the left-back's shot drops wide of the Chelsea goal.
Possession wise Arsenal are enjoying plenty but they just cannot seem to find a killer pass into the Chelsea penalty area.
Arsenal clear the initial corner and Chelsea come back but Nicolas Anelka is flagged offside.
Ashley Cole gets in on goal but Theo Walcott did enough to put him off as Manuel Almunia then made the save from an angle.
Vassiriki Abou Diaby fouls Didier Drogba in the middle of the park as he was running towards the Arsenal goal but only a free kick is awarded.
Cesc Fabregas gets a half chance on the edge of the Chelsea area but hits a wayward effort well wide which sums up Arsenal's game so far.
Arsenal come forward as Petr Cech punches clear from a cross into the area. The Gunners play keep ball but are struggling to break down the Blues.
Arsenal have not given up their passing style as they keep trying to get forwards here. They desperately need to be the next scorers or it could be game over if its Chelsea.
Arsene Wenger will be fuming that his side have been punished by a goal that was almost identical to how United scored their second seven days ago at the Emirates.
CHELSEA 2-0 ARSENAL: It was all Arsenal but just like against Manchester United they are caught on the counter attack as Frank Lampard plays in DIDIER DROGBA who went past two players and smashed his shot past Manuel Almunia.
Andrey Arshavin tries tro make room for another effort on goal but this time he is blocked off. It's been a good response from the Gunners.
Arsenal are still pressing as Andrey Arshavin sees a ball deflect out for a corner from the left side of the box. Cesc Fabregas plays it in and Petr Cech punches it away.
It's all Arsenal here and Andrey Arshavin goes so close to equalising as a great ball over the top from Cesc Fabregas finds the Russian in the area but his first time volley is saved by the feet of Petr Cech.
Cesc Fabregas plays in the subsequent corner from the right this time but Chelsea clear.
Didier Drogba almost breaks through but is narrowly offside. At the other end Samir Nasri gets in the area but Petr Cech does well to save from a tight angle.
Michael Ballack concedes another corner down the left. Cesc Fabregas whips it in and Didier Drogba heads it clear.
Arsenal win a corner down the left but the ball comes in from Cesc Fabregas to Petr Cech who gathers at his near post under pressure from Andrey Arshavin.
John Obi Mikel tries to thread a ball through to Nicolas Anelka but the former Arsenal man is clearly yards offside.
Arsenal did come from a goal behind in last season's win at this ground so will not give up hope, but Chelsea will no doubt be confident of getting more goals this time around.
Arsenal will rue giving away that set-piece to Chelsea as they have been made to pay for it and Didier Drogba has yet another goal against them.
CHELSEA 1-0 ARSENAL: Florent Malouda plays the corner in from the left and John Terry gets up to head it goalwards for DIDIER DROGBA to fire in from close range at the back post.
Didier Drogba plays it in and Theo Walcott gets up to head out for a corner.
Gael Clichy puts Nicolas Anelka on the floor and gives a free kick to Chelsea wide out on the right which could be dangerous.
Samir Nasri hits a shot from the left side of the area which deflects out off Branislav Ivanovic but referee Mike Dean awards a goal kick.
It has been a fairly lively opening few minutes but no real goal threats to discuss just yet.
Cesc Fabregas whips a quick free kick into the Chelsea area but Petr Cech gets up well to gather with the first bit of action in the game.
The action is underway as Arsenal look to end Chelsea's 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to the Gunners' 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge last season. The Blues need a win to go back to the top of the table.
Arsenal starting XI: Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Fabregas, Song, Daiby, Walcott, Arshavin, Nasri.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hands a recall to Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby in place of Tomas Rosicky and Denilson as the Gunners aim to bounce back from last Sundays 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United.
Chelsea starting XI: Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Carvalho, Cole, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba.
Ashley Cole is also back in the Chelsea starting line-up after he was a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw at Hull on Tuesday.
John Terry may have been dropped as England skipper but he captains a Chelsea side that has Jon Mikel Obi back for the first time since his return from the Africa Cup of Nations for the visit of Arsenal to Stamford Bridge.
The undoubted clash of the weekend sees big-hitting Chelsea take on Arsenal with both teams looking to get back to winning ways following setbacks last time out.
Chelsea failed to see off Hull City on Tuesday evening as they were held to a 1-1 draw and Arsenal were convincingly thumped 3-1 by title challengers Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
With Chelsea's point, they have relinquished their game in hand over the Red Devils and sit just two points ahead of their fierce rivals atop the Premier League table and Arsenal now languish six points behind Carlo Ancelotti's men.
If Arsene Wenger's team are to remain in the title shake-up they really need to avoid defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's form was nothing short of exceptional during January as they racked up five straight wins in all competitions, scoring 19 goals in the process and, with the draw at KC Stadium in midweek, Frank Lampard and co will be looking to solve their problems as soon as possible.
Ancelotti will know the stage is set for his men to lay the ghost of their off-field issues with a crushing win over their London rivals.
His opposite number Wenger has watched his side pick up just one point from the last six and a defeat would certainly blow their chances of claiming the title.
To make things worse for the Gunners they are without several first-team players for the clash.
Robin Van Persie (ankle), Johan Djourou (knee) and Kieran Gibbs (metatarsal) remian long-term injury victims while Sol Campbell (groin), Eduardo (hamstring) and Abou Diaby (calf) are touch and go for the showdown.
Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns but they remain without Michael Essien (knee) and Juliano Belletti (calf).
Portugal right-back Jose Bosingwa (knee) is nearing a return but Sunday's fixture may come too soon for him.
John Terry, who has been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late, has been offered time away from the club to deal with his personal problems, but is expected to feature in the big clash.
Chelsea destroyed Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium in November with Drogba the main man, hitting an excellent brace.
Didier Drogba scored twice in the first half as Chelsea returned to the top of the table following a 2-0 victory over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea leapfrogged Manchester United with 58 points compared to the Old Trafford club's 56, while Arsenal, whose title challenge is now in tatters, remain nine points behind the Blues on the 49-mark.
Both sides started at a high tempo which resulted in numerous mis-placed passes.
But it was the scourge of Arsenal who broke the deadlock on eight minutes in the game's first worthwhile attack on goal.
Ivory Coast hitman Drogba tucked home a simple tap-in from two yards after Florent Malouda's in-swinging corner was headed on by the under-fire John Terry.
Arsenal almost levelled on 16 minutes but Petr Cech, who was playing his 250th game for the Blues, smothered a shot from Samir Nasri.
Cech was forced into a brilliant save from Andrey Arshavin seconds later.
With Arsenal attacking, Chelsea countered quickly on 23 minutes and Lampard bulldozed his way through the middle of the park before passing the ball to Drogba on the left.
The striker crashed through the Arsenal rearguard before cutting into a central position in the penalty area.
He then left fly an unstoppable left footer past the hapless Manuel Almunia to double the scoring for the home side.
Lampard almost scored with a cheeky back heel from six yards on 55 minutes after excellent set-up play by Drogba and Malouda but Almunia was quick to spot it.
A magnificent last-ditch tackle by Ashley Cole inside the Chelsea penalty on 60 minutes prevented Nasri from getting a clear shot on target.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger replaced ineffectual Theo Walcott with Nicklas Bendtner on 64 minutes.
A fantastic save by Cech on 68 minutes thwarted Cesc Fabregas' pinpoint free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
With seven minutes remaining, a sensational free-kick by Drogba from 20 yards rattled the Arsenal crossbar with Almunia rooted to the spot.
This followed an intense period of Arsenal possession but Chelsea successfully saw out the remaining minutes of the game.
Shots off target