It was supposed to be a glorious day for Arsene Wenger to remember. Not only did the London derby promise to be an exciting match up, it would also mark Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of Arsenal FC.
Unfortunately for Wenger, the Gunners weren’t nearly up to the task of coping with a rampant Chelsea FC.
Within five minutes, Chelsea was up thanks to a successful effort by Samuel Eto’o. A mere two minutes later, André Schürrle made it a 2-0 game.
As the pace of the game favored Chelsea, Arsenal found it more and more difficult to keep up. This led to a desperate handball by defender Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Incredibly, referee Andre Marriner showed the red card not to Oxlade-Chamberlain, but to his teammate Kieran Gibbs. This despite the offending Arsenal player owning up to the fact that he was supposed to be carded.
Despite the embarrassing mix-up, it’s not as though it mattered. After Eden Hazard sent home a penalty shot for the handball in the 17th minute, it was clear that Arsenal were in danger of a resounding away defeat.
Ref: "Gibbs, you're off!" Ox: "But ref, it was me!" Ref: "Shut up Walcott, get on with the game" #ArsVsChe
— Mooohiiimm (@Mohimx) March 22, 2014
Still sick to my stomach from this mornings game… Can't shake the nightmare… Sickening!!!… #ArsVsChe
— iGunner (@iAT83) March 23, 2014
— Larky Luke Oj (@LukeOj) March 23, 2014
Wenger brought on defender Thomas Vermaelen a few minutes after the third goal in an affort to keep his side from hemorrhaging additional goals, but it proved to be a futile effort. Player Oscar closed out the half with another Chelsea goal, allowing the home side a comfortable 4-0 lead with at least 45 minutes still left play.
It was hoped by Gooners that their team would somehow find the will to get four goals from somewhere, and bring things level. Instead, two second half goals by the home team would go unanswered.
When the dust settled, Arsenal was left to limp back to the Emirates with yet another embarrassing away performance to add to their tally this season. This time the score stood six goals to zero.
A day meant to cement Arsenal as the dominant London side following their away win over the Tottenham Hotspurs ended in bitter disappointment.
It would be rivals Chelsea that would be moving three points closer to a potential league title.
Image via YouTube