Tuesday 29 October 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Robin van Persie hit a magnificent hat-trick to shatter Chelsea's 100 per cent home record and earn Arsenal their first Barclays Premier League away win of the season.
"The intelligence of Van Persie's movement and the accuracy of his finishing is exceptional"
Chelsea, lying in third place, lay six points behind leaders Manchester City at the start of play, but had high hopes of halving that deficit when they took the lead against their London rivals just before the quarter-hour mark, Frank Lampard heading in Juan Mata's cross.
Arsenal, who were six points adrift of the Blues at kick-off, levelled the match in the 36th minute when Gervinho set him up Van Persie to score his first of the afternoon following a pinpoint pass from Aaron Ramsey.
The home side led at the break, however, as John Terry scored in a goalmouth scramble on the stroke of half-time.
It took the Gunners only four second-half minutes to draw level again as Andre Santos raced clear to beat Patr Cech with a cool finish, and Theo Walcott put the visitors ahead for the first time in the 55th minute when he ran at the Blues defence and fired past Cech.
In an open and enthralling encounter Chelsea thought they had salvaged a point with 10 minutes to go when Mata scored with a swerving 25-yard shot, but this was to be Van Persie's day and five minutes later he rounded Cech to score following a slip by Terry.
In added time the Netherlands international completed his treble by racing clear of a high defensive defence to drive the ball high into the net.
"Robin is on fire at the moment," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger of a player who had already mustered 12 goals in the Barclays Premier League. "His class means he is taking advantage of being in a team that wants to attack a lot and create chances. The intelligence of his movement and the accuracy of his finishing is exceptional."
Chelsea head coach Andre Villas-Boas insisted that he would not abandon his team’s attacking style, explaining: "I will not change the philosophy because it is a personal value and a club value and you should never sell this cheaply."
The Blues went on to finish sixth in the Premier League standings but did clinch the UEFA Champions League at the end of the season. The Gunners, meanwhile, came third.