Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Van Persie treble settles thriller

Robin van Persie (left)

Robin van Persie scored an incredible hat-trick to ensure John Terry's nightmare week ended on a low as Arsenal ran riot with a thrilling 5-3 London derby win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Terry, the subject of a Football Association investigation into his alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand last Sunday, slipped to allow Van Persie through with five minutes left and he put Arsenal 4-3 ahead before he completed his hat-trick in injury time to give the Gunners a morale boosting 5-3 victory.

Terry had headed Chelsea in to a 2-1 lead at the break after Van Persie had equalised Frank Lampard's opener, but Andre Santos and Theo Walcott put Arsenal ahead before Juan Mata made it 3-3 with 10 minutes left. The game looked set for a draw, but Terry's error, and two cool finishes from Van Persie meant Arsenal's fans went home ecstatic.

The Arsenal defence buckled first after 14 minutes, the outstanding Mata teasing Van Persie and swinging in a right-wing cross which the unmarked Frank Lampard stooped to head home.

Arsenal equalised seven minutes later. Aaron Ramsey picked out Gervinho's brilliant run and the Ivory Coast striker drew Petr Cech and squared for Van Persie to slot into an empty net.

Chelsea were gifted the lead on the stroke of half-time through Terry, who got in front of Per Mertesacker to cushion Lampard's corner in off the post.

The tables turned within 10 minutes of the restart as Arsenal scored twice to go infront.

Santos's superb first touch on to Gervinho's ball gave him time to send a strike through Cech's legs and Arsenal scored again with Theo Walcott bundling his way through and lashing the ball past Cech at the near post.

There was a grandstand finish thanks to Mata's wonderful 25-yard strike, but Terry, who slipped chasing substitute Florent Malouda's backpass, left Van Persie to round Cech and make it 4-3.

Mata twice saw efforts blocked as Chelsea tried to level before Van Persie hit them on the break again by blasting left-footed past Cech.

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