Chelsea raced into a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but a bizarre mix up from the referee Andre Marriner stole the show.
Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard and Oscar put Chelsea 4-0 up at half time, but the most incredible refereeing decision in recent times came in the 15th minute. A shot from Hazard was going towards the corner, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tipped the ball wide with his hand to stop a goal. Referee Marriner awarded a penalty kick to Chelsea… but then sent of Kieran Gibbs in a bizarre case of mistaken identity. As Gibbs was sent off despite protesting.
A frantic start took place in the sun at Stamford Bridge, as Arsenal pushed early on and Olivier Giroud spurned a glorious chance put them 1-0 up in the 3rd minute as Petr Cech saved his tame effort. Arsenal were made to pay for that, massively, as Chelsea then went ahead in the fourth minute as Samuel Eto’o cut inside with a beautiful turn, then curled home a left-footed shot into the far corner to make it 1-0.
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Two minutes later Chelsea led 2-0, as Andre Schurrle ran at the Gunners defense and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner as Stamford Bridge erupted. But the drama was not over, not by a long shot.
In the 15th minute Eden Hazard smashed a shot towards the bottom corner that had beaten Arsenal’s ‘keeper Szczesny but out of nowhere Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived to tip the ball wide with his hand. Referee Andre Marriner spotted the handball, awarded a penalty… but sent off Kieran Gibbs in a case of mistaken identity. Arsenal’s players protested, including Oxlade-Chamberlain who told the referee it was him but Gibbs was still given his marching orders in one of the most bizarre dismissals in Premier League history.
Eden Hazard converted the penalty kick to make it 3-0 to the Blues after 16 minutes, as Arsenal were down to 10-men and reeling from a remarkable opening few minutes at Stamford Bridge. Then Oscar scored just before the break to make it a rout… with 45 minutes left.
Can the Gunners fight back? Or will Chelsea extend their lead and pile the misery on Arsenal?
Pro Soccer Talk examines some of Thursday’s top transfer stories, including a Premier League giant looking to add to its midfield.
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Chelsea could be set to join Barcelona in the race for Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, according to the Daily Mail.
The Blues and new manager Maurizio Sarri are said to be open to looking to Serie A to solve some of the team’s troubled areas, including in the center of the park to join France international N'Golo Kante.
Sarri is already said to be keen on signing Napoli star Dries Mertens, whom he has coached for several years at the Stadio San Paolo
Meanwhile, Juve has interest in a World Cup star, with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano attracting significant looks from around the world.
Lozano scored for El Tri in their 1-0 victory over Germany to open their 2018 World Cup campaign, and has become an instant star in the Dutch Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven.
PSV would reportedly be willing to complete a deal if the Serie A champions shell out over $40 million.
Sticking with Juve, Emre Can‘s move to the Turin side appears to be close to finalization.
Can is set to have a medical in Italy on Thursday, as the 24-year-old anticipates completing a five-year contract with the Serie A giants.
Finally, West Ham United is looking to add to its attacking options next season, and the club could be nearing a record move.
Lazio winger Felipe Anderson is reportedly set to come to the London Stadium in 2018/19 as the Hammers prepare a $46 million deal.
Anderson tallied four goals in 21 Serie A matches last season for the Biancocelesti.
The 30-year-old has spent two seasons managing Hoffenheim, guiding the club to back-to-back top-four finishes in the Bundesliga.
Leipzig is currently without a manager ahead of the next season, so it remains unclear who will take over until Nagelsmann assumes his role in 2019.
Peru’s loss was France’s gain on Thursday, as Les Bleus reached the Round of 16 with one match remaining in Group C play.
The French knocked off Peru, 1-0, as Didier Deschamps and his side eliminated their South American foe from the 2018 World Cup.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
Both Denmark and Australia — who drew 1-1 earlier on Thursday — are still alive in their efforts of advancing to the knockout rounds.
He looked to be one of the best players on the pitch once again, and Kylian Mbappe rightfully scored a tap in to give France the lead beyond the half-hour mark following a deflected cross from Olivier Giroud.
Paul Pogba was at the center of the goal as well, after nicking the ball away from Peru’s Paolo Guerrero inside the South American side’s half of the field.
Gallese made his first crucial stop in the 16th minute, when a link-up between Giroud and Antoine Griezmann forced a kick save from the Peru goalkeeper.
The Peruvians began to use their pace as the first half wore on, and Guerrero nearly scored his first goal of the tournament in the 31st minute, but Hugo Lloris was positioned well to make a save.
Paul Pogba came right back the other way just two minutes later though, and played a brilliant lofted ball into Mbappe, who couldn’t flick it past Gallese.
The Peruvians didn’t waste any time in the second stanza, and nearly came out to a flying start as Pedro Aquino struck woodwork with a brilliant outside-the-foot technique from distance.
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France closes out Group C play with a meeting against Denmark, while Peru hopes to spoil Australia’s chances of qualifying for the knockout phase.
The match is really opening up now, and France has begun to assert itself with an opener just beyond the half-hour mark.
[ MORE: Denmark, Australia draw, leaving Group C wide open ]
Kylian Mbappe has given Les Bleus a 1-0 lead over Peru after a deflected Olivier Giroud cross found the Monaco attacker just in front of goal for a tap-in finish.
The sequence began after Paul Pogba dispossessed Peru deep in their own half, before dishing the ball off to Giroud.
The goal for Mbappe is his first at a World Cup, as the 19-year-old continues to impress for both club and country.