Premier League: Chelsea holds on to beat Arsenal 2-1


Chelsea held off a stirring second-half fightback by London rival Arsenal to claim a 2-1 win on Sunday, tightening its grip on third place in the Premier League.

Juan Mata's excellent finish and a penalty from Frank Lampard gave Chelsea a two-goal lead after only 16 minutes, with Arsenal outclassed in the first half.

The visitors showed huge improvement in the second half and Theo Walcott's 58th-minute goal offered them hope of at least a draw under gentle but regular snowfall at Stamford Bridge.

However, Chelsea hung on desperately for only its third win in eight home matches under interim manager Rafa Benitez. Arsenal stayed sixth, 11 points behind Chelsea but with a game in hand in the fight for Champions League qualification.

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