LONDON - Guus Hiddink said he was proud of his Chelsea team after shaking off the crushing disappointment of their midweek Champions League exit to thrash Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday. "I'm delighted, the team is delighted with the performance today," the Dutch coach told reporters after Chelsea guaranteed at least third place with their best away league win over the north London side since 1970. NEWS: Chelsea blow Arsenal away at Emirates PHOTOS: Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea "Overall, I'm very proud of the team after what has happened, the injustice we felt at not being in the final of the European Cup, it felt like a huge injustice for everyone in the team." His opposite number Arsene Wenger bemoaned seven or eight clear cut chances which his side missed and said Chelsea punished them for every mistake they made. He also felt Didier Drogba dived to win a free kick that led to Chelsea's opening goal. "We live in a league now where the divers are rewarded," said Wenger, whose side had gone 21 matches undefeated in the league. "It's not right but it's like that." Hiddink agreed that Chelsea had begun as if still groggy from Barcelona's stoppage-time equaliser which knocked them out of Europe, a game that ended with Chelsea's players furious over several penalty appeals rejected by referee Tom Henning Ovrebo. "We started the first 15 or 20 minutes with a kind of hangover from Wednesday and Arsenal were able to play their beautiful football," Hiddink said. "But the reaction of the team was great and to be 2-0 up at halftime was very good. "Tactically and mentally it's very pleasant to work with these guys." GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri wasted golden opportunities to put Arsenal in front and Petr Cech was working overtime before Alex headed Chelsea in front from a Didier Drogba free kick awarded after he was sent tumbling by a trip from Cesc Fabregas. Nicolas Anelka made it 2-0 before halftime and Kole Toure's own goal sealed victory. Nicklas Bendtner pulled one back for Arsenal but Florent Malouda rounded off a great win for FA Cup finalists Chelsea. "You could be very positive or very negative but I don't believe it was a bad performance," Wenger told reporters after his side's second heavy home defeat of the week. "It was never a 4-1 game...we should have been 2-0 up before they had a shot." Defeat means Arsenal will now face a non-seeded qualifier to get into next season's Champions League. "We only had a small opportunity to come third and a few months ago everybody thought we would be 10th," said Wenger. "So I don't think we should be too disappointed (with finishing fourth) but what is disappointing is that in the games that have mattered in the last three or four weeks we couldn't win." Arsenal also lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals and were outclassed 4-1 on aggregate by Manchester United in the Champions League semis. CHELSEA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Kerry Dixon, Guus Hiddink One on One Gianfranco Zola, Nicolas Anelka Boy's A Bit Special Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair Perfect XI Ruud Gullit, Marcel Desailly Celebrity fans Vidal Sassoon And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Ruud Gullit on Weekend Wonders and Chelsea on Talentspotter
10 May 2009
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