Last Updated: 30/10/11 1:26am
The full-time whistle goes and it brings to an end an extraordinary match. Arsenal had to come from behind twice but they have been awesome in the second half to secure a famous victory.
GOAL: Chelsea had no choice but to push forward and in doing so they left a gaping hole at the back, which Van Persie exposes to complete his hat-trick and surely seal a remarkable victory for Arsenal. The Gunners had an extra man as they broke forward but made no mistake as the Dutchman rifled in a ferocious strike, although Cech will again be disappointed to be beaten at his near post.
Four minutes of stoppage time have been signalled as Song receives a yellow card for a foul in midfield.
Wenger makes his final change of the afternoon and it is Vermaelen who comes on to replace Gervinho.
The onus is now on Chelsea to push forward. Arsenal managed to equalise twice earlier on, but can the Blues match that?
GOAL Terry's slip allows Van Persie a clear run on goal and the Arsenal striker shows the composure you would expect of such a world-class player as he calmly goes around Cech and slots the ball home with his right foot.
This game remains on a knife-edge as we enter the final ten minutes and it is impossible to call which way this one might go, although you would expect more chances.
GOAL Mata brings it back to 3-3 with a stunning strike from distance that appears to take a slight deflection off Song before swerving past Szcsesny and into the top corner.
A challenge between Ivanovic and Van Persie leads to players from both sides getting involved and the Chelsea defender picks up a booking.
Villas-Boas responds with a change of his own as Raul Meireles replaces John Obi Mikel, who has been very quiet.
Carl Jenkinson comes on for Djourou at right-back as Wenger makes his first change of the afternoon.
Arsenal squander a golden chance as Van Persie sets up Ramsey and the Welshman fires wide from inside the area.
Didier Drogba has tormented Arsenal in the past but, as he is suspended, Villas-Boas calls on the equally powerful Romelu Lukaku for the closing stages. Ramires is the player to come off.
Arsenal are looking more organised at the back as they strive to protect their lead, but can they keep things tight for the remaining 20 minutes?
Szczesny looks awkward as he comes to try and punch clear the free-kick, but he does help Arsenal avert the danger.
Ramsey and Ramires are spoken to by the referee after a foul by the Arsenal midfielder and angry response from the Brazilian after he is not allowed to take the free-kick quickly.
Arteta concedes a free-kick for a foul on Malouda in a wide area as Arsenal look to make life difficult for the hosts.
This has been a really impressive response from Arsenal in the second half as Gervinho tracks back to win the ball in midfield.
Sturridge has not enjoyed his best day and makes way for Florent Malouda as Villas-Boas shuffles his pack.
Ramsey twists away from Cole in the Chelsea area to conjure a chance for himself out of nothing, but he cannot provide the finish.
Chelsea will not believe what has happened over the last few minutes but the crowd remains in good voice as they roar on the team in the search for an equaliser.
GOAL: Arsenal have turned the game on its head at the start of the second half as Walcott fires them ahead for the first time. A run from the England winger appeared to have come to an end when he slipped over 30 yards from goal, but he regained his footing quickly to skip past a couple of defenders and beat Cech again at his near post.
Lampard steps up to take the free-kick and sends a fine strike towards the top corner, only for Szczesny to pull off a fine diving stop.
Szczesny rushes out of his area and brings down Cole, leaving referee Marriner with a big decision to make. The Arsenal keeper is shown a yellow card and that seems fair as there were defenders rushing back to cover and Cole would have had a lot of work to do to score even if he had gone round Szczesny.
GOAL Santos had an absolute shocker in the first half but he makes partial amends here with a cool finish from Song's pass to make it 2-2, although Cech should perhaps have done better at his near post.
Torres was relatively quiet in the first half but he does well here to pick up possession and work Szczesny with a powerful effort from outside the area.
The action picks up where the first half left off, as Van Persie draw a save out of Cech from a tight angle before Ramsey flicks a shot wide following good work by Gervinho.
Arsenal get the second half started and there have been no changes at the break. I wonder if Arsene Wenger was tempted to bring on Vermaelen to shore up the defence.
The half-time whistle goes after a breathless opening 45 minutes, and it is Chelsea who have a slender lead. Both sides have had chances to score more but Arsenal's defence has looked particularly weak and the Blues will be confident of pushing on to seal victory.
GOAL Ramsey concedes a corner following a tackle on Cole and Lampard's delivery is prodded home by Chelsea skipper Terry. He did not make a great connection with his shot but it was directed right into the corner and it is a soft goal for Arsenal to let in, with Mertesacker again at fault.
The game continues to fluctuate from end to end as we approach half-time, and both sides will be looking to go into the interval with an advantage.
Arsenal win a free-kick in a dangerous area but Van Persie's curling effort is just too high to test Cech and drops over the crossbar.
Chelsea have the ball in the net and think they have restored their lead almost immediately, but the flag is raised for offside against Sturridge and replays show he was just a whisker the wrong side of his defender before turning the ball home from close range.
GOAL: Arsenal draw level and, not surprisingly, it is Van Persie who gets his name on the scoresheet. But on this occasion it was a simple finish for the Dutchman and it is his team-mates who deserve much of the credit, after Ramsey played in Gervinho with an exquisite through-ball and the summer signing from Lille had the awareness to square it to Van Persie as Cech rushed off his line.
Szczesny is called into action to make a routine save from Sturridge's powerfully-hit 25-yard effort.
Van Persie combines well with Walcott but the England winger's right-wing cross is deflected harmlessly into Petr Cech's arms.
Alex Song has not got to grips with Chelsea's central midfielders so far this afternoon and he loses possession again with another stray pass.
Sturridge has the chance to make it 2-0 after being played in on goal by a clever Lampard pass, but he makes a complete mess of his finish as he slices wide with the outside of his left boot.
Van Persie sends over a looping cross from the left that Chelsea scramble clear, before Gervinho is flagged offside from Ramsey's through-ball.
Cole is having a great time of it in an attacking sense this afternoon but, after again being given far too much time and space, cannot quite pick out the final ball to Torres.
Sturridge has to go off the pitch momentarily to change his footwear and receives instructions from Villas-Boas.
Ramsey shows quick feet to twice create half-chances for Arsenal, but he is not quite on the same wavelength as Mikel Arteta.
The intensity of this game has been relentless so far with very few disruptions, as the teams battle for midfield supremacy and struggle to keep hold of possession just at the moment.
Jose Bosingwa gets the better of Santos in another one-on-one situation down the Chelsea right, but on this occasion he just loses control of the ball and it goes out for a goal-kick.
Santos releases Gervinho down the left but Ivanovic slides in with a well-timed challenge - a rare example of good defending in the opening 20 minutes.
Arsenal have responded well since going behind as they go in search of an immediate equaliser, but look very vulnerable at the back. Andre Santos and Mertesacker could both have done more to prevent that Lampard goal.
GOAL: It was only a matter of time before someone scored with the game so open, and it is Lampard who nods Chelsea into an early lead from Juan Mata's wonderful right-wing cross.
What a start to the match this is, with chances coming seemingly by the minute. This time Walcott sets up Van Persie with another glorious pass, but the Dutchman fails to hit the target.
Arsenal show how dangerous they can be on the break as Theo Walcott is played in by Aaron Ramsey down the right and delivers an inviting low cross for Gervinho in the middle, but he shoots agonisingly wide from close range.
Chelsea win a free-kick in a dangerous area 30 yards from goal and Lampard crashes a powerful effort straight into the defensive wall.
Arsenal are all at sea in defence as Frank Lampard challenges for the ball in the air and believes he should have a corner, but referee Andre Marriner awards the goal-kick.
Just time for one more feedback, and Cian says: "I'm predicting not an easy but a comfortable win for us today, Lampard and Ramires I reckon. Would love a Torres brace or hat-trick, really show Liverpool what a mistake they made by selling him. COYB!"
Chelsea now carve open a glorious opportunity down their right-hand side with worrying simplicity as far as Arsenal are concerned. Daniel Sturridge really should play in Torres for a simple finish in the centre but Wojciech Szczesny reads his cross and dives to gather the ball.
Djourou's positioning is all over the place again as Cole surges down the right, but his cut-back is intercepted by a stretching Per Mertesacker.
Chelsea are caught napping at the back by a quick throw-in to Van Persie, but he has no support and the hosts survive an anxious moment as the Dutchman's cross is cleared.
Ashley Cole embarks on a strong run down the left as Johan Djourou struggles at right-back, but Fernando Torres cannot quite latch onto his low cross as the ball is cleared to safety.
There are some boos from the travelling supporters as Terry gets his first touch of the ball. He will have a tough task on his hands trying to keep Robin van Persie quiet today.
The setting for today's game, Stamford Bridge, has also been in the news this week after the club failed in its bid to buy back the freehold of the ground from the Chelsea Pitch Owners. The Blues have been in superb form at home this season and the supporters are in good voice as the players come out of the tunnel.
Abhisheck writes: "I think Chelsea will win this and there will be goals. Both teams' defences are weak and I think Torres and RVP will both bag braces but near the end Terry or Lamps will bag us a winner. Final score Chelsea will win 3-2."
Lewis Emslie, aged 12, says: "I am a Chelsea fan and I think it will be easy for Chelsea today. 3-1 Chelsea, I think. Torres to get our 6,000th prem goal, Sturridge and Mata to get the others. RVP to get a consolation. Come on the Blues!"
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Sturridge, Torres, Mata. Subs: Blackman, Bertrand, Luiz, Romeu, Meireles, Malouda, Lukaku.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Frimpong, Rosicky, Arshavin, Park.
This just in from our colleagues at Sky Bet: Chelsea are 2/3 favs to bounce back from their horror show at QPR. Arsenal despite their recent good run are a 4/1 shout with the draw at 3/1. Fernando Torres returns to lead the home attack and is 4/1 to score the opening goal and 5/1 to bag a brace. The in-form Robin van Persie is 7/1 to strike first and 14/1 to net a double.
Chelsea fan Ben is more positive about the chances of goals, writing: "I don't think the absence of Drogba will make us lose the game. Chelsea's attack is too strong for Arsenal who rely on one man; Robin Van Persie. I think it will be 3-1 for Chelsea with Torres, Sturridge and Mata scoring. (It would be nice to win 8-2 though!)"
Ryan has the most pessimistic view so far, saying: "I think with everything going on for both teams, I expect a timid display from both and don't really see Chelsea pushing up as much as us fans would want."
Stelios, who is following the game from Cyprus, writes: "I think both teams have something to prove today so we should watch a good game but not a lot of goals. I got Arsenal to win 0-1 or 1-2 with v.Persie scoring. Torres will be a menace in the Arsenal box but I don't think he'll score! If Arsenal win today, top 4 is guaranteed in my eyes!"
Josh Conway has a different view: "Arsenal will win 2-1, Torres will score first but Gervinho will equalise and RVP will score the winner late on! It will be a close game though."
Joe O'Hagan has been in touch to say: "Easy win for the Chelsea today, Torres to turn up and bag a brace with Mata running the show as always! Come on Torres!!"
Branislav Ivanovic has been named in the heart of the Chelsea defence alongside Terry, with David Luiz missing out. Ramires and Fernando Torres are also included in the starting XI. For Arsenal, Thomas Vermaelen has been deemed fit enough only for a place on the bench, while Robin van Persie replaces Marouane Chamakh up front from the side that started the victory over Stoke last weekend.
Gabriel Sutton writes: "I'm a Birmingham City fan but I think Arsenal will win today. Chelsea will struggle without Drogba - his sending off was completely stupid and means their biggest goalscoring threat is sidelined. As for Arsenal, I saw them play against Stoke in a way I haven't seen them play in a long time - small echoes of that unbeaten season. That result, with a win over Sunderland could have been a sign of things to come for Arsene Wenger's men, but the question is whether that team can hack it in the big game. I think they can. Verdict- 1-2."
Ashley Smith is the first to get in touch, saying: "The Blues are going to walk it! 3-1 win and Torres will show his money's worth today with 2 goals. Mata will be at the heart of everything today and Sturridge will get on the scoresheet. Van Persie will score a late conselation goal for Arsenal."
The full team news will be in shortly but who do you think are likely to be the key players? Let us know any views and predictions by getting in touch at Lewis.Rutledge@bskyb.com. What sort of match are you expecting? Will Chelsea prove too strong for their capital rivals or can Arsenal pick up a confidence-boosting victory?
John Terry has found himself in the spotlight this week as allegations that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand are investigated. Terry has categorically denied the claims and vowed to clear his name, while Andre Villas-Boas is expected to select his skipper today after insisting he has no concerns about the England man's mental state.
As well as being a London derby, both sides will be determined to make up ground on league leaders Manchester City after having plenty of obstacles to contend with during the early part of the season. Arsenal, of course, are a long way off the pace in seventh even if they have started to rediscover some form over the past few weeks. Chelsea had been in a strong position until last weekend, but a controversial 1-0 defeat by Queens Park Rangers left them six points adrift of top spot.
Welcome to our minute-by-minute commentary of Chelsea's Premier League game against Arsenal, and what promises to be a cracking encounter at Stamford Bridge. It is always an occasion to relish when two of the division's heavyweights do battle, but there are plenty of other intriguing subplots to watch out for this lunchtime.