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The Ghanaian midfielder basted a ball home after receiving a pass from Frank Lampard outside the 18-yard box to snatch a point for Chelsea who were on the brink of a defeat.

The goal has been rated as one of the greatest goals in Premier League’s history and has featured on the GoalOfTheDay as the Premier League tweeted it on its official Twitter page to celebrate Michael Essien.

It was Arsenal who took a 78th-minute lead against the run of play, Mathieu Flamini shooting past Henrique Hilario.

Six minutes later Essien's shot made it 1-1, with the Ghanian and Frank Lampard hitting the woodwork in stoppage time.

Michael Essien goal
Michael Essien goal

Just past the hour, the pantomime sideshow took centre stage when Jens Lehmann and Drogba engaged in some pushing, shoving and theatrical diving.

As to the football, if Arsenal's game was pleasing on the eye in the way Cesc Fabregas orchestrated their attacking movements, Chelsea were altogether more brutally efficient in their modus operandi.

Brutal efficiency won out in those early stages as Michael Ballack flashed a shot past Lehmann's left-hand post, while Lampard's half-volley rattled the woodwork.

Equally rattled was Senderos, who endured a nervy start - notably when he completely miskicked in trying to clear a Claude Makelele pass.

Seven minutes before the break, Lehmann was rescued when Fabregas cleared Essien's shot off the line after the Arsenal goalkeeper was unable to gather a Chelsea corner.

At the start of the second half Arsenal took a leaf out of Chelsea's book and adopted a more direct approach, spearheaded by some strong running from Emmanuel Adebayor.

Midway through the second period, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho revamped his attack by bringing off the anonymous Andriy Shevchenko and introducing Arjen Robben and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Robben made an immediate impact, outsprinting the Arsenal defence and forcing a good save from Lehmann, who - unable to gather the ball cleanly - had to make a second stop from Lampard.

Just as Chelsea threatened to take complete control of the game, Arsenal took the lead after a sumptuous move.

That move was concluded with Hleb and Flamini swapping passes before the former Marseille midfielder swept the ball past Hilario.

And it was Essien who came to his side's rescue when he launched a shot that swerved its way past Lehmann.

In a frantic finish, Chelsea struck the woodwork twice in stoppage time, first through Essien and then Lampard, who hit the post after an awful error from Lehmann.