Arsenal back on top of Premier League after beating Chelsea2 min read
Goals from Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus in a first-half blitz fired Arsenal to a 3-1 victory at home to Chelsea on Tuesday night, sending the Gunners back to the Premier League summit.
Wounded after a four-game winless run that may well have derailed their Premier League title bid, Arsenal started firmly on the front foot. Chelsea arrived at the Emirates in even worse form, with manager Frank Lampard admitting that his side are “low on confidence and low on performance” after five consecutive defeats.
The Gunners penned the visitors into their own defensive third, pressing fiercely and feverishly to settle any nerves. Chelsea had completed seven passes outside their own half by the time Odegaard stroked Arsenal into a deserved lead on 18 minutes.
Mikel Arteta made a change to each line of Arsenal’s outfield lineup in a bid to “recharge the batteries” but it was a familiar duo that dovetailed again after half an hour. In a near-carbon copy of the opening goal, Granit Xhaka swept the ball across the pitch, evading the purely holographic blue shirts to pick out Odegaard for a crisp first-time finish.
This particular combination of expensively assembled blue shirts struggled to adjust to the movements of their teammates, so had little chance of dealing with Jesus’ tireless tiptoeing. Hovering with menace between the lines, Jesus darted to the back post to bring down Ben White’s cross, rolling it back for Xhaka to stab towards goal. Jesus was first to the rebound, sweeping Arsenal into a 3-0 lead within three minutes of Odegaard’s second.
Arsenal cantered out from the interval with the same energy and eagerness, twice going close to extending a suffocating advantage reflected by the oles that cascaded around the Emirates ten minutes into the second half.
The ultra-aggressive approach of the hosts offered Chelsea sporadic opportunities to break. Ben Chilwell had forced a good save from Aaron Ramsdale in the first half and Noni Madueke clumsily failed to even make an attempt moments before reducing the deficit. Sneaking behind Oleksandr Zinchenko onto Mateo Kovacic’s lofted pass, Madueke unconvincingly bobbled the ball beyond Ramsdale to add an unexpected whisper of jeopardy to the final 25 minutes.
Chelsea offered a late flurry of forward activity which never truly threatened Ramsdale’s net, allowing Arsenal to return to winning ways and the top of the Premier League table – until Manchester City’s clash against West Ham on Wednesday at least.