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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan

Arsenal go back to the top while Chelsea have that sinking feeling after humbling 3-1 loss

By Paul Lagan at The Emirates Stadium

Arsenal 3 v Chelsea 1

Arsenal are not letting their league title challenge fade, far from it after they crushed dispirited Chelsea 3-1 tonight at the Emirates.

The Gunners are now two points clear of Manchester City but that could all change tomorrow when Pep Guardiola’s side take on West Ham at home.

But that’s outside the north Londoner’s control.

Against the worst performing side in the Premier League right now, Mikel Arteta’s side dismantled the west Londoners in the first half taking a three goal lead - it could easily have been double that.

A brace from star midfielder Martin Odegaard and a close range thumper from Gabriel Jesus tore the heart out of an already confidence-drained Chelsea.

With the game effectively won, the home side went into cruise control, giving Chelsea a false sense of security.

They scored from a well taken tucked in goal from Chukwunonso Madueke on 65 minutes Chelsea will be looking back to the halcyon month of October when they won five games in a row, three league matches and a brace of wins against AC Milan in the Champions League.

Graham Potter was in charge and the results bounce following the sacking for Thomas Tuchel looked like a glorious season for the Blues was on the cards.

That was as good as it got.

Both sides started equally positive and on five minutes - mistake by Enzo, a weak header back to Kepa from six yards out, allowed Granit Xhaka to pounce, but the goalkeeper was just close enough to snaffle the effort, and clear the danger.

This gave the home side the confidence boost to execute a few more high-risk passes towards the Chelsea goal, increasing the pressure on an already under pressure outfit from west London.

The inevitable came on 17 minutes. A simple ball from the left was allowed to reach the centre of the penalty area line and Odegaard plonked home a venomous left-footer than crashed into the back of the net off the underside of the crossbar.

So bad are the Blues, that if they got halfway into the Arsenal half, that’s appeared to be considered a success.

Finally on 25 minutes, Chilwell got free on the left from a N’Golo Kante pass. He raced clear of Ben White and unleashed a fierce, goal-bound left-footer. Aaron Ramsdale was quick to respond and tipped the ball away for a corner.

Chelsea are like children or goldfish, they simply forget what’s happened and on 31 minutes the second goal came and it was a replica of the first, Odegaard was a tad closer to goal this time before he stroked the ball cooly home.

But it took just three minutes to net number three when a shambolic defence failed to clear the ball and a more determined Gabriel Jesus thumped it home from close range.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta kept the same starting 11, while Blues caretaker ended former Gooner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tenure up front and brought on Kai Havertz.

It was almost number four six minutes into the restart but the Blues can count themselves lucky that Thiago Silva was on the line to hack away a Gabriel Magalhaes header from close range.

Bukayo Saka thought he would get in on the act and tried a long-range effort - it only just went wide of Kepa’s left post

But to everyone’s surprise, Chelsea scored. Chukwuemeka Madueke beat the offside trap, latched onto a defence-splitter and neatly tucked home.

Lampard, perhaps sensing fortunes might go their way, opted to bring on Conor Gallagher and Mykhailo Mudryk for Enzo and Raheem Sterling while Arteta brought on Kieran Tierney and Reiss Nelson - off went Oleksandr Zinchenko and Saka.

That didn’t work for the Blues so on came Hakim Ziyech- off went Madueke.

That didn’t work either.

Nothing’s worked for Lampard as that’s six defeats from his six matches in charge.

While Arsenal worry if their bid for the title can be sustained, the boys from SW6 are worried about if they can actually win another game this season?

Teams: Arsenal, Ramsdale, White, Gabriel, Saka, Odegaard, Jesus, Kiwior, Trossard, Jorginho, Xhaka, Zinchenko

Subs, Turner, Tierney, Partey, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Nketiah, Holding, Vieira, Nelson

Chelsea, Kepa, Enzo, Silva, Kante, Kovacic, Aubameyang, Sterling, Chilwell, Azpilicueta, Madueke, Forfana

Subs, Mendy, Badiashile, Felix, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Mudryk, Ziyech, Gallagher, Havertz

Referee: Robert Jones


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