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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal humiliate Chelsea 5-0 to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League

Fans queue up for some food outside the Emirates stadium Picture: Paul Lagan
Fans queue up for some food outside the Emirates stadium Picture: Paul Lagan

By Paul Lagan at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal 5 v Chelsea 0

As humiliations go, Chelsea suffered one of the worst in recent history as league leaders Arsenal pulverised them at the Emirates, winning 5-0, and frankly had it reached double figures, no one would have been surprised.

That the Gunners extended their lead over Liverpool comes as no surprise, but the sheer viscousness and clinical nature of how they dismantled the former double Champions League winners will have sent shock waves up to the North West where the Scousers and Manchester City could only watch on admirably.

A brace apiece from Ben White – yep honestly and Kai Havertz coupled with a five minute opener from Leandro Trossard will be obvious headliners, but this was a complete team performance from Arsenal.

Technically and ability-wise the Blues can match the best, but this was a team of men against kids and if that's the excuse given by the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge, then it's an excuse that will find no favour from the fans in the stands.

It was game over from the first whistle, and it only took the home side five minutes to open their account.

A quick break on the left by Declan Rice saw him find space to slip the ball to his left for Leandro Trossard. And the Belgian took one touch before hitting a low left-footer that somehow squeezed between goalkeeper Djorde Petrovic and his near post.

It's fair to say that all the pressure was coming from the team in red, with only sporadic flashes of blue inhabiting the Gunners' area.

One time however, on 16 minutes, Conor Gallagher got through on the left. He put in a fine cross, but it was to empty space as no Chelsea colleague had ventured far enough forward to offer a credible attacking support.

Benoit Badiashile can count himself a tad unlucky his glancing header from a Mykhailo Mudryk corner did not have enough direction, or follow-up from a team- mate to trouble the Arsenal goal on 18 minutes.

That pressure was soon a memory as Arsenal, with Rice in charge, retook the initiative.

A well worked build-up almost saw Bukayo Saka score but Petrovic was in the way.

The Serbia stopper then made two almost point-blank saves to thwart the league leaders.

The pace of Chelsea, only on the break is devastating and if had got it right, it they would have caused Arsenal more problems. Noni and Nicolas Jackson have that ability, and on 29 minutes Nomi put it to good use.

Forcing David Raya into a block which was followed up by Marc Cucurella – his shot was blocked again before Enzo tried his luck. That too failed to break the defensive wall.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

But it was soon business as usual with the Gunners forcing the issue, Chelsea giving away possession time and time again.

Petrovic, while at fault for the goal had to this point proved otherwise unbeatable with a host of blocks to deny a further goal.

Inevitable that would be not be the case and it was White, who, following a corner that was not cleared, was on hand in the six-yard box to whack the ball home on 52 minutes.

Number three was simplicity itself. Winning the ball just outside their own penalty area, it took two touches before ex-Chelsea forward Havertz raced onto a defence-splitting the pass, outpaced Cucurella and slipped the ball over the advancing Petrovic.

A counter-attack that Chelsea could only aspire to.

Incredibly Jackson missed a sitter on 61 minutes, when he could only put the ball into the side-netting with just Raya to beat, albeit at a narrow angle.

Number four saw Havertz suddenly realise that he scored a Champions League final winning goal for the Blues, when on 65 minutes, he tucked home from the edge of the area.

His celebrations were muted, but Chelsea fans will be fuming at how far the club has fallen since that goal in Portugal against Manchester City.

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino felt that the best course of action was to make substitutions – off went ineffectual Mudryk, on came, Raheem Sterling, Enzo was also replaced with defender Trevoh Chalobah entering the fray.

But it made little difference as Arsenals goal-scoring spree continued – this time it was just embarrassment for Chelsea as White clipped a deft volley from six-yards out.

Pochettino decided to give Italian Cesare Casadei and Brazil defender Thiago Silva a few minutes and they replaced Gilchrist and Noni with 14 minutes left.

And that was that.

Teams: Arsenal: Raya, Saliba, White, Partey, Gabriel, Saka, Odegaard, Tomiyasu, Trossard, Havertz, Rice

Subs: Ramsdale, Jesus, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Nketiah, Kiwior, Jorginho, Vieira, Zinchenko

Chelsea: Petrovic, Disasi, Cucurella, Badiashile, Enzo, Mudryk, Noni, Jackson, Gallagher, Caicedo, Gilchrist

Subs: Bettinelli, Silva, Sterling, Chalobah,Chukwuemeka, Casadei, Deivid, Tauriainen, Dyer

Referee: Simon Hooper


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