Arsenal managed to secure a crucial 3-1 victory over London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium to stay in the race of challenging for the Premier League title. Arsenal started the game very quickly and took charge with a good tempo and measured approach by applying pressure to Chelsea who struggled to cope with Arsenal’s quick press.
In the opening 20 minutes of the game, Arsenal put on a wonderful display of attacking football. Ødegaard and Zinchenko in particular were central to the quick passing and movement, showing great awareness of their teammates’ positions and playing with a confidence that had been missing in recent games. Trossard came into the squad and reaffirmed why many fans were calling for his reintroduction to the squad. He caused many problems for Azpilicueta down the left-hand side which showed in the opening 2 goals.
Arsenal opened the scoreline through Ødegaard, who struck a beautiful curling shot off the bar after receiving a scuffed pass from Xhaka who was found open out on the left hand side. Following the opening goal, Arsenal slowed down their tempo, allowing Chelsea to hold possession and attack their half. However, Arsenal woke up and started pressing more aggressively after a fantastic save from Ramsdale who denied a strike from Chilwell.
This led to the 2nd and 3rd goal where the Gunners picked up the pace, frustrating Chelsea and dominating possession. At times it felt like a training drill with the passing being played from one side of the pitch to the other without much intensity, yet being able to switch gears and enter the final third in a split second.
Although Chelsea managed to score a consolation goal through Noni Madueke who was arguably Chelsea’s best player on the night, Arsenal’s disciplined shape ensured they came away with a well-deserved victory. Their measured press, quick passing, and ruthless finishing will give fans hope for the remainder of the season. Yet, this came at a cost with Gabriel Magalhaes limping off in the 85th minute with what looked like a calf injury. The club are yet to confirm the extent of this injury but ruling him out for the Newcastle fixture could be costly.
Fans were desperate for a response after putting Man City in the drivers seat to win the Premier League, and they got it! A masterclass first half performance and impressive individual performances blew a lacklustre Chelsea away to regain the top spot (even if it is for a night). Next up is Newcastle United, where Arteta hopes to right some wrongs following last seasons devastating defeat which effectively saw them miss out on Champions League football.
Written by: Farhan Ahmed (@GunnerSince96)