Arsenal temporarily returned to the summit of the Premier League standings, following a 3-1 victory over Chelsea in their London derby clash at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Gunners who had been without a win their last four league games, signalled their intent by creating the better opportunities and they got the opener through skipper Martin Odegaard who turned in a cross from Granit Xhaka past Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 18th minute.
Arsenal had to wait until the half-hour mark (31st minute) to get their second and again it was captain Odegaard who bagged his brace of the evening, ably assisted once more by midfield lynchpin Granit Xhaka.
Three minutes later, Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus extended Arsenal’s advantage in front of a packed Emirates as the visitors were left shell-shocked as they have been for the majority of their underwhelming season. The Gunners went into the break holding the three-goal lead.
Upon resumption of the second half, Blues gaffer Frank Lampard made an attacking substitution in a bid to salvage something from the game. The ineffective Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was brought off in place of German international Kai Havertz.
Chelsea got their respite in the 65th minute through Noni Madueke. The January winter acquisition who was the brightest spot on an otherwise dark evening for the Blues, found the back of the net off an assist by Matteo Kovacic. It was the former PSV Eindhoven star’s first goal for the Blues since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
The game ended in favour of the Gunners, who now go top of the PL table pending Manchester City’s fixture in midweek.
Arsenal also ended up doing the double over Chelsea this campaign, while the quartet of Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus have all registered goals in double-figures this season in the Premier League.
For Chelsea, they still remain without a point or a win since the second coming of manager Frank Lampard.
🔴 Live Blog:
FULL-TIME AT THE EMIRATES STADIUM: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea
GOOOAAALLL!!! Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea (N. Madueke)
65′ MIN: Chelsea get one back through Noni Madueke, who scores his first goal in the Premier League.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE EMIRATES STADIUM: Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea
HALF-TIME AT THE EMIRATES STADIUM: Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea
GOOOAAALLL!!! Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea (M. Odegaard)
34′ MIN: Gabriel Jesus extends Arsenal’s lead in a dominant first half performance at Emirates Stadium.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea (M. Odegaard)
31′ MIN: Martin Odegaard doubles his and Arsenal’s tally for the evening. Granit Xhaka once again providing the assist.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (M. Odegaard)
18′ MIN: Martin Odegaard puts the home side ahead from a Granit Xhaka cross.
KICK-OFF AT THE EMIRATES STADIUM: Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea
This London derby fixture sees both sides battle for bragging rights and supremacy, although they have not had the best of runs leading to tonight’s clash.
The Gunners are winless in their last four Premier League fixtures, a run which has seen them surrender top spot to defending champions Manchester City following a 4-1 spanking at the Etihad last time out. A victory for Mikel Arteta’s side will lift them to top spot, albeit temporarily having played two games more than Man City.
As for Chelsea, interim manager Frank Lampard is looking for his first points since assuming the role in his second stint. The Blues have been disappointing, losing four consecutive matches and registering only one goal in the entire month of April. Another defeat here may force the club’s heirarchy to take drastic measures to stop the rot.