Rampant Arsenal blow Chelsea away to go top and make it six defeats in a row for Frank Lampard’s side
Posted by  badge Boss on May 03, 2023 - 09:41AM
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard scored twice in the first-half (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League with a dominant 3-1 victory over Chelsea at the Emirates on Tuesday night.

Gunners captain scored twice and Gabriel Jesus made it 3-0 before half-time in what was a poor performance from ’s side.

Noni Madueke registered his first goal for the Blues since his £29m move from PSV in January in the second half but it was not enough as Arsenal ended their four-game run without a victory.

The result means Arsenal are now two points clear of second-placed with four matches left to play, although ’s team have two games in hand.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have now lost all six games since Lampard replaced Graham Potter as head coach last month and remain 12th on 39 points – the same amount as AFC Bournemouth – who they face on the south coast on Saturday.

Arsenal, who next face Newcastle United on Sunday, started the game brightly and could have gone ahead after just five minutes when Cesar Azpilicueta’s weak header back to Kepa Arrizabalaga was intercepted by Granit Xhaka inside the box, only for the goalkeeper to deny him from close range.

The Gunners continued to press and deservedly opened the scoring with 18 minutes on the clock as Xhaka’s square pass from the left side found captain Odegaard just inside the penalty area, who curled a brilliant shot into the top corner, going in off the underside of the bar to give Arrizabalaga no chance.

Aaron Ramsdale was forced into a stunning save not long later – tipping Ben Chilwell’s effort round the post – and Odegaard doubled Arsenal’s lead on the half-hour mark with a similar goal to his first, being fed by Xhaka from the left and this time hitting a low, first-time shot past Arrizabalaga.

Things got even worse for the Blues as Jesus made it 3-0 with just 34 minutes played after embarrassing defending, as Ben White’s cross from the right found the Brazilian at the far post who pulled it back to Xhaka, only for Chelsea to block and fail to clear as Jesus regained possession and drilled his effort into the net.

Lampard decided to haul off striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at half-time with the former Arsenal captain making just nine touches and registering no shots but it didn’t get much better for the west Londoners after the restart, with Thiago Silva stopping it get to 4-0 as he cleared Gabriel Magalhaes’ header off the line.

Arsenal continued to dominate as Kepa tipped a shot wide from Xhaka before further chances from Jesus and Bukayo Saka but Chelsea pulled one back via Madueke – scoring his fist goal for the club after an excellent pass from Mateo Kovacic – with Oleksandr Zinchenko losing his man and Ramsdale beaten.

The Gunners suddenly looked a little vulnerable and Chelsea grew in confidence – perhaps smelling blood with Arsenal having blown two-goal leads in recent weeks – and there was a nervous feeling around the Emirates but the next big chance fell to Odegaard, who could not complete his hat-trick after a Arrizabalaga block.

Ultimately, though, it did not matter as Arsenal ran out at 3-1 winners to get back to winning ways and remain unbeaten in London derbies this season.