Arsenal breeze by Chelsea to reclaim PL’s top spot (for now)
Arsenal snapped their four-game winless skid and went back atop the Premier League table with a 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
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The victory may have come too late for Arsenal (76 points), though, as they only lead Manchester City by two points, but the two-time defending champions now have two games in hand on the Gunners. The defeat leaves Chelsea (39 points) in 12th, down a spot from where they began matchweek 34.
Arsenal flew out of the starting gate and went ahead after just 18 minutes. Granit Xhaka made his way down the left channel, in acres of space with all the time in the world, and cut a cross back to the top of the penalty area, where Martin Odegaard arrived with picture-perfect timing and technique. Odegaard thumped the ball with his left foot, guiding it over Kepa Arrizabalaga’s hand and just under the crossbar for a 1-0 lead.
13 minutes later, Odegaard struck again, with an all-too-familiar, left-footed sweeping motion. Again, it was Xhaka who did the work on the left and found the Norwegian, this time nearer to the penalty spot, with an inch-perfect pass.
Gabriel Jesus made it 3-0 just three minutes after that, as he cleaned up another busy scene inside Chelsea’s six-yard box after Xhaka was initially denied by Arrizabalaga.
Chelsea got a goal back in the 65th minute, as Noni Madueke scored his first goal since joining the club from PSV Eindhoven in January. Madueke made a diagonal run from the right wing and got behind Gabriel Magalhaes as Mateo Kovacic’s pass soared over the Arsenal defense. Madueke got a faint touch on the bouncing ball, hitting it into the ground and bounding over Aaron Ramsdale’s flailing right hand.
Stars of the show
Arsenal will continue their chase of the title on Sunday (11:30 am ET), when they head to the northeast of England to face 3rd-place Newcastle at St. James’ Park. Chelsea will visit Bournemouth on Saturday (10 am ET).
Arsenal vs Chelsea, final score: 3-1
18th minute - Martin Odegaard puts Arsenal ahead with a cool finish
31st minute - Odegaard guides another left-footed laser home for 2-0
34th minute - Gabriel Jesus cleans up a six-yard-box scramble to make it 3-0
65th minute - Noni Madueke touches home a late consolation goal for Chelsea
How to watch Arsenal vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3pm ET, TuesdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
What kind of reaction are we going to see from the Gunners? Aaron Ramsdale has said anything can happen and Arsenal aren’t giving up on their title hopes but it looks pretty unlikely Manchester City will slip up now. Arteta has stuck with the same players in recent weeks but it seems like Leandro Trossard and Jorginho will start this game. Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli froze against Man City but they should be back to their marauding best.
Chelsea have so many quality players but how does Lampard put them together? Against Brentford they played four central midfielders in the team and Chelsea are almost in damage limitation mode right now. That is a sad state of affairs for a squad this talented. They are totally lacking in confidence, a plan and momentum. If it is Mauricio Pochettino who comes in this summer, he has a heck of a job on his hands.
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: William Saliba (back), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knock)
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Armando Broja (knee), Kalidou Koulibaly (thigh), Reece James (hamstring), Mason Mount (pelvic), Marc Cucurella (thigh)