Impressive Arsenal beats Chelsea to regain top spot
Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a hard-fought win at London rivals Chelsea.
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Gabriel’s second half goal was enough to make it 11 wins from 13 games so far this season, as Mikel Arteta’s side looked dangerous throughout and controlled vast swathes of the game.
Graham Potter’s Chelsea never got going in this game and they’ve now lost back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2020, when Frank Lampard was in charge.
Arsenal’s win (their third-straight at Chelsea) means they are top of the table with 34 points, as they sit 13 points above Chelsea who are seventh.
What we learned from Chelsea vs Arsenal
The Gunners are the real deal: This is the kind of game you win if you’re going to be in the title race. On a stormy, wet afternoon in west London, the Gunners showed up. Big time. In previous seasons they would have lost or drawn this game but they stuck to their task, kept the ball well and played with the philosophy and style that Arteta demands. Their belief never wavered and they’re playing with so much confidence right now. They still may not match Manchester City over the course of a 38-game season but the desire, passion and belief of this Arsenal side tells us they will be very close when all is said and done. The stat below sums up their improvement against the big boys this season and remember: they are the youngest team in the Premier League.
Clunky Chelsea need patience: This was a pretty terrible Chelsea display. It was clunky from the start and they never looked comfortable in a 4-3-3 formation. Graham Potter has been hampered by injuries but he has tried pretty much every combination of players and formation at this point. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a terrible time up top against his former team and Chelsea just couldn’t get the ball forward quickly enough to the final third. It is going to take time for Potter to fully implement his playing style. Do Chelsea’s fans, and Todd Boehly, have the patience needed?
Jesus does everything but score: He often has the facial expression of someone who just lost their winning lottery ticket and that tells you how desperate Gabriel Jesus is to succeed. He missed a big chance in the first half but never stopped running and he knits Arsenal’s entire attack together. His runs, flicks and hold-up play gets them up the pitch and even though his drought continues, his importance to this Arsenal team is clear for all to see.
Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 was dominant and so too were Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White. The two full backs tucked inside and Zinchenko’s return was a huge boost as he pushed in from left back and became the extra man in midfield. That allowed Arsenal to get on the ball further forward quickly and then Ben White on the other flank was often the spare man. It worked so well and Chelsea just couldn’t stop Arsenal getting up the pitch after a few slick passes.
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Mikel Arteta lauds Arsenal’s performance
“Obviously we wanted to get back to the top but the competition is so difficult. The job, the challenge for us was to come here against a top team in the league and the way we did it - we deserved to win the game,” Arteta told BT Sport.
“For such a young team, the maturity, the composure they showed, the resilience and courage to play how we wanted to play was phenomenal to do it against these kind of players. Winning in this stadium is an extra thing, another step for this team to keep believing they can do it under pressure and against big opponents. The boys are willing and physically capable of doing it, the understanding of times and spaces is getting better every day, they feel comfortable playing these type of games.”
Speaking to the BBC: “What Manchester City are doing is what they’ve been doing for six years, they’re the best team in world, with the best coach in the world. We have taken another step against a really difficult opposition and to convince ourselves we can do it.”
Graham Potter concedes Chelsea ‘lacked quality’
“We played against a team in a really good moment, a confident team and you can see the points they have so credit to them. The boys gave everything, it was huffing and puffing but missed that last bit. The goal was disappointing, but overall they deserved it,” Potter told BT Sport.
“Arsenal are in a good moment and have been working together for a long time with a good understanding of what they want to do. We lacked a bit of quality. The effort was there, we were just beaten by the better team. It was not a great goal from our perspective.
Stars of the show
William Saliba: Dominant defensive display and looks so confidence and composed.
Gabriel Jesus: Ran himself into the ground and even though he didn’t bag his one big chance, was so unselfish.
Thomas Partey: He and Xhaka dominated midfield and the Ghanaian midfielder always looks in control.
Chelsea head to Manchester City on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in the League Cup, then travel to Newcastle in the PL on Saturday, Nov. 12. Arsenal host Brighton on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in the League Cup and Wolves in the league on Nov. 12.
How to watch Chelsea vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 7am ET, SundayTV Channel: USA Network Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Chelsea lost at Brighton last time out and drew against Manchester United in their last home game as Potter’s side are going through a few issues, especially defensively. He continues to rotate his lineup, especially in attack, and despite just one defeat in 11 games it feels like Chelsea are still yet to fully come to life under the talented English coach. As for Arsenal, they are flying with 10 wins from their opening 12 games of the season and Arteta’s youngsters responded superbly after dropping points at Southampton. They battered Nottingham Forest from start to finish last weekend and they will need to replicate that slick attacking display to make the most of the chances they get at Chelsea. The Gunners will be looking for yet another fast start as that has been key to their early-season success and they will be dangerous on the break.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Raheem Sterling scored in the Champions League in midweek and Mason Mount put in a Man of the Match display, while Denis Zakaria scored on his debut and looked very decent in midfield after spending the last few months waiting for his chance. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard have been superb all season long, while Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are dominating midfield each week. Everyone is in great form for the Gunners.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup
Ben Chilwell suffered a very serious hamstring injury right at the end of their win against Dinamo Zagreb and that is another big blow for the Blues’ defense. He joins Reece James and Wesley Fofana on the sidelines, plus N’Golo Kante is also out with a long-term thigh issue. Kepa Arrizabalaga is also out so Edouard Mendy starts in goal, while Mateo Kovacic is only fit enough for the bench. Thiago Silva, Marc Cucurella and Ruben Loftus-Cheek come back into the starting lineup.
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup
Emile Smith Rowe is out, while Matt Turner is working his way back to fitness from a groin issue. Mohamed Elneny is back, while Oleksandr Zinchenko returns at left back which is a big boost. At the moment this is a very settled Arsenal lineup and Arteta has Gabriel Jesus up top with Saka (who has shaken off a knock), Martinelli and Odegaard floating around underneath him.