Chelsea 2 Arsenal 4
By the tip it was troublesome to know which workforce’s future seems brighter. Chelsea had stumbled to their third successive defeat at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal, who appeared hell bent on throwing the factors away at occasions, had secured an important win within the race for fourth.
This was Mikel Arteta’s facet in all their maddening glory. They have been comical on the again throughout a wild first half, however they have been impressed in assault. Two targets from Eddie Nketiah, his first within the league this season, have been sufficient for them to go degree on factors with Tottenham in fourth place with six video games left. Even extra intriguingly, they’re solely 5 behind Chelsea and have seen that Thomas Tuchel’s facet are wobbling.
As ever there was no approach of realizing which model of Arsenal would flip up. They are a workforce that lurches between extremes and the onus was on them to boost their degree after Manchester United’s capitulation to Liverpool. The stress was on after three consecutive defeats and the encouraging factor for Arteta was that Arsenal didn’t shrink back from the problem posed by Chelsea, who appeared nervy after successive residence defeats in opposition to Brentford and Real Madrid.
The downside, nonetheless, was that the opening interval summed up the contradictions on this Arsenal workforce. They have been a pleasure to observe going ahead, the interaction between Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Ødegaard consistently giving Chelsea complications, and but twice they failed to carry on to the lead.
Their again three was an accident ready to occur at occasions and whereas Arteta was happy together with his facet’s soccer, he will need to have been annoyed by their lack of conviction once they have been in entrance.
With the attendance capped because of the sanctions on Roman Abramovich, there had been a vulnerability to Chelsea. Malang Sarr, who began at left centre again with Antonio Rüdiger unavailable, was shaky in possession.
There was area for Saka to run at Sarr, who didn’t obtain sufficient safety from Marcos Alonso, and that weak point in Chelsea’s defence would result in Smith Rowe placing the guests 2-1 up within the twenty seventh minute.
Loads had already occurred. Arsenal, who wore black armbands in remembrance of their former chief scout Steve Rowley, who handed away on the age of 63, had began nicely. Arteta had matched Tuchel’s system by beginning with a again three and Arsenal have been quickly in entrance.
The aim summed up Chelsea’s difficulties with out Thiago Silva and Rüdiger on the again. An extended punt from Nuno Tavares had Andreas Christensen working in the direction of his personal aim and Nketiah scorching on the centre again’s heels. Christensen’s backpass was woefully underhit and Nketiah, who’s contemplating a brand new contract supply from Arsenal, stole in to beat Edouard Mendy with a composed end.
Chelsea’s followers puzzled whether or not Christensen is already eager about his impending transfer to Barcelona, however the lead didn’t final lengthy. Ruben Loftus-Cheek received possession excessive up the pitch and Timo Werner let fly with a shot that spun previous Aaron Ramsdale due to a heavy deflection off Granit Xhaka.
Chelsea have been energised however they remained frail. Nketiah missed a good likelihood after stunning play from Saka, who was excelling at proper wing again, and the second aim quickly arrived.
Arsenal had simply averted one other defensive calamity, Xhaka rescuing Rob Holding earlier than superbly bringing the ball ahead. The ball got here to Saka, then to Ødegaard. His cross arrange Smith Rowe and the midfielder threaded a low shot previous Mendy from 20 yards.
Yet Chelsea refused to cease. After 32 minutes Mason Mount hounded Ben White off the ball and crossed for César Azpilicueta, who escaped Tavares and prodded the ball residence. Arsenal appealed for a foul on White; in fact the defender was not sturdy sufficient.
But Arsenal continued to threaten. Tuchel was alarmed. He changed Christensen with Silva at half-time however the change had no impact. After 57 minutes Azpilicueta misplaced a cross to Werner and Tavares attacked. The left wing again discovered Nketiah and, when Silva, Sarr and N’Golo Kanté did not clear, the striker prodded the ball previous Mendy.
Tuchel had seen sufficient. He eliminated Romelu Lukaku, who had accomplished nothing however annoy the house crowd together with his sluggishness on his first league begin since February nineteenth, and put Kai Havertz up entrance as Chelsea chased one other equaliser.
It virtually arrived when Ramsdale pushed out a cross from Reece James and Alonso noticed a shot blocked. The stress grew and Tuchel threw on Hakim Ziyech. But Arsenal, who host United on Saturday, held agency. They pushed on the break and the factors have been theirs when Azpilicueta conceded a penalty for fouling Saka. Saka nervelessly made it 4-2 from the spot and Chelsea, who completed with 10 males after Alonso limped off, had run out of concepts and their place within the prime 4 isn’t sure but. – Guardian