After last week’s 4-1 loss at Manchester City, Arsenal lost control of the title race. But with a much-needed first victory in five games, the Gunners made it clear they intended to challenge City right up until the end. At the Emirates Stadium, the hosts jumped out to a three-goal lead before halftime after strikes from Odegaard twice and Gabriel Jesus.
The goal by Noni Madueke in the second half did little to ameliorate Chelsea’s poor performance. Despite Pep Guardiola’s team still being the favorites to win the league, Arsenal is currently two points ahead of City in second position, and the north Londoners have at least put some pressure on the defending champions. If City wins at home against West Ham on Wednesday, the first of their two games Arsenal still has left, they will reclaim first position.
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After ten weeks at the top, City’s victory over Fulham on Sunday forced Arsenal into second position. Arsenal have been cast off as title race chokers as a result of three straight draws, including two lost two-goal leads. However, Arteta insisted this week that the championship was still winnable, and his team rallied around him.
Troubled For Arsenal to get back on track before a challenging trip to Newcastle on Sunday, Chelsea was the perfect opponent.Since Frank Lampard took over as caretaker manager to take over for the fired Graham Potter, the Blues have now dropped all six of their games. Chelsea, which is currently in 12th place and has gone nine games without a victory in all competitions, faces the possibility of missing out on a top-half finish for the first time since 1996.
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a former Arsenal attacker, started for Chelsea for the first time since the Blues’ 1-0 loss against the Gunners in November. But before being substituted at halftime, Aubameyang, whose four-year stint with Arsenal ended amicably in 2022, never had a chance to exact revenge on his former team.
Cesar Azpilicueta gave Arsenal a great opportunity right away when his poor header was intercepted by Granit Xhaka, whose close-range attempt was stopped by Kepa Arrizabalaga, foreshadowing Chelsea’s collapse. Odegaard earned Arsenal a well-deserved lead in the 18th minute as they were in perfect control.
Odegaard directed a magnificent curling shot past Kepa from just inside the penalty area after Xhaka’s low cross escaped Chelsea’s slack defenders, who were left with plenty of room. When the left-back ran behind Bukayo Saka and had a clear shot at goal, Ben Chilwell threatened to score a goal against the run of play for Chelsea, but Aaron Ramsdale made a superb save to keep the lead.
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Poor Chelsea had a false hope after that close call because the Gunners quickly turned the tide with a second goal in the 31st minute. Once more, Chelsea gave Xhaka enough space to cross into the box, and Odegaard profited greatly from Raheem Sterling’s careless marking to beat Kepa from 12 yards.
Against cowardly, uninterested opponents, Arsenal smelt blood, and three minutes later the third goal finally materialized. When Xhaka’s shot was blocked, Jesus stabbed home from close range after chesting down Ben White’s cross.Thiago Silva cleared Gabriel’s header off the line with an assist from Arsenal, and Kepa stopped Xhaka once more.
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Saka was denied by Kepa’s extended leg before Chelsea briefly awoke from their nap to cut the lead in half in the 65th minute. After joining from PSV Eindhoven in January, Madueke was found by Mateo Kovacic’s defense-splitting pass, and he skillfully slid the ball past Ramsdale for his first league goal.