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Premier League Match Report & Player Ratings | Arsenal gets back to winning ways with consummate 3-1 win over foundering Chelsea

A brace from Martin Ødegaard and another goal from Gabriel Jesus was the difference on the night after the Gunners put the loss against Manchester City in their rear view

Pre-Match Social Media Commentary

Arsenal temporarily restored their position at the top of the pile in the Premier League during a consummate performance against traditional top-six rival Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners were much improved on the night in comparison to recent performances that were compounded by a heavy defeat last time out against Manchester City, with Arsenal looking a closer version of the side we have seen for the vast majority of the 2022-23 campaign against a Blues outfit under club legend Frank Lampard who have now lost six out of six since his interim appointment in the wake of Graham Potter’s departure.

The Gunners were unsurprisingly the brighter of the two sides in the opening exchanges despite their recent form and previous humbling at the hands of Manchester City, with attacking intent on display amid a trio of changes to the XI instituted by Arteta.

A header in the box from the run of play by Bukayo Saka was the best effort Arsenal mustered in the opening 15-minutes of play, but still, the north London side looked far more likely to score as Lampard’s Chelsea still were disjointed in all phases of play and could barely keep hold of possession either when trying to build from the back or hit Arsenal on the counter.

That dynamic came good in the 18th minute through captain Martin Ødegaard who beat Kepa with a curled effort into the top corner from just inside the area after Granit Xhaka turned provider from the left channel while finding the Norwegian free and clear in space to give the Gunners a justified 1-0 lead in front of home support at the Emirates Stadium.

Chelsea nearly pulled back level in the 25th minute after a great solo run from Ben Chilwell after he got the better of his international colleague Bukayo Saka, but Aaron Ramsdale stood tall to parry the left-backs drive out for a corner that ultimately amounted to nothing.

The Norwegian doubled his tally on the night to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead in 30 minutes with another brilliant first-time finish again after Xhaka popped up in a nearly identical space on the left and played a similar ball across the box for Ødegaard to stuff past Kepa. The Gunners then quickly tripled the lead minutes later through Gabriel Jesus after a ball into the box fell to Xhaka before the Swiss midfielder’s effort deflected to the Brazilian to rip home low at the near post.

Arsenal nearly made it 4-0 just five minutes after the restart after Gabriel’s close-range header was cleared off the line by Thiago Silva as the Gunners kept knocking on Chelsea’s door in a palate-cleansing performance in the wake of the loss against City. Xhaka nearly found the back of the net moments later when Arsenal broke before the Swiss midfielder danced into the area only for his shot to be turned away by Kepa.

The home side’s struggles with being able to keep a clean sheet reared its ugly head once again, however, as Chelsea began to operate far more directly which ultimately ended with the Blues clawing a goal back in the 65th minute via Noni Madueke, with the England youth international and former PSV Eindhoven starlet finding his first goal in Chelsea colors.

Both managers used their fully allotted complement of changes on the night, with Chelsea opting to put on as many attackers as their situation could allow for, while Arsenal rotated by position, signaling the fact that Arteta was likely to roll out the same XI next time out.

Come full-time, there could be no argument that the right side took all three points on the night, with Arsenal showing their ability to bounce back in the wake of a possibly season-crippling defeat to get a big result over a traditional top-six rival. As for Chelsea, the same questions persist; why was Lampard brought in, why has nothing changed on the pitch, and who will be jettisoned in the summer given the massive job ahead for the Blues to recover their disastrous situation under new ownership.

Key Stats & Performers

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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