Arsenal thrash Chelsea to go three points clear at the top

23 Apr 2024
Havertz cele

Gunners win London derby 5-0 to put pressure on title rivals Liverpool and Man City

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Arsenal put pressure back on Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League title race after Kai Havertz and Ben White both scored twice in the 5-0 thrashing of Chelsea.

A second win in four days saw leaders Arsenal surge three points clear of second-placed Liverpool and four ahead of Man City – who have played a game fewer than the Reds – before the chasing pair play later in the week.

Leandro Trossard opened the scoring in Saturday's 2-0 triumph over Wolves and needed just four minutes at Emirates Stadium against Mauricio Pochettino's visiting Chelsea to repeat the trick.

Yet Havertz and unlikely scorer White stole the show with second-half doubles as defeat ended the Blues' eight-match unbeaten Premier League run and left them ninth in the table.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 38 +62 91
2 Arsenal ARS 38 +62 89
3 Liverpool LIV 38 +45 82
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How the match unfolded

Declan Rice's early mazy run opened space inside the area for Trossard to blast a left-footed strike through the legs of Djordje Petrovic, who kept his side in the game after that opener.

Trossard goal

Trossard almost grabbed another goal but his deflected effort was expertly tipped away by Petrovic, just moments after the Chelsea goalkeeper had repelled a low Havertz strike.

Chelsea had their chances in the first half, though, as Nicolas Jackson's surging run ended with Gabriel Magalhaes deflecting the forward's shot against David Raya's right-hand post.

Enzo Fernandez also steered a driving effort narrowly wide in what was initially an end-to-end encounter, after Benoit Badiashile's flick-on nearly found Axel Disasi, but he couldn't get contact on the ball in the six-yard box.

Yet Arsenal took the game away from Chelsea – White first finishing into the bottom-left corner from close range after Conor Gallagher inadvertently blocked the ball into his path.

Ben White, Arsenal

Havertz lifted a 57th-minute chip into the roof of the net following Martin Odegaard's through-ball before the German star fired past Petrovic with the help of the right post from Bukayo Saka's pass eight minutes later.

Havertz second goal v Chelsea

To make matters worse for Pochettino's side, White secured an unexpected double in the 70th minute, with his volleyed cross-cum-shot creeping into the top-left corner from Odegaard's lofted assist.

Advantage Arsenal

With Liverpool away at Everton on Wednesday and Man City visiting Brighton the day after, Arsenal took control of the Premier League title battle – at least for now.

A tough trip to fierce rivals Spurs will follow on Sunday for Arsenal, though Arteta will be hoping the Gunners make the visit to north London boosted by Liverpool or City dropping points.

And, if this strong performance against Chelsea, which included 27 shots, is anything to go by, the Arsenal manager will be confident his side – unlike last season – can push the title race all the way.

Blues' unbeaten streak ends

Chelsea came into this contest unbeaten in eight Premier League games, winning four and drawing as many, but saw that streak come to an abrupt end here on a night when they managed just one attempt on target.

Pochettino will still harbour hopes of a late charge for European football, sitting just three points behind sixth-placed Newcastle United, but the early-season damage may prove too much to recover from.

This second-half collapse also marked more Emirates misery for Chelsea, who lost consecutive Premier League away games against Arsenal for the first time since a run of three between December 2001 and October 2003.

The race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
5 Spurs TOT 38 +13 66
6 Chelsea CHE 38 +14 63
7 Newcastle NEW 38 +23 60
8 Man Utd MUN 38 -1 60
9 West Ham WHU 38 -14 52
10 Crystal Palace CRY 38 -1 49
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Club reports

Arsenal report | Chelsea report

Next Premier League fixtures
Key facts

Arsenal recorded their biggest ever victory against Chelsea across all competitions (5-0), while this was the Blues’ heaviest defeat in a London derby since losing 6-0 to Queens Park Rangers in March 1986.

Arsenal have won three London derbies in the Premier League this season by 5+ goals (5-0 v Crystal Palace, 6-0 v West Ham and 5-0 v Chelsea), the most such victories in a single campaign by a team in English league history.

Chelsea have conceded 57 goals in the Premier League this season; their most in a single campaign in the competition (overtaking their 55 from the 1994/95 and 1996/97 seasons).

Arsenal had 13 shots in the first half and 14 in the second half against Chelsea (27 in total) – indeed, these are now their two highest shot totals in a half of football against them on record in the Premier League (since 2003/04).

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