Chelsea’s miserable run of form continued as they were outclassed by a rampant first-half Arsenal display at the Emirates.
Arsenal came into the game having surrendered their grip on the Premier League title in recent weeks after failing to win any of their previous four, while Chelsea have endured a disastrous campaign, losing six of their last eight games and drawing the other two ahead of their trip across London.
The Gunners have often started games quickly this season, and today was no different as the title challengers got on the front foot from the off, and in the 18th minute they deservedly took the lead. The hosts worked the ball tidily down the left before Granit Xhaka pinged a ball into the box towards Martin Odegaard who stroked a wonderful first-time finish in off the underside of the crossbar with his trusty left foot from the edge of the area.
Arsenal doubled their lead 14 minutes later and it was the same combination that brought them success. Once again, Xhaka drilled a ball into the box from the left, and while he had picked out Odegaard for the first, the second saw the Norwegian make a darting run towards the penalty spot before again firing home first time past Kepa Arrizabalaga with a fine finish.
Two minutes later it was 3-0 as Chelsea went to sleep at the back. Ben White’s delivery from the right picked out Gabriel Jesus at the back post, who laid it off to Xhaka. The Swiss international saw his effort blocked, though the ball dropped into the path of the Brazilian number nine who fired home the rebound from close range.
Despite being three up, Arsenal continued to probe and press, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva coolly clearing off his line, while Kepa turned an effort around the post early in the second half.
Chelsea did bag a rare goal – just their 31st in the league this season – Mateo Kovacic picking out the run of Noni Madueke before the January signing took a touch and finished beyond Aaron Ramsdale.
😬 Frank Lampard’s last 10 results as a manager:
❌ 4-1 🆚 Brighton
❌ 3-1 🆚 Man Utd
❌ 2-1 🆚 Saints
❌ 2-0 🆚 West Ham
❌ 1-0 🆚 Wolves
❌ 2-0 🆚 Real Madrid
❌ 2-1 🆚 Brighton
❌ 2-0 🆚 Real Madrid
❌ 2-0 🆚 Brentford
❌ 3-1 🆚 Arsenal pic.twitter.com/YcUzHHYiin
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 2, 2023
The Blues did fashion a few chances towards the end of the game, but they were unable to find a way through, and speaking afterwards, interim boss Frank Lampard was critical of his side’s first-half display, saying they were ‘too nice to play against’.
“Not good enough first half, that’s what confirms the result,” he told Match of the Day. “[We were] Much better second half, but not good enough first half.
“We were too nice to play against in all aspects in the first half.
“In the second half we played much more like a team that has a threat up top. In the first half we were too easy to play against.
“It’s tough because you want to win games, but it’s our job, we’ll work on it.”
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