arsenal midfielders granit xhaka and martin odegaard

Odegaard insists Arsenal will ‘fight until the end’ as his brace secures comfortable 3-1 win over Chelsea

Arsenal moved back to the top of the league with a convincing and comfortable 3-1 win over Chelsea 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.

The Blues did fashion a few chances towards the end of the game, but they were unable to find a cutting edge, and speaking afterwards, goalscorer Martin Odegaard admitted the side was ‘hurt’ following their defeat to Man City, while saying they are refusing to give up on the title.

“Especially the first half was brilliant. We came out and showed a different spirit to last time [the 4-1 loss to Manchester City],” he told Sky Sports.

“I’m very happy with the first half, the second was a bit messy but three points and a good win and we needed this one.

“Everyone was so hurt after the game [against City]. We used the anger and the disappointment to get back into this game. You can lose games but the way we lost, we didn’t play our game and weren’t ourselves, that was the most painful thing, and we wanted to show a different side and we definitely did.

“I just try to help the team. This year I’ve scored more goals, Granit with two good passes and that made it easier. I just tried to be in the right area and as soon as I see him attacking the space I just have to be in the right place.

“In the second half we didn’t keep the ball ernough. They went a bit more direct and after the duels we didn’t keep the ball.

“We have to fight and keep going. We believe and will fight until the end.”

Read – Drogba The Destroyer: Appreciating the Chelsea icon’s sensational record against Arsenal

Read Also – Remembering just how special a 22-year-old Cesc Fabregas was in 2009/10

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