Wow. That was fun, am I right?
Arsenal stunned Chelsea (and their supporters) Saturday with three goals in the first half as the Gunners moved up to third in the table, behind Manchester City and Tottenham.
Alexis Sanchez, who started the match as the lone striker, began the scoring in the 11th minute, breaking away from Gary Cahill to chip Thibaut Courtois. The goal was reminiscent of Cahill’s howler against Swansea two weeks ago.
Theo Walcott added to the tally just three minutes later, in what might have been Arsenal’s most beautiful goal so far this season. Alex Iwobi began the move, cutting in from the top of the penalty arc, and laid a fantastic through ball for Hector Bellerin on the right side of the box. The right back then delivered a brilliant one-touch cross over to Walcott for him to easily put another past the Belgian keeper.
The game looked to have eased off but then our very own German wizard Mesut Özil settled the result in the 40th minute. Özil, collecting the ball in his own half, turned Kante and bombed forward with Alexis on a two-on-two opportunity. He played it through to Sanchez, and the Chilean returned the ball with a chipped cross at the far post. Özil mishit his sidefoot volley with his left foot, but breathed a sigh of relief when he saw it ding in off the far post, bouncing over Courtois.
The only cause for concern came in the 32nd minute, when Granit Xhaka replaced an injured Francis Coquelin, who hobbled into the tunnel on his own strength.
Arsène Wenger’s men finished the match with 14 shots, five on goal. The visitors ended with nine shots, two on goal. Arsenal also lead on corners, 9-1. Petr Čech did very well to maintain the clean sheet and registered a couple of very crucial saves (including one during a Batshuayi breakaway) to keep momentum on the Gunners’ end.
The defensive partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi also looked great today, keeping Diego Costa quiet through to whole ninety. The Brazilian-turned-Spanish international had been a thorn in the Gunners side ever since he joined the Blues back in 2014.
The Gunners are coming off a slew of very good performances, having not lost since opening day at home to Liverpool. Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny return to Switzerland to face their former club as Arsenal take on F.C. Basel next in the Champions League on Wednesday.