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Parting Shots for Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea: Gunners demolish Chelsea with a near-perfect first half

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Your survey of match reports from around the internet for Arsenal’s comprehensive win over Chelsea this past weekend.

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Arsenal cruise to 3-0 win against London rivals Chelsea - The Short Fuse
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 face their former club as Arsenal take on F.C. Basel next in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Good, Bad, and The Ugly: Arsenal dominates Chelsea - The Short Fuse
In the last edition of Good, Bad, and The Ugly, Mr. Also Named Phil opined that it was “[h]ard to imagine Arsenal will have a more comfortable win this season.” Boy, was he wrong. Yesterday, Arsenal thrashed Chelsea at The Emirates 3-0, ending a spell of bad form against that club and in said location. In honor of a thoroughly comprehensive victory, let’s focus on the nuances of our great performance, and not discuss the Bad and Ugly that was Chelsea.

Arsenal v Chelsea | Matches | Official Site | Chelsea Football Club
Our striker was making a nuisance of himself early on but it was Arsenal’s front man who put them ahead in the 11th minute. Gary Cahill in possession allowed Alexis Sanchez to harry him into a mistake. The Chilean raced clear, all alone, and opted to dink his finish over Courtois and into the net. Having not conceded a goal against Arsenal in more than six hours of league football, it was two in three minutes when Walcott stroked in Hector Bellerin’s cross at the end of a flowing move. Once again, we had given ourselves an uphill struggle.

Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea - Report | Arsenal first team, ladies and academy results and fixtures | Arsenal.com | Arsenal.com
What a game. What a win. What a performance.

We have waited for close to five years to witness an Arsenal victory over Chelsea. It has been a long time coming, but this was some way to do it.

This was as complete a performance as you’ll see. From front to back, Arsène Wenger’s side were imperious, dominating every facet of a game played at breakneck speed.

Fluidity was allied with the fight that we have so often been accused of lacking. No backwards steps were taken, no challenge shirked. This was a magnificent display borne as much out of effort as the elegance that bewitched their opponents.

The three points were won in an unforgettable first half in which the Gunners blew away Chelsea with a display of such passion and poise that Antonio Conte’s side just could not live with it.

Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0 match report: Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez star as Arsene Wenger’s side win derby with brutal first half display | London Evening Standard
Arsene Wenger’s side had not beaten the Blues in the Premier League since October 2011 but they were simply majestic here as Chelsea were unable to cope with a rampant opening 45 minutes reminiscent of their victory by the same scoreline against Manchester United almost exactly a year ago. That result proved to be a false dawn in terms of a genuine title challenge but Wenger has hailed the maturity of his current squad and this was both a result and performance to engender real optimism for the season ahead. Arsenal climbed up to third in the table while Chelsea are languishing in eighth place after a display which only heaps further scrutiny on the club’s summer transfer policy with manager Antonio Conte failing to land several of his top defensive targets.

Arsenal vs Chelsea match report: Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez tear apart Antonio Conte's side | The Independent
There were moments out there, as Arsenal toyed with Chelsea and pulled them apart at will, when it felt like this was their moment of revenge for years of humiliation, and that they were revelling it. Arsenal destroyed Chelsea at the Emirates this afternoon, shredding their defence but also any suggestion that they might have an inferiority complex or a psychological block when it comes to this particular team. This was as close to a reversal of the 6-0 in 2014 as Arsenal will get. Even if they scored half as many goals, they were just as dominant.

This was the best Arsenal performance for years, the expressive expansive display they had often threatened since signing Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez but never quite delivered. The football was fast, imaginative and witty, the high standards the Arsene Wenger has always set his teams. There have been times recently when Wenger’s approach has looked outmoded but here, as his team improvised their way to chance after chance, he looked as relevant as ever.

This was exciting attacking football of the highest quality. Arsenal controlled possession when they needed to but also had the incisive edge they often lack. Sanchez is not everyone’s idea of a centre forward but he was indispensable to their game here, making and scoring the first, setting up the brilliant third, terrifying Chelsea with his movement at speed. Sanchez has started six of Arsenal’s eight games up front this season and this is why. Olivier Giroud is good against some opposition but has never scored against Chelsea. Here Arsenal posed them problems they did not know how to solve.

Mesut Özil strike seals Arsenal’s impressive demolition of Chelsea | The Guardian
The din from the majority that greeted the final whistle was an outpouring of joy after five years largely spent dreading this derby. Arsenal, rampant and irrepressible, have become the latest contenders to expose just how far Chelsea have slipped in the period since they claimed the Premier League. On this evidence, it is barely conceivable that those in blue had hoisted the trophy only 16 months ago. Their current, dishevelled selection surrendered meekly here, just as they had to Liverpool the previous week, from the moment they were breached. It ended up as a brutal humiliation to endure.

Arsène Wenger will hardly care, with this an exorcism of sorts of the “inconvenient facts” thrown up by his side’s recent record against these opponents. Even in his wildest dreams, the Frenchman could never have contemplated celebrating two decades in charge in such a wildly authoritative manner. Retreat to 2003 and Chelsea, with their Russian oligarch owner recently in situ, were arguably the club who most undermined Wenger’s original project by shifting the landscape just as the Invincibles were threatening a period of dominance. In that context, the Arsenal manager took particular pleasure in seeing his side inflict this drubbing in such scintillating fashion.

Not since Robin van Persie had run riot at Stamford Bridge in the distant days of André Villas-Boas’s dysfunctional tenure across the capital had Arsenal achieved such a satisfying return from this fixture. They had not even managed a goal in the teams’ previous six meetings. This was the home side making up for lost time, tearing into vulnerable rivals and ruthlessly cutting them to shreds. “We did it with style and steel,” offered Wenger. “You always want the perfect game but you never get it. But we got almost the perfect first half here, and that is not bad.” That smacked of understatement.

And, a video package! Enjoy!