Arsenal dominated Chelsea this evening, jumping out to a 3-0 lead before 35 minutes had passed and coasting to a 3-1 win. Honestly, it would have been nice to see the Gunners keep their foot on the gas and really put the Blues to the sword, but they got too cute in the second half and tried to score picture-perfect goals rather than simply banging them into the net. Chelsea are in shambles. And Manchester City aside, it couldn’t have happened to a better club.
Arsenal (78) now have double the amount of points as Chelsea (39). Chelsea lost their sixth straight match, something the club hadn’t done since 1993, 30 years ago. The Gunners have done the double over the Blues for the second time in three years. Prior to winning both matches against Chelsea in ‘20-’21, Arsenal hadn’t done the double over Chelsea since the Invincibles did it in ‘03-’04.
Arsenal are the undisputed kings of London. They’re unbeaten in 10 London derbies. The balance of power has shifted in the capital. London is unmistakably red.
Martin Ødegaard scored twice (his first was a particularly nice shot, off the underside of the crossbar) and Gabriel Jesus added a third to give Arsenal all they needed to get back to winning ways. Granit Xhaka had a hat trick of assists, too. Jesus’ goal took him to 10 in the Premier League, making Arsenal the only club in the big five leagues in Europe with four players to score double-digit goals (Martinelli, Saka, Ødegaard are the others). Furthermore, Ødegaard now has 20+ goal contributions this season, joining Saka and Martinelli. Arsenal are the only club in the Premier League to have three players reach that plateau.
One more fun fact: Gabriel Jesus has never lost a Premier League match in which he has scored. 50 wins, 5 draws.
Jakub Kiwior was impressive, especially for a guy making his first Premier League start. He was good on the ball, stepped up confidently to win it back high up the pitch, was strong in his tackles, and showed his excellent pace.
It’s annoying that Chelsea scored a goal to deny Aaron Ramsdale the clean sheet. Arsenal haven’t kept one in seven straight Premier League matches, and Ramsdale deserves them. He made a top-notch save on Ben Chilwell early in the first half when the result was still in question. On the goal, Alex Zinchenko completely fell asleep and let Noni Madueke run in behind him. Gabriel Magalhaes, who got a bit dinged up on the evening, couldn’t cover for Zinchenko’s lapse. Hopefully Gabriel just picked up a knock or two and nothing more serious. Arsenal need him fit for the trip to Newcastle at the weekend.
As I said earlier, it would have been great for Arsenal to really blow the doors off Chelsea. The Blues looked inept in the first half and ripe for a real humbling. That the Gunners didn’t put them to the sword is a reminder that this team still has plenty of room for growth. They take their foot off the gas / lose focus too easily when they should instead put matches even further out of reach. Arsenal need to develop that ruthlessness for next season.
But that’s a nitpick. Arsenal played really well, and Chelsea weren’t up for it. It was an excellent bounce-back performance after a tough run of results. Arsenal need help to win the Premier League. They also have to take care of their own business. They did so emphatically today.