HomeSports And EntertainmentArsenal Lead 3 Points On Table After Shooting Chelsea 5-0... Both Coaches...

Arsenal Lead 3 Points On Table After Shooting Chelsea 5-0… Both Coaches Speak

Arsenal brightened their title credentials as they thrashed Chelsea 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium to move three points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Kai Havertz and Ben White scored twice each in a rampant second-half performance from Mikel Arteta’s side after Leandro Trossard had struck an early opener in an end-to-end first period.

The emphatic victory, coming just three days after they bounced back from losses to Aston Villa and Bayern Munich with a 2-0 win at Wolves, gives Arsenal a three-point cushion on Liverpool in second and puts them four clear of champions Manchester City in third.

The title-race spotlight now turns to Liverpool, who face Merseyside rivals Everton at Goodison Park, live on Sky Sports on Wednesday, before City play the first of their two games in hand away to Brighton, also live on Sky Sports on Thursday.

For Chelsea, meanwhile, the chastening defeat, the club’s heaviest in a London derby since 1986, following an FA Cup semi-final loss to City at Wembley on Saturday, dents their hopes of salvaging a European spot from a bitterly disappointing season.

Before Arsenal’s devastating second-half display, there was a more evenly-matched first period, despite Trossard converting a smart diagonal finish from Declan Rice’s pass in the fourth minute for his 10th Premier League goal of the campaign.

The Gunners created a succession of chances to add to their lead, with Trossard seeing a deflected effort fortuitously hit Djordje Petrovic after the Chelsea goalkeeper had saved brilliantly from Havertz, but as the hosts spurned opportunities, Chelsea grew in confidence.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made two changes, with Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu starting in place of Jakub Kiwior and Gabriel Jesus.

Chelsea were without Cole Palmer due to ilness, while Ben Chilwell and Malo Gusto missed out through injury. Alfie Gilchrist made his first Premier League start.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were able to find the gaps they needed to play through the uncharacteristically open hosts and had chances to equalise, hitting the post when Nicolas Jackson’s cut-back bounced off Gabriel, almost outfoxing David Raya.

Arteta cut a frustrated figure on the touchline during that opening period but he was able to plug the holes in his midfield at half-time and Arsenal quickly took the game away from Chelsea, significantly boosting their already superior goal difference in the process.

White added the second only seven minutes after the break, finishing coolly following a corner after Rice’s shot had bounced into his path off Thomas Partey, and the third arrived only five minutes after that as Havertz held off Marc Cucurella to lift a cool finish over Petrovic from the excellent Martin Odegaard’s ball in behind.

A party atmosphere had gripped the Emirates Stadium at that point and Chelsea’s collapse continued when Havertz collected a Bukayo Saka pass and capitalised on more passive defending from the visitors to send a low finish into the net off the post to compound the misery of his former side.

Arsenal continued to pour forward, with White further delighting the home fans when his first-time, volleyed cross sailed over Petrovic and into the net. His sheepish celebration suggested he did not mean it. Not that it really mattered to the hosts.

They could have added to their lead after that, amassing a total of 27 shots as Chelsea continued to wilt, powerless to stop an Arsenal machine which looks increasingly capable of securing the club’s first Premier League title in two decades.

“I’m happy with the win and the amount of chances and goals we scored. Also the clean sheet shows the consistency of this team.

“We had to be more disciplined in the second half to do the right things and we created many chances and we defended the box so much better.

“I congratulated the players for making our supporters happy in a big London derby and it was a joy to watch them play. It’s onto Spurs now.

“They know what we are playing for. They are so excited and they are at it. Even the players that haven’t played much have been outstanding and that holds the team together.

“My job is to keep challenging and be demanding of them but to also make them believe they can do it because that is a very important thing.”

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for captain Martin Odegaard, saying: “We always knew he was a player of huge talent that could develop with us.

“We were convinced he could add something special to this team and he keeps running.

“There’s always a question about whether you can handle a new role, stand in front of people, represent the club and he’s done it in an amazing way. So natural.

“He is loved by everybody. He is not someone that will knock at your door shouting but the way he leads and the love he has for this game is more than enough for everyone to follow him.”

“It’s true we did not compete. I cannot blame the players, as a team we are showing this inconsistency. That is why we are where we are, because we are capable of having an amazing performance, and three days later to be at the other extreme.

“When we have bad days, we are so bad. When we are good, we are capable of everything. But it’s another thing that we need to be aware that we need to improve for the future.

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino was left despondent after his side this badly.

Pochettino said: “We cannot blame the players, I’m not going to blame the players. The circumstances are bigger than the performance of the players.

“We cannot blame young guys who came here and after suffering some circumstances, come here to fight against a team preparing to win the Premier League.

“We cannot be unfair with our players. It is true we are disappointed with our performance, but I am not going to say something which is unfair to describe our team, our players, our squad.”

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