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Arsenal logo
Premier League | Gameweek 29
Apr 23, 2024 at 8pm UK
Emirates Stadium
Chelsea logo

5 - 0

Trossard (4'), White (52', 70'), Havertz (57', 65')
Arteta (43'), Trossard (45'), White (76')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Gilchrist (42'), Cucurella (43')

Kai Havertz haunts Chelsea as five-star Arsenal extend lead at Premier League summit

Havertz haunts Chelsea as five-star Arsenal extend lead at PL summit
© Reuters
Arsenal move three points clear at the top of the Premier League table after cruising to a 5-0 win over London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Title hopefuls Arsenal have moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League table after putting London rivals Chelsea to the sword 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Leandro Trossard scored his second goal in the space of just three days to put the Gunners into a fourth-minute lead, and although both sides had their fair share of chances in a lively, end-to-end first half, Mikel Arteta's men entered the interval with a slender lead.

However, Chelsea - who thrashed Everton 6-0 in their last top-flight fixture - were blown away after the break, and Arsenal duo Kai Havertz and Ben White both netted doubles to help the hosts claim their biggest-ever win over the Blues since a 5-1 success back in 1930.

Victory for the Gunners has seen them snap a two-match winless run at the Emirates and move three points clear of second-placed Liverpool at the Premier League summit, although the Reds have a game in hand, while reigning champions Manchester City, who sit four points further back in third, boast two games in hand.

As for Chelsea, who lost the reverse fixture 3-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, they have lost consecutive games against Arsenal for the first time since a run of three defeats between 2001 and 2003, and have also seen their eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League come to an end.

Mauricio Pochettino's side have now lost 11 Premier League games this season and they remain down in ninth spot, sitting three points behind both sixth-placed Newcastle United and seventh-placed Manchester United, who are both in action on Wednesday night.

In-form Trossard sparks fast start for Arsenal

The headline team news prior to kickoff was the absence of Cole Palmer from Chelsea's matchday squad; the attacker - who has been directly involved in 41% of Chelsea's goals this season - missed out through illness, and captain Conor Gallagher was tasked with operating in the number 10 role as a result.

Pochettino made a total of four changes to the Blues lineup that lost 1-0 to Man City in the FA Cup semi-finals last weekend, with Benoit Badiashile, Axel Disasi, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Alfie Gilchrist all handed starts, the latter named in a Premier League XI for the very first time.

As for Arsenal, Arteta made two changes to the side that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Molineux last time out, with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey both brought into the team, the latter handed just his second start since August at the expense of Jorginho.

After scoring in the win over Wolves, Trossard marked his 50th Premier League game for the Gunners with the opening goal against Chelsea inside the first four minutes - his third in four matches and 10th in the top flight this season.

Declan Rice began the move by making a positive driving run forward before feeding Trossard, who smacked a left-footed shot from a tight angle through the legs of Djordje Petrovic, who will have been disappointed to not deny the Belgian at his near post.

Arsenal's Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring their first goal with Declan Rice on April 23, 2024© Reuters

Lively opening 30 minutes from both sides

There were a total of 16 attempts on goal between the two clubs inside the opening half-hour, an although Arsenal registered 11 of those, Chelsea came close on a few occasions to restoring parity.

Mudryk was on corner-taking duty and his first delivery was whipped brilliantly into the danger zone for Badiashile to flick towards the back post, but Disasi was unable to get his foot on the ball that flew out for a goal kick.

Nicolas Jackson, who was fortunate to stay on the pitch after a late stud-raised challenge on the ankle of Tomiyasu was cleared by VAR, beat William Saliba for pace down the left flank before having a cross deflect off Gabriel Magalhaes and hit the outside of the post.

Petrovic then made an outstanding reaction save after a shot from Trossard took a wicked deflection off Disasi inside the area, shortly before Enzo Fernandez at the other end rolled an effort from the edge of the area just inches past the left-hand post.

Chelsea ended the half well and Jackson was presented with a decent opportunity on the stroke of half time, but the Senegalese was hesitant to meet Gallagher's inviting cross from the right after Saliba raised his boot; the ball eventually ricocheted off Jackson's face and was comfortably collected by David Raya.

White, Havertz net braces as classy Arsenal sink Chelsea

Arsenal made a bright start after the break and Chelsea had Petrovic to thank for denying both Rice and Havertz at his near post, but the Serbian goalkeeper was unable to keep out right-back White from close range in the 52nd minute.

Chelsea were caught napping from a Gunners corner and the ball was eventually played to Rice, whose shot from the edge of the box was blocked into the path of White, who curled a first-time left-footed strike under the body of Petrovic and into the bottom corner.

Just four minutes later, Havertz haunted his former club by adding a third for Arsenal, although the hosts were somewhat fortunate that the goal was allowed to stand as Gabriel seemingly wrestled Noni Madueke to the ground before teeing up Martin Odegaard to start the counter-attack.

Nevertheless, Odegaard - a standout performer for the Gunners who ran the show in midfield - curled a delightful pass forward to put Havertz through on goal, and the ex-Blues attacker shrugged off a challenge from Marc Cucurella before lifting a powerful shot over Petrovic from around 10 yards out.

Arsenal's Ben White celebrates scoring their second goal with Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka on April 23, 2024© Reuters

Havertz was then celebrating his second on the night just after the hour mark, arrowing a precise left-footed shot from the edge of the box in off the post, becoming the first player to net a brace against Chelsea in the Premier League having previously played for them in the division.

White soon made it five for the Gunners and netted his second in somewhat fortunate circumstances as his intended cross from the right was superbly cushioned into the top corner, beating Petrovic all ends up.

Chelsea were clearly second best in the second 45 and they struggled to pose any threat in front of goal; their only shot on target throughout the 90 minutes came in the 69th minute when substitute Raheem Sterling poked a free kick straight down the throat of Raya.

Rice almost added a sixth for Arsenal in the closing stages when he curled a shot off the face of the post, and substitute duo Fabio Vieira and Gabriel Martinelli also came close to getting their names on the scoresheet, but Arteta's men eventually had to settle with just a five-goal triumph over their West London counterparts.

Chelsea will endeavour to reignite their European hopes when they travel to top-four hopefuls Aston Villa on Saturday evening, while Arsenal have the small matter of the North London derby away against Tottenham Hotspur to come on Sunday.

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