Following Arsenal’s dip in form and three draws and one defeat in their last four games. That defeat was a heavy one to their main title rivals Manchester City. No team this season has been able to dominate Arsenal the way Manchester City did. Chelsea’s struggles have been for most of this season. This was a match between two teams struggling for confidence and looking for a win for different reasons.
Arsenal needed a win to retain a very slim chance of lifting the Premier League trophy. A win would return Arsenal to the top of the league. Chelsea just needed a win. They hadn’t won for 8 games and confidence was low.
Arsenal made only one change, replacing Rob Holding with January signing Jakob Kiwior.
Arsenal started the game well and did not show any signs that the last four games had affected them. Arsenal kept Chelsea in their own half for much of the first half. The away team was struggling to cope with Arsenal, and it was only a matter of time before the hosts score the first goal. The goal came in the 18th minute from Martin Odegaard, who has been the best player at Arsenal this season. He put away a cross into the box by Granit Xhaka.
Arsenal continued to dominate their opponent, who continued to find it difficult to pressure the home team. Chelsea had a chance to draw level through Ben Chilwell. His attempt was saved by Ramsdale. It was as good as it got for Chelsea in the first half.
Arsenal had to wait another thirteen minutes from the first goal to get their second. It was the same combination as the first. Xhaka ball to Odegaard was scored by the Arsenal captain. Chelsea were truly awful in parts of the game and were fortunate that it was only 2-0 after 31 minutes.
Unfortunately for Chelsea the score didn’t stay at 2-0 for too long. Arsenal made it 3-0 through Gabriel Jesus in the 34th minute. They continued to play well for the rest of the first half, creating several chances, and should have scored one or two more goals to completely kill off the game.
Arsenal did not start the second half as they did the first. They held back, possibly believing the game was won. A feature of their games in parts of this season. They gave Chelsea the opportunity to get a foothold in the game, and they finally able to string a few passes together and create chances. Madueke, a January signing from PSV Eindhoven, also a former Tottenham youth player. He was Chelsea most dangerous player in the second half running at the Arsenal defence from the right wing.
Chelsea pulled a goal back in the 65th minute through Madueke. Even though Arsenal had lost their intensity from the first half, Chelsea was not able to put them under pressure.
Former Arsenal target Mudryk made a substitute appearance and showed his pace and potential. Arsenal’s former striker and captain did not have the best of nights and was substituted. He was not alone in the Chelsea team. Raheem Sterling and a few others also had poor games.
The match ended 3-1 to Arsenal and sent them back to the top of the Premier League. Manchester City would go above them if they won one of their two games in hand.
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