Arsenal 5-0 Chelsea: Five-star Arsenal extend their lead at the top of the Premier League

Braces from Kai Havertz and Ben White, in addition to a goal from Leandro Trossard, helped Arsenal extend their lead at the summit of the Premier League table to three points – after a comprehensive 5-0 rout of capital-based rivals Chelsea.

However, both of the Gunners’ title challengers – defending champions Manchester City and Liverpool – still have at least one game in hand.

As it happened

Unbeaten against Chelsea in evening Premier League matches since suffering a defeat all the way back in March 1993, it did not take the current league leaders long to break the deadlock as Declan Rice’s delicious defensive-splitting pass was sublimely slotted past Đorđe Petrović at his near post by Trossard on his 50th divisional start for the hosts after only four minutes.

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Provider nearly turned goalscorer in the 22nd minute as Rice’s exquisite pivot on the ball, which allowed him to move away from two incoming defenders, saw the England international fire only inches above the top of the crossbar.

Without their talisman and top goalscorer this season, Cole Palmer, due to an ongoing illness bug, Chelsea came close to equalising in serendipitous circumstances. Nicolas Jackson’s cross towards goal was nearly inadvertently sent into his own net by Gabriel – as the retreating Brazilian international redirected his defensive clearance against the paintwork of the right-hand post with David Raya beaten.

Petrović saved Chelsea from feeling the Blues not long after as the Serbian keeper instinctively saved Trossard’s effort with only his facial features – after it had taken a deflection on its way through to him off the unaware Axel Disasi.

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Despite registering 13 attempts on goal – compared to Chelsea’s five – Arsenal were somewhat frustratingly forced to return to the home dressing room with only a slim advantage for their determined efforts in and around the final third.

Petrović again denied Arsenal almost immediately from the restart as Rice witnessed his effort well-saved by the Blues’ number one. However, there was nothing the Serbian could do to prevent the Gunners from doubling their lead in the 52nd minute. White clinically made his way up from the back to fire the ball home – via a fortuitous deviation – after it had taken a decisive deflection off Chelsea captain Conor Gallagher.

It was ultimately game, set and match for Arsenal only five minutes later, as Havertz clinically converted Martin Ødegaard’s delicious distribution downfield beyond the grasp of Petrović. Three became four not long after as Bukayo Saka put it on a plate for Havertz to double his tally for the evening against his former employers with a sublimely-struck strike into the corner of the net.

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Mikel Arteta’s side cumulated their five-star performance in North London with 20 minutes still to play in regular time, as the marauding-forward figure of White cheekily volleyed another awe-inspiring delivery from Ødegaard over the top of a now beleaguered-looking Petrović.

Rice hit the post with time winding down as Arsenal remain at the top of the Premier League table, while Chelsea stay in ninth position – three points behind Newcastle United in sixth.

The lineups

ARS: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Ødegaard, Rice, Partey; Havertz, Trossard, Saka

CHE: Petrović; Gilchrist, Badiashile, Disasi, Cucurella; Fernández, Caicedo; Gallagher, Noni Madueke, Mudryk; Jackson