Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Martin Odegaard scored the first two goals, twice capitalising on dismal Chelsea

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium as the abject visitors slumped to a sixth consecutive loss under Frank Lampard.

The Gunners came into the game looking to put their 4-1 thrashing by title rivals Manchester City behind them and they did so in emphatic style in a completely one-sided first half.

Martin Odegaard scored the first two goals, twice capitalising on dismal Chelsea defending to dispatch Granit Xhaka crosses, with Gabriel Jesus then adding the third from close range.

Mikel Arteta’s side should have been totally out of sight by the time Noni Madueke pulled a goal back for Chelsea midway through the second half, but it proved to be only a consolation for the 12th-placed visitors, whose season continues to plumb new depths.

The victory takes Arsenal two points above Pep Guardiola’s side, albeit having played two games more, lifting the mood around the club following a four-game winless run and ensuring the title race remains alive despite events at the Etihad Stadium last week.

How Arsenal punished Chelsea

Arsenal’s determination to draw a line under the recent dip in form was clear from the outset, the rejuvenated hosts pinning Chelsea back in their own half and piling on near relentless pressure.

Lampard’s side were indebted to Kepa Arrizabalaga for not falling behind sooner, the goalkeeper saving bravely at the feet of Xhaka in the fifth minute after right-back Cesar Azpilicueta had sold him short with a poor backward header.

Azpilicueta’s problems were only just beginning, though, with Arsenal soon running riot on that side as Xhaka twice picked out the unmarked Odegaard, who finished with aplomb on each occasion, his first-time efforts leaving Kepa with little chance.

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Aaron Ramsdale made a full-stretch save from Ben Chilwell in between Odegaard’s strikes but it was Chelsea’s first and only chance of a woeful first-half showing and, up at the other end, the punishment soon continued.

Arsenal’s third goal came from more dire defending as the Blues twice failed to clear their lines following Ben White’s right-wing cross, allowing Jesus to fire home his 10th Premier League goal of the season from close range.

The home fans were revelling in the occasion at that point, loudly cheering the announcement that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, their former striker, would be replaced by Kai Havertz at the interval following an anonymous first-half performance.

Then, when the action got back under way, Arsenal picked up where they left off in the first half, forcing a succession of chances, with Thiago Silva clearing a Gabriel Magalhaes header off the line and Kepa denying Xhaka, Saka and Odegaard.

It appeared more Arsenal goals were inevitable but Madueke’s goal, scored after Arsenal switched off defensively, gave the visitors something to cling on to and set up a nervy finale, with the home fans wary of another lead being surrendered.

Mykhailo Mudryk provided a few scares with his pace following his introduction, but Arsenal held on, despite a late injury scare to centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes, securing a much-needed victory and showing that, while their London rivals languish in 12th, they may yet push Manchester City right to the end.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta when asked what he enjoyed about the performance by Sky Sports:

“That we were us. That’s what I demanded. I wanted to see that energy, that determination, that fluidity, that movement, that purpose in our play.

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“That was there from the beginning. That led to connecting with our crowd and obviously you know what happens when we are able to do that. The goals were really helpful because they set the tone for the rest of the game.

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