With one game left until the World Cup break, Arsenal have regained top spot in the Premier League after a hard fought victory against London rivals Chelsea at the home of the West London club. With the exception of Manchester City due to the game being postponed in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the win against Chelsea means that Arsenal have been able to come away with results against three of the Premier League’s big six.
Manchester United remain the only team to have beaten them in this time. That game accounts for three of the five points the Gunners have dropped this season, as they enjoy their best start to a Premier League season in almost a decade.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have come to a crossroads after a good run in the early days of Graham Potter’s regime in the dugout. The Blues have struggled in their last few matches, with those struggles culminating in a 4 – 1 thrashing by Potter’s former club Brighton and Hove Albion before Arsenal put them to the sword on Sunday afternoon to send them all the way down to seventh place on the log.
Arsenal recovered from their shaky performance in the UEFA Europa League last Thursday and controlled the ball for most of the match. However, there was little action inside either penalty box as neither side created enough chances for their strikers to convert. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a sour reunion with his old club, touching the ball only eight times for Chelsea before he was taken off by Potter.
Chelsea were made to pursue the ball for most of the game as Arsenal held on tightly to possession. Their press was effective, however, because Arsenal were unable to make the most of the possession they enjoyed. The Gunners did show some offensive prowess despite Chelsea’s intense pressure with the best chance before the goal being a linkup between two of Arsenal’s three Gabriels.
Martinelli received the ball after a beautiful series of passes which began deep in Arsenal’s half and put in a good cross onto the head of Jesus, who flashed his header wide. Chelsea, meanwhile, struggled to play in Potter’s new formation, which led to Thiago Silva conceding the corner from which the Blues conceded.
Bukayo Saka’s delivery missed everyone but Magalhaes was sharp enough to poke the ball home just as it was about to miss the far post.
Arsenal held on to secure their third straight win at Stamford Bridge and leapfrog closest contenders, Manchester City, to regain the Premier League top spot.