Arsenal beat Chelsea to reach top of Premier League football news
Martin Odegaard put Arsenal back on top of the Premier League as the Norway midfielder’s double secured a 3-1 win against Chelsea on Tuesday.
Mikel Arteta’s side lost control of the title race after last week’s 4-1 defeat at Manchester City.
But the Gunners signaled their intent to get City a win with a much-needed first win in five games.
Odegaard’s brace was followed by a Gabriel Jesus strike as the hosts scored three goals before half-time at the Emirates Stadium.
Noni Maduke’s second-half goal was no consolation for Chelsea’s poor performance.
Arsenal are now two points clear of second-placed City and while Pep Guardiola’s men remain favorites to win the title, the north Londoners have at least put some pressure on the champions.
City will move back into first place if they beat West Ham at home on Wednesday in their first of two games, played at Arsenal.
Arteta said, “The first 60 minutes, I thought we played really well. That was everything I want to see from my team.”
“The pace, the quality, the movement, two beautiful goals, we connected with our crowd and created an incredible atmosphere.
“We wanted to earn the right to be top of the league. We’re happy to be there.”
After 10 weeks at the top, City’s win at Fulham on Sunday saw Arsenal slip to second.
Three consecutive draws, including two two-goal leads, and a calamitous loss at City have led Arsenal to be written off as title race chokers.
But Arteta insisted this week that the title was still winnable and his players responded to the Spaniard’s rallying cry.
Troubled Chelsea were the ideal opponents for Arsenal to get back on track ahead of a difficult trip to Newcastle on Sunday.
The Blues have now lost all six games since Frank Lampard returned as caretaker boss to replace the sacked Graham Potter.
Finishing in 12th place, Chelsea are on a nine-game winless run in all competitions and face the prospect of failing to finish in the top half of the table for the first time since 1996.
Lampard said, “We were very good at playing against all aspects in the first half. Not good enough.”
“It’s tough because you want to win games, but that’s our job, we’ll work at it.”
Former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his Chelsea debut following the Blues’ 1-0 defeat to the Gunners in November.
But Aubameyang, whose four-year spell with Arsenal ended acrimoniously in 2022, didn’t have the chance to exact revenge on his old team before being sent off at half-time.
Arsenal were in complete control from the start and Odegaard gave them a deserved lead in the 18th minute.
Dropped in acres of space, Granit Xhaka’s low cross took out Chelsea’s lackluster defenders and Odegaard gave Kepa Arrizabalaga a superb curling finish from inside the penalty area.
Ben Chilwell threatened Chelsea’s equaliser, but Aaron Ramsdale made a fine save to keep the lead.
The Gunners turned the tide with a second goal in the 31st minute.
Once again, Chelsea found time for Xaka to cross into the area and Odegaard took full advantage of sluggish marking from Raheem Sterling to cross to Kepa from 12 yards.
Arsenal smelled blood against spineless, unselfish opponents and the third goal duly came three minutes later.
Ben White’s cross was brought down by Jesus and when Xhaka’s shot was blocked, it was Jesus who fired home from close-range.
Arsenal were furious and Thiago Silva cleared Gabriel’s header off the line, while Kepa saved from Xhaka and Bukayo Saka.
Chelsea woke up from their slumber long enough to reduce the deficit in the 65th minute.
Mateo Kovacic’s defence-splitting pass found Maduke and he cleverly slotted past Ramsdale for his first league goal since signing from PSV Eindhoven in January.