Arsenal thrash Chelsea 5-0, cement lead on top of EPL table | Football News - Hindustan Times

Arsenal thrash Chelsea 5-0, cement lead on top of EPL table

Apr 24, 2024 02:29 AM IST

Arsenal vs Chelsea: A superb second-half performance sees Gunners beat Chelsea comfortably.

Arsenal vs Chelsea: The English Premier League is reaching the end of the season and all teams are looking to grab some important points to get as close to the top of the table as they can. For Arsenal, the team that is on the No. 1 spot in the EPL table, it means trying to retain that spot in order to ensure they remain in contention to lift the trophy. For Chelsea, the going was tough before this game and it will continue to be so. They are not likely to lift the trophy at all, but, they can definitely try and finish somewhere near the top four to get themselves into the list of teams making it to the Champions Trophy in the next season. It is an outside chance. The Mauricio Pochettino led team has shown that it sometimes brilliant, but at other times, simply awful. Ahead of the match today, Arsenal fans would have been hoping to catch the Blues on an off day. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta would have been looking for ways to ensure his team did not lose its way like it did last year to throw away its chances of winning the League. A tight defense and sharp men in the attack bolstered by an agile and innovative middle, is what he would have ordered for the day. And what a day it turned out for him!

Arsenal's Leandro Trossard scores the first goal against Chelsea.(REUTERS)
Arsenal's Leandro Trossard scores the first goal against Chelsea.(REUTERS)

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When the match finally, started, there were no surprises. Arsenal were the first to grab the initial opportunity that came their way to slam a goal in the 5th minute itself! They punished a Chelsea side that was being too tentative in their ball play. Trossard scored after Rice was given too much space on the left to reach the box without anyone stopping him. When the challenge finally arrived, he changed direction, handed it to Trossard who shot straight into the goal. That looked like the easiest goal Arsenal are going to ever score. Chelsea were simply not in the game and the same stayed on for 16 minutes before they actually managed to string some decent passes together. And it was a surprise that Arsenal did not at least double their lead to put the match beyond Chelsea.

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However, thereafter, Chelsea got a couple of great chances to not just level up, but actually go into the lead, but it was all wasted simply because there were no men in blue in the Arsenal 6 yard box to tap the ball in. Next time around on a counter-attack, Chelsea actually managed to hit the goal post! It may have been late, but they actually were trying to make a match of it.

The exchanges continued end-to-end with both sides getting great chances to score, but falling short. Among these was one by Chelsea. Madueke, the only man in blue who seemed to be working hard, starts it all by going past Tomiyasu to cross to Cucurella who blasts it towards the goal where it is parried away only to find Fernandez whose shot passes just inches from the post. Chelsea were all at sea in defense, but simply superb in attack. And that is how things stood at half-time.

The second half started with the Gunners in full flow and Odegaard martialling the attacks, but all their chances were scuppered at the last moment either by the goal-keeper or the defence. But that changed quickly.

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The 2nd goal came. It was in the 52nd minute that a corner was played short and it reached Rice but his shot to the bottom left got deflected towards White on the right side of the goal. It was his quick shot that finally put the ball into the back of the net past a despairing Petrovic!

Thereafter, Chelsea seemed to have come apart at the seams as barely minutes later, Arsenal had their third goal that put the final result beyond any doubt.

This time Havertz scored in the 57th minute with Odegaard feeding him down the middle. His gloriously quick run brings him to the edge of the box and he simply lifts the ball over Petrovic! 3-0!

It was clear that by now, the fight had gone out of Chelsea and the Gunners were simply running riot with chances coming fast. And along with that, came another goal. 4-0!

Saka brings his dribbling skills to the fore, passes across to Havertz who swivels and shoots with the ball hitting the right-hand post and ricocheting in.

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By now it was clear the Gunners were in no mood to show any mercy with Odegaard, Rice, Trossard and Havertz combining time and again. They kept attacking, made space for themselves and scored yet again! 5-0! This time it was White who found himself poking at a ball coming towards him only to watch it hit his shin and bounce into the goal! And it was just the 70th minute! Chelsea simply looked like they just wanted to get off the pitch. According to match stats, Chelsea hit just one shot at the goal. Arsenal had 9. The humiliation was complete.

And that is the way it stayed. The Gunners proved today that they have the fighting capability to fight on to lift the trophy. Manchester City and Liverpool have been put on notice by today's performance.

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