HomeFootballArsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Gunners in Title Race

Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Gunners in Title Race



Arsenal and their supporters refused to be written off in the Premier League title race, as they responded to taunts of them being ‘chokers’ with a convincing win over dismal Chelsea. The Emirates was alive with energy before kick-off, and Arsenal delivered a timely reminder that they are still in the hunt. Despite a recent slump of four games without a win, the team showed no sign of anxiety or frustration, and their performance was further helped by a complete fiasco from opponents who have lost six out of six under interim manager Frank Lampard. It is too simplistic to attach the label of chokers to an Arsenal side who have been outstanding this season, and have been undone by individual errors and lapses of concentration rather than a collective meltdown under pressure. Arsenal were hit by a lightning bolt of a display from Manchester City last time out, but they responded with a turbocharged performance against Chelsea, overpowering them as they went into a 3-0 lead by half-time. Chelsea were bullied, beaten, overrun and thoroughly dismantled in that period, and Lampard’s management is now suffering severe reputational damage at the hands of players who are so much better than this but whose lack of effort and competitive edge hints at something rotten at the heart of this dysfunctional, money-squandering club. Arsenal have provided rich entertainment this season, staying ahead of City for so long and making a title race of it. If they don’t win their first title since 2003-04, it will be a disappointment and an opportunity missed, but Arteta and his players deserve great credit for how they have performed. Unfortunately, the night was not without its problems as key defender Gabriel suffered an injury which makes him a serious doubt for Sunday’s tough assignment at Newcastle United. Arsenal’s night was done and dusted by half-time, but they failed to give their goal difference a push in the right direction, conceding a goal when Noni Madueke pulled one back for Chelsea. Captain Martin Odegaard led from the front with two crisp left-foot finishes in the first half, and Gabriel Jesus then benefited from some farcical Chelsea defending to add a third. This victory will keep the flame burning for Arsenal despite those recent slips, but City can go back on top with victory against West Ham United on Wednesday and will still have a game in hand. There is growing conviction that manager Pep Guardiola will get his hands on the Premier League trophy once more at the expense of former right-hand man Arteta. Arsenal did all they could against Chelsea and must now hope the cards fall in their favour as the season reaches its climax.

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