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Match Report: Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal



Premier League

Match Report: Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal

Arsenal took advantage of a huge Jorginho error, picking up three points after seeing through waves of attacks and absorbing pressure from Chelsea. It keeps the Gunners slight hopes of European football alive as they climbed to the 8th spot and one point behind Spurs.

The final London derby of the season held at Stamford Bridge saw both sides make major changes to the starting eleven. Tuchel shuffled his squad with 7 changes including Kepa starting over Mendy in goal to keep his side fresh ahead of the FA Cup final on the weekend. Arteta trying to match the Tuchel system set up with a 3-4-3 formation, with 5 changes from their previous game with Aubameyang returning to the starting lineup to lead from the front.


First Half

Chelsea saw a golden chance go begging in the 10th minute. Havertz caught Mari in possession and ran through on goal, one versus one against Leno but skimmed it over the bar. Five minutes later Arsenal capitalized on what was a even worse error by Jorginho. He almost scored an own goal from a back pass forcing a diving save from his keeper which fell to Aubameyang. He showed the composure which Havertz lacked on the other end by finding Smith Rowe, who could seamlessly tuck it in an empty net.

Chelsea were the better team by far as they dominated possession and set up camp in Arsenal’s half but failed to score despite creating a number of chances. In the 22nd minute, Holding made a goal saving block from Mount’s volley, generated from a Azpilicueta run and Pulisic cut back. Five minutes later, Mount forced a vital save from Leno after he was slipped in by Havertz. At the half-hour a chance fell for Pulisic from a corner after Zouma won the first header but the American headed it over. A few minutes later, Chilwell got better of Saka and fired a cross in which led to a scramble as Elneny cleared it just before Mount could touch it in.

Arsenal defending in a 5-4-1 formation without the ball, struggled with the ball. Misplaced passes in build-up as well as counter-attacks didn’t allow them to craft any real attacks, Gabriel and Partey were the main culprits of poor passing. The goal coming from Jorginho’s error was the Gunners only effort on target in the first half.


Second Half

Tuchel threw an extra body in the front-line by replacing Gilmour with Hudson-Odoi at the break. Chelsea congested Arsenal, dominating possession and forcing them deep in their own half. Early on in the second 45, Havertz was being picked in dangerous areas by his teammates and had two penalty shouts waived off.

Pulisic thought he scored at the hour mark when he chested it in from a corner but was deemed in an offside position when Havertz made the first contact. In the 64th minute, Both teams made changes- Bellerin came in for Saka and Giroud replaced Havertz. Right after coming on Bellerin got a shot on goal from what was Arsenal’s best worked move of the game.

Despite domination, Tuchel’s side didn’t manage an effort on goal in the second half till the last 5 minutes. He constantly tweaked his attack as he brought on Ziyech for Azpilcueta, Hudson-Odoi switched wings and Pulisic drifted wide. In the 82nd minute, Bellering made a brilliant stretched interception to deny Ziyech from finding Hudson-Odoi in behind but in the process, he picked up an injury and had to be replaced by Chambers.

In the 85th minute, Giroud nicked the possession in midfield and played a through ball to Hudson-Odoi who crossed it to Pulisic, however he could only get a tame effort on target as the ball was drifting away from him.

Arsenal had to see through a final Chelsea storm in the last minute as Zouma’s looping header over Leno hit the bar and then Giroud hit the bar again from the rebound. It was an ugly win for Arsenal but to their credit, they organized well at the back to keep the door shut and did what was necessary to beat an in-form Chelsea side.

Tuchel questioned his own choices in the post-match interview, saying he made too many changes and he should seen have the mistakes coming from the training. It was only Tuchel’s second defeat in the league since taking over in January and his side are still in an amazing position to finish the season strong- two cup finals and six points above West Ham at 5th having a played a game more.


Top Performer

Mason Mount– He looked the most threatening Chelsea player on the night. The England international got in good positions to release shots and link with his teammates. He was the most creative player as he picked Havertz in dangerous areas and adapted well when switched to a deeper role after the second half substitutions.


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