LONDON – Arsenal took down struggling Chelsea 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, thanks to a double from Martin Odegaard and a Gabriel Jesus goal.
The win pushes Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League table, two points ahead of Manchester City, who have two games in hand.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praised his team’s performance, saying: “The first 60 minutes, I thought we played really well. That was everything I want to see from our team…We wanted to earn the right to be top of the league. We are happy to be there.”
The Gunners had lost control of the title race after their defeat against Manchester City last week, but Arteta’s rallying cry seemed to have worked.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have now lost all six games since Frank Lampard returned as caretaker boss to replace the sacked Graham Potter.
Former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his first Chelsea start since the Blues lost 1-0 to the Gunners in November. However, he failed to make an impact, and was taken off at half-time.
Arsenal took the lead in the 18th minute, when Odegaard scored a superb curling finish from just inside the penalty area.
The Gunners then doubled their lead in the 31st minute, with Odegaard again finding the back of the net. Gabriel Jesus added a third just three minutes later.
Noni Madueke’s second-half goal was not enough to save Chelsea from a dismal defeat.
“We were too nice to play against in all aspects in the first half. Not good enough,” said Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.
“It’s tough because you want to win games, but it’s our job, we’ll work on it.”
Despite the win, Arsenal fans will be aware that the title race is far from over, with Manchester City still strong favourites to lift the trophy.
Arsenal will need to maintain this level of performance if they hope to keep the pressure on the defending champions.
They face in-form Newcastle United who are crushing teams for fun as the league reaches its final moments.