Gabriel Magalhaes’s second-half goal made the difference as the Gunners move ahead of Manchester City.
Arsenal have leapfrogged Manchester City to retake the top spot in the English Premier League with a 1-0 win in the rain over London rivals Chelsea.
After a largely equally matched first half on Sunday that saw only one shot on target – Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey comfortably saving an effort from Kai Havertz – the second period saw the match come to life with a goal poked in by Gabriel Magalhaes, converting a corner from Bukayo Saka.
“We deserved to win today,” said Arsenal’s Grant Xhaka after the match. “We were much, much, much the better team. We are doing what the coaches tell us, and these are the results. After the season nobody asks you how you win in November, December or January. You are just trying to get a lot of points, and let’s see where we end up.”
Cheers and jeers for Aubameyang
There were hugs before kick-off for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Xhaka embracing the former Arsenal star whose poor relationship with manager Mikel Arteta led to his departure from the club in the January transfer window.
But the sentiment was not shared by Arsenal fans, who booed the ex-Gunner whenever he ventured close to the away end.
Raheem Sterling’s piercing pass in the ninth minute got Havertz in behind Arsenal’s back line, but the German’s butchered conversion left Chelsea manager Graham Potter a frustrated figure on the sidelines.
Some entertaining head tennis in the opening period gave Ben White a chance to shine in Arsenal’s defence.
An energetic Arsenal finally provoked a response from Chelsea after 20 minutes, with a mazy run by Gabriel Jesus thwarted by Thiago Silva, before a Mason Mount shot was blocked at the other end. Suddenly, Stamford Bridge stadium had woken up and the game was starting to bubble away nicely.
A yellow card for Aubameyang after a trademark late challenge on Mason Mount gave Marc Cucurella a chance to send a free kick towards the far post, but Trevoh Chalobah could do little with it as Chelsea started to control the game a little more after a vibrant start from Arteta’s men.
The Gunners should have been up after 29 minutes, but a golden opportunity for Jesus was missed as the striker could only get the slightest of touches with his header at the back post. Half an hour in, and Arsenal were certainly causing Chelsea problems down their right flank.
The breakthrough finally came after 62 minutes, when Chelsea failed to deal with a Saka corner that sailed past the men in blue, for a grateful Jesus to make contact and jab the ball home into the net.
The win send Arteta’s side back to the summit of the Premier League. Chelsea, meanwhile, look lost under Potter and seem to be getting worse rather than better after an initial run of good results.
The Gunners are looking the real deal. More than deserve their lead.
— Michael Owen (@themichaelowen) November 6, 2022