Knowing that they couldn’t afford to drop any more points on Tuesday night, Arsenal put in a rampant display at the Emirates as they secured a routine 3-1 romp against London rivals Chelsea.
While the Gunners might have found themselves in the midst of a four-match Premier League winless run, Mikel Arteta’s side certainly came flying out of the traps here as they briefly found a route back to the top of the table.
With skipper Martin Odegaard bagging a first-half brace after producing two wonderful strikes in the opening 31 minutes, Gabriel Jesus quickly got in on the act as Arsenal stormed their way to a 3-0 lead heading into the half-time break.
While January arrival Noni Madueke might have bagged Chelsea a consolation strike away from west London, it was yet another nightmare performance for Frank Lampard’s struggling squad.
Now losing each of their last six straight appearances across all competitions and watching Real Madrid end their Champions League adventure with a 4-0 aggregate defeat last month, the former European champions appear destined for a remarkable bottom-half finish this season.
In a showdown between two London rivals who find the respective modes in their camp at polar opposites, what did we learn from Tuesday’s demolition job at the Emirates?
Arsenal must keep believing right until the end
While Arsenal might have temporarily found a route back to the top of the Premier League table following Tuesday’s rampant display, the Gunners know that they face a huge uphill battle in their bid to claim a first domestic crown since back in 2004.
Opening Tuesday’s showdown at the Emirates after coming off the back of that infamous 4-1 defeat away at Manchester City last week, Arteta’s squad had been enduring a brief April wobble.
In the midst of a four-match winless run and dropping points against both West Ham and Southampton after returning from March’s international break, Arsenal certainly would have taken a string of positives away from their performance here.
While Manchester City will once again leapfrog Arsenal if the defending champions pick up a single point against West Ham on Wednesday night, Arteta’s young team must keep believing right until the very end.
Back to their free-flowing best on Tuesday night and backed by a vocal home support in north London, the Gunners will be desperate to build off of their display here when they travel to a high-flying Newcastle this weekend.
Odegaard is the face of Arsenal’s success this season
While both Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli might have continued to gain a string of plaudits as Arsenal’s attacking duo have racked up a combined 28 Premier League strikes this season, it has been the Gunners’ young skipper who has been the key part of Arteta’s success.
Pulling the strings on Tuesday night and bagging a pair of wonderful first-half strikes in the opening 31 minuets, the 24-year-old has enjoyed quite the free-scoring run since returning from March’s international break.
Along with bagging back-to-back Premier League strikes against West Ham and Southampton last month, Arsenal’s playmaking ace has now notched five top-flight goals in as many appearances.
Tipped as the leading contender alongside his Norwegian compatriot Erling Haaland in the race to be crowned this season’s PFA Player of the Year, Odegaard has certainly cemented his spot as one of Europe’s most talented midfielders.
Although many might have been surprised last year when it was announced that the one-time Real Madrid starlet had been appointed Arsenal’s full-time club captain, Odegaard has only excelled since taking on the extra responsibilities.
Lampard certainly won’t be getting another Premier League job anytime soon
While Chelsea might have been in the midst of a woeful run of form prior to Lampard’s temporary return to Stamford Bridge last summer, the ex-Blues skipper has failed to offer any kind of stability since arriving back in SW6.
Coming under a huge amount of scrutiny during his time at Everton this season and firmly leading the Toffees to a Premier League relegation, almost everyone across Europe was left stunned when it was announced that Lampard would be returning to west London until the end of the campaign.
Putting in yet another nightmare display here and completely blown away against their London rivals, Lampard has now lost each of his first six contests since returning to the Stamford Bridge dugout.
Guiding Chelsea on their longest losing run in over three decades, it is almost impossible to see another Premier League club that will be wanting to hand Lampard the chance to rebuild his fractured reputation.
In fact, during his 24 Premier League games in charge at both Everton and Chelsea this season, Lampard has recorded just three top-flight wins and has an average point-per-game success of just 0.625.
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Kiwior, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Jorginho, Xhaka, Saka, Jesus, Trossard
Subs: Martinelli, Tierney, Nelson, Holding, Partey
Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Fofana, Silva, Chilwell, Kovacic, Fernandez, Kante, Madueke, Aubameyang, Sterling
Subs: Havertz, Gallagher, Mudryk, Chalobah, Ziyech
Goals: Arsenal: Odegaard (18’, 31’), Jesus (34’) – Chelsea: Madueke (65’)
Yellow Cards: Kovacic, Gallagher
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Robert Jones
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