Friday, June 14, 2024

Arsenal thrash Chelsea 5-0 to secure top spot in Premier League standings

Premier League standings
Arsenal forward Kai Havertz (R) scores the team's fourth goal against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium in London, UK on April 23, 2024. PHOTO | REUTERS

LONDON, April 24: Kai Havertz and Ben White scored two goals each as Arsenal crushed Chelsea 5-0 on Tuesday, surging to the top of the Premier League standings and increasing the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City.
Leandro Trossard also found the back of the net in Arsenal’s record-breaking victory over Chelsea, which puts the Gunners three points ahead of Liverpool and four points clear of Manchester City.
Although Manchester City still control their own destiny with two games in hand, Arsenal’s superior goal difference may prove decisive if it comes down to that. Liverpool, who have played one fewer match than Arsenal, face Everton in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday.
“We have made our people very proud, it is a big derby for us and I know what it means,” said Arteta.
The Arsenal manager acknowledged his team’s strong start but noted their failure to convert all their chances and some sloppiness in certain areas. However, he praised their second-half performance, citing improved discipline and ruthless finishing.
Chelsea suffered a significant setback before the match even began, as their key player Cole Palmer was ruled out due to illness. Palmer has been involved in nearly half of Chelsea’s Premier League goals this season, and his absence was keenly felt by the visitors.
Despite an unbeaten run of eight league games prior to their FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City, Chelsea were outclassed by an Arsenal side eager to reassert their title credentials following a home defeat to Aston Villa.
Mauricio Pochettino expressed his disappointment with the result and his team’s performance, stating, “Today we didn’t compete against a team fighting for the Premier League. We need to be aware we need to compete in a different way.”
Arsenal started the match with incredible intensity, taking the lead within five minutes through Trossard, who has proven to be a more effective signing than Chelsea’s January acquisition of Mykhailo Mudryk. Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic made several impressive saves to keep his team in the game before halftime, but Arsenal’s relentless pressure eventually paid off.
White’s curling effort from a corner doubled Arsenal’s lead early in the second half, and Havertz, who has found consistent form under Arteta, scored twice to put the game out of reach. White’s attempted cross, which flew into the top corner, capped off a night to forget for Chelsea, who remained in ninth place, three points behind the European qualification spots.
Arsenal’s next challenge is a daunting away fixture against Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday. If Arteta’s men can secure a victory against their fierce rivals, Manchester City will likely need to win all of their remaining six games to retain the Premier League title.
(ToI With inputs from AFP)