HomePremier LeagueArsenal 5-0 Chelsea: Havertz, White goals help Gunners extend lead over Man...

Arsenal 5-0 Chelsea: Havertz, White goals help Gunners extend lead over Man City in Premier League

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Kai Havertz and Ben White each scored twice during the second half as Arsenal hammered Chelsea to move four points above Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Leandro Trossard sent the Gunners on their way with a fourth-minute strike for his third goal in four games, opening the scoring for a second consecutive match after putting his side ahead in their 2-0 win at Wolves to return to the summit on Sunday.

Ben White fired in after uncertain defending seven minutes after the break and Havertz added the first of two quickfire strikes five minutes later, lifting a deft finish over goalkeeper Dorde Petrovic.

The Germany forward arrowed in another before White’s volleyed cross-shot with 20 minutes remaining embellished the crushing victory, although City have two games in hand on Arsenal.

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Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard suggested that Chelsea’s midtable position was not reflective of their qualities before this thrashing, but the gulf between the teams was evident from the start, as was the distance the visitors are from challenging at the top of the table despite their huge spending.

There was a risk, though, that Arsenal’s dominance might not produce three points during the first half, when Axel Disasi should have equalised from close range and Nicolas Jackson, whose dreadful early stamp on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s ankle went bafflingly unpunished, hit the outside of a post.

In the absence of top scorer and player of the season Cole Palmer, Chelsea caved in during the second half.

If Petrovic’s goalkeeping was questionable for Trossard’s goal, his defenders were equally culpable for the four which followed, and Chelsea were fortunate not to have been on the end of a beating at least as bad as the 6-0 drubbing they handed out to Everton a week earlier.

The trouble for Odegaard is that his team could also be said to be in a false position, teetering above a City side who have two games in hand.

The first of those is at Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday, three days before Arsenal visit Tottenham in one of the trickiest-looking fixtures facing the top three during the remainder of the run-in if the heightened emotion of a north London derby is a factor.

Arsenal, Man City fixtures

City also visit Spurs in their final away game. Their other opponents are less threatening on paper, although four of their final six matches are on the road.

Liverpool, meanwhile, visit Everton on Wednesday with the pressure on to move level on points with Arsenal. The Reds cannot go top because of their 13-goal inferiority to Arsenal, and this memorable night for the leaders could also prove telling if goal difference decides the title.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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