We returned to the top of the table thanks to a first-half blitz at Emirates Stadium.
A well-taken double from Martin Odegaard – both set up by Granit Xhaka - put us two goals to the good before Gabriel Jesus made it 3-0 after barely more than half an hour.
We continued to pepper the visitors’ goal at the start of the second half before they pulled one back through Noni Madueke.
We couldn’t reach the heights we scaled in the opening half for the rest of the game, but the three points were well deserved, and a welcome tonic after four games without a win.
Odegaard at the double
We started at a decent pace, and had a couple of sights of goal in the opening five minutes. First Bukayo Saka saw his shot charged down inside the area, before Xhaka was denied by Kepa Arrizabalaga at close-range after he latched onto Cesar Azpilicueta’s loose back header.
Saka tested the keeper again with a looping header that Kepa spilled before it was scrambled away.
It was a positive start, with the team clearly looking intent to bounce back from Wednesday’s crushing disappointment in Manchester.
Mikel Arteta made three changes from that side that lost to City – the joint most of any game this season – and there was certainly a renewed energy in the team.
Our fast start was rewarded when Odegaard unerringly found the net off the crossbar from 20 yards. It was a composed and classy finish from the skipper from Xhaka’s low cross, and was the Norwegian’s 13th goal in the Premier League this season.
Number 14 was just around the corner.
Again it came from a low Xhaka cross that Odegaard swept home first time among a static Chelsea defence. Along with his seven assists, it made it 21 goal involvements in the league during 2022/23 - a simply sensational season from our No. 8.
Jesus increases advantage
There was no let up as we kept our foot on the pedal. Both full-backs were supplementing the attack, and Ben White’s deep cross led to our third goal.
Gabriel Jesus controlled at the far post, and tucked home at the second attempt after Kepa smothered his first shot.
It was a dominant first-half showing. Ben Chilwell’s shot when the score was 1-0 was the closest Chelsea came to scoring in the opening 45 minutes, but Aaron Ramsdale made a flying save to keep it out.
We started the second period with the same intent. Gabriel had a header from a corner cleared off the line by Thiago Silva, and Xhaka’s low shot was pushed away at full stretch by Kepa after the midfielder did well to fashion the chance himself.
Saka was next to try his luck, first having a shot saved at the near post, then sending an effort just wide from outside the box.
We were punished at the other end shortly afterwards though. Madueke ran onto a ball over the top and got enough on his shot to beat Ramsdale.
The goal took the sting out of our attacking play and the tempo dropped.
Odegaard saw his effort parried at the near post as he hunted his hat-trick, but his two goals in the opening half hour had paved the way for our first win in five games and lifted us back to top spot, albeit having played two more than Manchester City.
What it means
Facts and stats
We have done the Premier League double over Chelsea for a second time in the last three campaigns (2020/21 and 2022/23), which is as many times as they managed it across all seasons between 1998/99 and 2019/20 (twice).
Chelsea have lost four consecutive league matches for the first time since March 1998, while only once have they had a longer losing run in the competition than their current one (six games in November 1993).
We have gone unbeaten in our 12 London derbies this season (W10 D2), the first time we’ve not lost any in a single campaign in the competition since 2004/05 (P10 W7 D3). This was our 150th London derby victory in the Premier League, the first side to reach this number in the competition, and doing so by beating Chelsea who remain on 149 after tonight’s defeat.
Frank Lampard has now lost each of the last 10 matches he’s taken charge of across all competitions (four for Everton, six for Chelsea) – he is the first manager to lose 10 in a row in the same season while in charge of a Premier League team since Mick McCarthy in December 2005 (10 in charge of Sunderland).
We were three goals ahead after just 34 minutes in this game; the earliest Chelsea have been 3-0 down in a Premier League match since September 2020 against West Brom (27th minute). Indeed, it was only the second time Chelsea have been three goals behind at half-time of a Premier League London derby, with the previous occasion also coming against us at the Emirates (3-0 in September 2016).
We now have three players who have been directly involved in 20+ goals in the Premier League this season (Martinelli, Saka and Ødegaard); the most of any team in 2022/23, as well as our joint-most in a single campaign.
Gabriel Jesus has now scored in 55 Premier League matches and never ended on the losing side when doing so (W50 D5) – this is the most times a player has scored in a game in the competition without ever losing, overtaking James Milner who did so on 54 occasions.
Martin Odegaard has scored 14 Premier League goals this season; the only central midfielder to score more in a single campaign in the competition for us is Cesc Fabregas in 2009/10 (15).
We head to the north-east this weekend to take on high-flying Newcastle United on Sunday, before we return to action at Emirates Stadium a week later when Brighton & Hove Albion make their second trip to our home this campaign.
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