We ended our three-game losing streak in fine style with a thrilling win at Stamford Bridge.
Twice we took the lead in the first half – through Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe - and twice we were pegged back. But two goals without reply after the break – another from former Chelsea academy striker Nketiah and Bukayo Saka from the penalty spot - were enough to give us a much-needed victory.
Chelsea had had the better of the opening ten minutes. After a flurry of corners Marcos Alonso had a shot deflected just wide. We got enough men back to just about snuff out the chance. Romelu Lukaku then shot wide after a loose pass by Emile Smith Rowe.
Mikel Arteta made three changes to the side that had lost at Southampton at the weekend, with Ben White shifting across to the right and Rob Holding coming in to the centre, and the defence took a while to settle.
But it was a poor pass from the hosts that gave us the chance to open the scoring.
There appeared to be no pressure on Andreas Christensen midway in his own half, but his backpass was woefully underhit, and Nketiah pounced. He took the ball on to the edge of the area, kept his cool and slotted past Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal.
It was the striker’s first Premier League goal of the season. But within four minutes it was Nketiah’s turn to give the ball away, and Chelsea levelled.
Timo Werner picked up possession outside the box and though his shot seemed to lack power, a deflection wrong footed Aaron Ramsdale the ball rolled in.
At the other end Nketiah bobbled a shot just wide after wonderful work from Saka just inside the area. The striker’s shot bounced off his other foot and loop the wrong side of the upright.
It was an open game, with plenty of stray passes, and we retook the lead after living dangerously inside our own box. But Granit Xhaka did brilliantly to bring the ball away from danger and launch a counter-attack.
Martin Odegaard took the ball on and rolled it square to Smith Rowe to stroke into the corner precisely from the edge of the box.
Once again though, the lead didn’t last. Cesar Azpilicueta stole in front of Nuno Tavares to turn home a cross in front of goal. It was 2-2 inside half an hour.
Nketiah and Tavares both sent shots wide in immediate response. As the half drew to a close Smith Rowe shot just wide after dancing past three defenders. The keeper was rooted to the spot as the ball flew just the wrong side of the woodwork.
The intensity remained high at the start of the second half, and we took the lead for the third time on the hour mark. Tavares’s cross fell to Nketiah, he looked to have been dispossessed but he showed his striker’s instincts to stab home.
The challenge was to hold the lead this time. Chelsea came back and Alonso had a shot blocked by Gabriel with Ramsdale beaten.
We were getting deeper and deeper as Arteta brought on Cedric as an extra defender. The full back broke free on the right but his pulled back cross was behind Saka. Tavares smashed his chance wide.
We continued to soak up the pressure before sealing the points late on. Saka was hauled down in the box by Azpilicueta, and stepped up himself to thump in goal number four.
Four goals, three points, and the race for the top four is very much alive again.
WHAT IT MEANS
We stay in fifth place, but draw level on points with Tottenham Hotspur after 32 matches played.
We’re back at the Emirates on Saturday to take on Manchester United in the early kick-off.
United are one place and three points behind us going into the weekend.
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