Dominant Arsenal Cut Gap To Chelsea  (Sky Sports)

Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0

Koscielny celebrates his goalArsenal breathed new life into the race for the Premier League's top four with a 2-0 win over Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

Before kick-off Unai Emery conceded this was a must-win game if Arsenal were to secure a top-four finish this season and they responded with a clinical display against their London rivals.

Goals from Alexandre Lacazette (14) and Laurent Koscielny (39) handed the Gunners, who lost Hector Bellerin to a nasty looking injury in the second half, a victory which reduced the gap to fourth-placed Chelsea.

Defeat now leaves Maurizio Sarri's side, who had just one shot on target at the Emirates, looking over their shoulders with the Gunners and Manchester United three points off fourth.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Leno (7), Bellerin (7), Sokratis (8), Koscielny (8), Kolasinac (8), Xhaka (7), Torreira (7), Guendouzi (7), Ramsey (8), Lacazette (8), Aubameyang (7).

Subs: Iwobi (6), Maitland-Niles (7), Elneny (6).

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga (7), Azpilicueta (6), Rudiger (6), Luiz (6), Alonso (7), Jorginho (5), Kante (6), Kovacic (5), Willian (6), Hazard (6), Pedro (6).

Subs: Giroud (5), Barkley (5), Hudson-Odoi (5)

Man of the match: Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal flew out of the traps and they took a deserved lead in the 14th minute, Lacazette producing some sharp footwork in the penalty area before finding the roof of the net with superb finish from a tight angle.

The Gunners were given a warning when Pedro latched onto David Luiz's inch-perfect through ball, but the Spain winger's lofted effort over the onrushing Bernd Leno bounced agonisingly wide.

It did not deter the hosts though, and they grabbed an important second six minutes from half-time when Koscielny beat the offside trap to bundle Sokratis Papastathopoulos' cross in off his shoulder for his first goal in 351 days.

Marcos Alonso headed against the post as Chelsea ended the half strongly,but Arsenal held on to go in ahead - just the third time Emery's side have managed to do so in the league this season.

After the break Pedro fired over and Alonso wide as Chelsea continued to create chances but Leno remained untested as the game entered the final 30 minutes. Sarri turned to Ross Barkley, and then former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, in search of a lifeline but their problems in front of goal continued.

Team news

Mesut Ozil was named in Unai Emery’s squad but he only started on the bench. Elsewhere, Emery made three changes from the side that lost 1-0 at West Ham. Aaron Ramsey, Lucas Torreira and Hector Bellerin returned with Alex Iwobi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Shkodran Mustafi all dropping down to the bench.

Maurizio Sarri stuck with the same side that beat Newcastle 2-1 last time out in the Premier League. Eden Hazard once again started as the central striker with former Arsenal player Olivier Giroud named on the bench.

The only down side of the evening for Arsenal was Bellerin's injury. Starting for the first time since a calf injury, the Spain full-back was carried off on a stretcher having gone down holding his knee.

Mohamed Elneny replaced the full-back as Arsenal's final change after Emery had introduced Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Chelsea pushed further forward in the hope of a spectacular comeback but it never materialised as Arsenal returned to winning ways.

Opta stats

Arsenal have won consecutive home games against Chelsea in all competitions for the first time since February 2004.

Chelsea have only won one of their last seven away London derbies in the Premier League (D2 L4), winning 1-0 at Crystal Palace in December.

Arsenal are unbeaten in 13 Premier League London derby matches at home (W10 D3), winning the last six in a row.

Arsenal have won more points in seven games against 'big six' sides this season (8) than they did in the whole of the 2017-18 campaign (6).

Chelsea's first shot on target didn't come until the 82nd minute, from Marcos Alonso.

63% of Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette's Premier League goals this season have come in London derbies (5/8).

Only Arsenal teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (6) has scored more Premier League London derby goals this season than Alexandre Lacazette.

Man of the Match - Laurent Koscielny

Coming into the game, Kosicelny was still searching for his best from following a seven month lay-off with an Achilles injury.

There would have been doubts about whether he could rediscover top form but he dispelled all of those with a vintage display against Chelsea.

His positional play was excellent. He was always in the right place at the right time and he put his body on the line for the Gunners.

He also grabbed a crucial goal, becoming the first Arsenal defender to score 20 Premier League goals. The Frenchman has scored in each of his nine campaigns in the competition - only Dennis Bergkamp (11), Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott (10 each) have scored in more for the Gunners.

What's next?

Up next for Arsenal is an FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United at the Emirates (7.55pm). They return to Premier League action on Tuesday January 29 when Cardiff are the visitors to north London (7.45pm).

Chelsea will be hoping to bounce back when they take on Tottenham in the League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, live on Sky Sports on Thursday (7.45pm).


Arsenal Leno, Koscielny (c), Sokratis, Kolasinac, Bellerin (Elneny 72), Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Lacazette (Iwobi 68), Aubameyang, Ramsey (Maitland-Niles 67)
Subs Not Used Cech, Mustafi, Ozil, Monreal
Lacazette 14, Koscielny 39

Chelsea Kepa, Azpilicueta (c), Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic (Barkley 63), Willian (Giroud 68), Pedro (Hudson-Odoi 80), Hazard
Subs Not Used Caballero, Emerson, Ampadu, Christensen
Booked Luiz, Barkley


Referee Anthony Taylor

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