Brilliant Lukaku Bullies Arsenal In Chelsea Win  (Sky Sports)

Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2

Romelu LukakuClub-record signing Romelu Lukaku scored and put in a dominant display on his second Chelsea debut as they beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates on Super Sunday.

Nearly 10 years after his first debut, £97.5m summer signing Lukaku registered his first goal for the club, tapping home at close range from Reece James' ball across the face of goal (15) after the Belgian's superb hold-up play had triggered the move.

James doubled Chelsea's lead with a clinical finish from the right side of the box with Arsenal too engrossed in Lukaku again (35), before the hosts had a strong penalty call denied by both Paul Tierney and VAR as Bukayo Saka went down under James' challenge.

Lukaku was denied a second by Bernd Leno's brilliant reflex save onto the crossbar from a header late on - Sky Sports' Gary Neville described his performance as "the complete centre-forward display" - and while Arsenal showed brief glimpses, Chelsea's victory was overall comfortable and classy.

It doesn't get any easier for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, whose reshuffled back four struggled desperately with Lukaku and Co; they sit 19th and travel to champions Manchester City after the Carabao Cup tie at West Brom on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Football.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Leno (7), Soares (5), Holding (5), Mari (4), Tierney (5), Lokonga (6), Xhaka (6), Pepe (5), Smith Rowe (6), Saka (6), Martinelli (4)

Subs: Aubameyang (6), Tavares (6), Balogun (NA)

Chelsea: Mendy (7), James (8), Azpilicueta (7), Christensen (7), Rudiger (7), Alonso (7), Jorginho (7), Kovacic (7), Mount (8), Havertz (8), Lukaku (9)

Subs: Kante (6), Ziyech (NA), Werner (NA)

Man of the match: Romelu Lukaku

How Lukaku shone on second debut

Arteta says he was "surprised" last Friday's defeat against Brentford was not postponed after four members of his squad tested positive for coronavirus, and despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returning to the bench, they were without Ben White on Super Sunday due to Covid.

They played the underdog for the first 15 minutes, soaking up pressure and countering Chelsea, but as it did on the opening evening of the season, their defence looked suspect again at the mercy of Lukaku's devastating power.

With his back to goal, Lukaku held off Pablo Mari and fed Matteo Kovacic, who spread wide right to James, before Lukaku received James' low ball across the face of goal to tap into an empty net. It was Chelsea quality and Arsenal neglect in equal measure, with Cedric Soares leisurely playing Chelsea onside from Kovacic's ball.

Lukaku bullied Arsenal's defence all afternoon as Mari went in the book early for a foul on the striker, and in drawing the attention of the Gunners' back line, space opened up regularly on both Chelsea flanks, particularly on the right.

That's where their second goal came from as good work from Kai Havertz set Marcos Alonso free; he fed Lukaku, who let the ball run through him amid Granit Xhaka's challenge to allow Mount to spread wide to James, and the England wing back made no mistake, finding the top left corner.

Arsenal felt they should have had a penalty just before the break as Saka went down under James' challenge, but both referee Tierney and the VAR ruled it a fair coming together; "I thought that was a penalty," said Neville. "It was very clumsy."

Arsenal did improve after the break as Saka's deflected effort from range was tipped over by Edouard Mendy, but Rob Holding should have done better with his header six yards out, falling inches wide of the far post having been unmarked.

Aubameyang was introduced around the hour mark to accompany Gabriel Martinelli, who was isolated throughout and had registered just eight touches and three passes by 60 minutes, the fewest of any player on the pitch by a distance. He ended the game with more touches in his own box (three) than Chelsea's (one).

With Arsenal's £24m signing Aaron Ramsdale looking on from the bench, starting goalkeeper Leno did himself a big favour by superbly denying Lukaku a second, tipping his close-range header onto the bar.

Leno then denied Havertz at a tight angle, fed again by Lukaku inside the box, and the Chelsea fans were singing the Belgian's name at full time after a masterful show.

It was a dismal afternoon again for Arsenal, who lost both Kieran Tierney and Martinelli to injury, but Chelsea's dominance shows why they are considered as genuine title contenders this term.

Opta stats: Lukaku in top 20, Arsenal in bottom three

Chelsea have won five consecutive away Premier League London derbies for the first time since January 2006 under José Mourinho - a run which also included a 2-0 victory at Arsenal.

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku scored his 114th Premier League goal, overtaking Ian Wright to become the competition's 20th highest scoring player. Lukaku also became the eighth non-Englishman to score 50+ goals both home and away in the competition.

Arsenal end a day in the relegation zone after more than one game of the season played for the first time since August 1992.

In what is their 118th campaign in England's top four tiers, Arsenal have opened a league season with two defeats and no goals after two matches for the first time in their history.

What's next?

Arsenal go to West Brom on Wednesday night at 8pm in the Carabao Cup second round, live on Sky Sports Football, before travelling to champions Man City in the Premier League at 12.30pm on Saturday.

Chelsea are at Liverpool on Saturday Night Football on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 5.30pm.


Arsenal Leno, Soares, Mari, Holding, Tierey (Tavares 66), Xhaka (c), Lokonga, Pepe, Smith-Rowe, Saka (Aubameyang 61), Martinelli Balogun 79)
Subs Not Used Ramsdale, Chambers, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Nelson
Booked Mari, Holding, Lokonga

Chelsea Mendy, Azpilicueta (c), Christensen, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Kovacic (Kante 72), Alonso, Havertz (Werner 90), Lukaku, Mount (Ziyech 82)
Subs Not Used Kepa, Silva, Chilwell, Chalobah, Zouma, Hudson-Odoi
Goals Lukaku 15, James 35

Attendance 58,729

Referee Paul Tierney

VAR Sian Massey-Ellis