Gabriel Sends Arsenal Top With Win At Chelsea  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 0 Arsenal 1

Gabriel scoresArsenal passed arguably the biggest test of their title credentials to date as Gabriel's goal earned them a 1-0 win away at Chelsea and a return to the top of the Premier League table.

The Gunners' Brazilian centre-back touched in Bukayo Saka's corner midway through the second half to earn Mikel Arteta's side a priceless three points.

The significance of the win was summed up by Arteta - who had previously been coy about his side being in the title race - finally admitting they are in the running for the top prize, albeit with some humility.

"Today we are [in contention]," said Arteta. "But tomorrow is difficult.

"Just look at the last six years what Manchester City have done. With the best manager and best team in the world, they've shown it consistently in every single competition.

"We have to be very, very respectful of that and we're getting much better as a team and competing much better and getting really good results, but this is a long, long show."

Arsenal could have put more past their opponents had Gabriel Jesus scored gilt-edged chances in either half.

At the other end, it was a disappointing afternoon for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who started for Chelsea against his former club, but rarely threatened along with the rest of the Blues' attackers.

The result means the Gunners have re-established their two-point lead at the top of the table with just one game - a trip to Wolves live on Sky Sports next Saturday - before the World Cup break.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Mendy 6; Azpilicueta 6, Silva 6, Chalobah 5, Cucurella 4; Loftus-Cheek 5, Jorginho 6, Mount 6; Havertz 5, Aubameyang 4, Sterling 6

Subs: Broja 6, Gallagher 6, Kovacic (n/a), Pulisic (n/a)

Arsenal: Ramsdale 6; White 8, Saliba 8, Gabriel 8, Zinchenko 8; Partey 9, Xhaka 8, Odegaard 7; Saka 8, Jesus 7, Martinelli 7

Subs: Tierney (6), Elneny (n/a), Holding (n/a)

Player of the match: Thomas Partey (Arsenal)

How Arsenal won at Stamford Bridge

Arsenal enjoyed the better of the first half after a bright start at Stamford Bridge and could have taken the lead within a minute as Gabriel nodded on Thomas Partey's long throw into the side-netting.

The Gunners went even closer within the first 10 minutes as Ben White's shot nearly found Jesus at the back post but the Brazilian could not apply the touch to divert it goalwards.

Either side of that chance saw two decent openings in the box for Kai Havertz at the right-hand side of the penalty area but he skied one effort over the bar before testing the gloves of Aaron Ramsdale in the only shot on target in the first half. It was the closest the hosts would come all game.

But the best opening in the first 45 minutes, a heated one that saw former Arsenal captain Aubameyang booked for a late lunge on White right in front of a furious Arteta, fell to the visitors and Jesus once again.

A brilliant one-touch move on the edge of their own box freed Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli down the left. The latter fed Jesus who was all alone at the back post but could only head wide.

The Gunners continued the second half in similar vein and another Jesus chance went begging. The Brazilian was played in down the Arsenal right but Edouard Mendy saved his tight-angle shot at the near post.

From the resulting corner, Arsenal eventually made their chances count. Saka's corner was heading all the way in but Gabriel tapped home on the line. The England winger took the plaudits with the celebration but replays showed the centre-back got there before it crossed over.

Chelsea, who were planning to switch up their play before the Arsenal goal with two substitutions, were rattled as the Gunners dominated from there. Saka slammed over the bar in the area before Martin Odegaard missed a better chance, scooping over Mendy's crossbar after being played in by Jesus.

The home side did apply some pressure as the clock ticked on and the rain fell in west London, but last-ditch challenges from White and William Saliba in the box kept Chelsea's blunt attack at bay.

The final whistle saw boos ring around Stamford Bridge, while Arteta took his Gunners team to the away end to celebrate a massive victory.

Analysis: Arsenal are playing like Man City

Sky Sports football journalist Sam Blitz at Stamford Bridge:

Last autumn, Manchester City went to Chelsea with the two teams considered as direct rivals. Jesus scored the winning goal as City won a tight game 1-0.

It was deemed a statement victory to separate City from a title rival as Pep Guardiola's side went on to win the league, leaving a toothless Chelsea to settle for lesser objectives.

This year, Arsenal achieved the same feat but instead of Jesus finding the net - although he should have done after missing countless opportunities - it was another Brazilian, Gabriel, who came to the rescue for the winning goal.

The defender's winner means Arsenal are not just top of the table for another week, but they are now 13 points ahead of Chelsea - a team who before the season the Gunners were looking to rival for a top-four spot.

It was a performance that justified the 13-point difference between the two teams in the league table.

The way Arteta celebrated the win shows how it is not just the team sat as London top dogs that has changed, it is also the perception of his Arsenal team.

The Gunners were resolute at the home of a 'Big Six' rival - something that has not been always been common down the years. There was discipline, plenty of creativity and calmness. They went to Chelsea and played like Manchester City do.

If there was any doubt before, there should not be now. Only an injury crisis can stop them from mounting a title challenge and going toe-to-tie with Man City, who Arteta's side resemble more and more as the weeks go on.

Aubameyang endures miserable outing | Potter has questions to answer

Sky Sports football journalist Joe Shread at Stamford Bridge:

Aubameyang's first reunion with Arsenal and Arteta - the coach who was determined to remove him from the Gunners' first-team squad - dominated the build-up to Chelsea's clash with their London rivals, but it ended up being much ado about nothing.

The forward started on the left of Chelsea's narrow front three but was given license to venture in field and try to link with Havertz and Raheem Sterling. However, he was not on the same wavelength as the German in the first half, with Aubameyang left waiting for a cross that never came on two promising occasions.

The frustration continued in the second half for the Gabon international and he was hauled off in the wake of Arsenal's winner in the 63rd minute, ending the game with a measly total of two touches in the Gunners' area, one shot and an expected-goals total 0.03.

The blame for Chelsea's toothless display in front of goal cannot all be pinned on Aubameyang, though. The Blues' expected-goals total of 0.26 was dwarfed by Arsenal's figure of 2.11 and perfectly illustrated how little threat they posed their rivals on a chastening afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

Graham Potter began his Chelsea reign with five wins and a draw from his first six matches but that record papered over the cracks. The Blues recorded a non-penalty expected goals tally of just 1.06 per 90 minutes from the head coach's first six Premier League games - suggesting their struggles in the Arsenal area were no surprise - and have now taken just two points from their last four top-flight matches.

Potter's penchant for tinkering with personnel and formations is well established but it means that, 12 matches into his time in west London, it is still hard to determine how he wants his side to play, while a number of players look to be struggling to show their quality after being asked to fulfil differing roles on a game-by-game basis.

The head coach has spoken about his desire for Chelsea to be "flexible" on the pitch and the loss of Reece James and Ben Chilwell to injury - again - seriously blunts their attacking threat.

But Arsenal's highly-professional performance at the home of their rivals came as a result of every player understanding their role within a settled side. They showed the value of playing under the same head coach for nearly three years, while Chelsea looked every inch the team that are still getting to grips with the demands of a manager that has been in situ for just two months.

Potter: Chelsea not in a 'fantastic moment'

Graham Potter admitted Arsenal deserved to beat his Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge, while he conceded the Blues are not in a "fantastic moment".

"We huffed and puffed but I thought you could see the difference between the two teams in terms of confidence, the points they've got, structure and their work together," Potter said.

"We're not in a fantastic moment and, as much as it's not nice to say, I think Arsenal deserved to win the game and were the better team overall.

"We have to take that and use it as motivation to improve."

Potter insisted Arsenal's superiority came as a result of numerous factors, including that Mikel Arteta has been given time and resources to build his side since taking charge in December 2020.

"I don't think it's one thing," said Potter. "Clearly their confidence is higher - they've got the points, they've got off to a really good start, they've been working together for three years or so. They've got an understanding of each other while we're at the start of our process.

"We've got a few injuries to key players that they've managed to stay clear of."

England squad watch: Southgate cannot ignore White any longer

Ben White has now done all he can from a Premier League perspective to show Gareth Southgate that he is worth a trip to Qatar with England in the next fortnight.

The Arsenal defender was largely untroubled but still showed the defensive astuteness and concentration required to keep a clean sheet and build his World Cup case further. A last-gasp clearance to deny a dangerous Chelsea break late on showed he is the man for the big moment and surely the Three Lions boss cannot hold off the cries for White any longer.

Asked if he'd like to see White go to Qatar, Arteta said: "If he does, I'll be so happy for him."

On the same flank, Bukayo Saka had a quieter afternoon and it is possible that the Arsenal winger is still feeling the effects of last weekend's injury against Nottingham Forest. Saka had a difficult first half where the ball wouldn't drop for him and when it did after the break, he flashed an effort over.

Saka's memorable moment was actually an accusation of diving by the Chelsea camp in the first half, with both Graham Potter and Mikel Arteta rubbishing the idea that the 21-year-old is that kind of player.

From a Chelsea perspective, it was a difficult afternoon for Raheem Sterling who was the Blues' brightest spark but the overall energy supply couldn't support him.

In the first half, direct balls to Sterling were Chelsea's most exciting form of attack - including one from England team-mate Mount for a decent opportunity for Kai Havertz - but there was little individual inspiration from the Three Lions forward.

Nevertheless, concerns over Sterling should not be too much of a worry, given he recovered from similar questionable form at Manchester City to become England's main man at Euro 2020.

Speaking of Mount, the midfielder struggled to impact the game but, again, that is likely down to an overall creative fault in Graham Potter's side.

Conor Gallagher continued that lack of attacking inspiration when he came on after the hour mark while Trevoh Chalobah, who some believe is an outsider for Gareth Southgate's squad, showed some good interventions but his World Cup chance may come too soon.

What's next?

Chelsea head to Manchester City live on Sky Sports in the Carabao Cup third round this Wednesday. Coverage starts at 7.30pm on Sky Sports Main Event with kick-off at 8pm. The Blues then visit Newcastle on Saturday November 12, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off at 5.30pm.

Arsenal host Brighton on Wednesday for the third round of the Carabao Cup; kick-off 7.45pm. The Gunners then get on the road to Wolves on Saturday November 12 in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Click Here For Official Team Sheet


Chelsea Mendy, Azpilicueta (c), Chalobah, Silva, Cucurella, Loftus-Cheek (Kovacic 78), Jorginho, Mount (Pulisic 78), Havertz (Galagher 64), Aubameyang (Broja 64), Sterling
Subs Not Used Bettinelli, Zakaria, Ziyech, Koulibaly, Hall
Booked Aubameyang, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Gallagher, Sterling

Arsenal Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko (Tierney 78), Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard (c) (Elneny 87), Saka, Jesus, Martinelli (Holding 90+4)
Subs Not Used Turner, Nketiah, Cedric, Vieira, Lokonga, Nelson
Booked Saka, White
Goals Gabriel 63

Attendance 40,142

Referee Michael Oliver

VAR Jarred Gillett