Marcos Alonso scored the winner after Arsenal came from two goals down as Chelsea beat the Gunners 3-2 in their Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening, writes DEAN WORKMAN.
The Blues came into the game off the back of an impressive 3-0 win over Huddersfield, while Arsenal were looking to bounce back after a 2-0 loss against Manchester City.
Arsenal were unbeaten in the last six games against Chelsea across all competitions. Both sides, however, are in a state of transition after appointing new managers in the off-season and were looking for a big performance in this early season fixture.
Maurizio Sarri’s men got off to the perfect start as Pedro gave them the lead with just nine minutes played. Alonso drove forward into space down the right flank and whipped a great pass across the face of goal; Pedro was waiting in the middle and had an easy tap-in.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a golden chance to equalise for his side but somehow managed to miss with the goal gaping.
Just a minute later and Chelsea made it two. Cesar Azpilicueta found Alvaro Morata with a well-weighted ball over the top. The former Real Madrid player shrugged off Shkodran Mustafi before slotting his shot past Petr Cech. With 20 minutes gone, the home side were leading 2-0.
Unai Emery’s men then pulled a goal back through Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the 37th minute. Alex Iwobi’s deflected cross rolled into the path of the Armenian, who hit his shot low and hard into the bottom corner.
Mkhitaryan then turned provider as Arsenal drew level just four minutes later. The former Manchester United man linked well with Hector Bellerin before finding Iwobi with his square pass, leaving the Nigerian with a tap-in to score.
It was 2-2 at the break after a thoroughly entertaining half.
Both managers would have wanted their teams to tighten things up at the back and that clearly had an impact on the game in the second half.
Chances were proving harder to come by, with Ross Barkley forging the only opening, which was well saved by Cech, in the opening 25 minutes of the second half.
Chelsea were beginning to threaten the Arsenal goal and the pressure eventually paid off as Eden Hazard set up Marcos Alonso for the winner. The defender ghosted into the box and stroked the ball home from close range.
Chelsea pushed forward looking to put the game to bed, but were denied on a couple of occasions by their former keeper Cech.
Alonso’s goal proved enough to earn Sarri’s side their second victory of the campaign, while the Gunners remain winless under Emery.
Photo: Premier League website