Gabriel scored the only goal as Arsenal defeated Chelsea 1-0 in a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in London on Sunday.
The Gunners’ win in the London derby kept them atop the league table with 34 points from 13 matches, a couple of points ahead of second-place Manchester City. Chelsea, meanwhile, remained in seventh with 21 points from 13 matches.
The Blues have now failed to register a win in any of their last four Premier League matches. Graham Potter continues to be under pressure as his side was comfortably outclassed by Mikel Arteta’s boys on their home turf.
We will now take a look at three things that stood out in the match:
Arsenal dominated, but failed to score in first half
Arsenal, quite expectedly, dominated from the beginning of the match. They started in their customary 4-2-3-1 formation with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli putting pressure on the Arsenal defense through the flanks.
However, the Chelsea defense held firm and were repeatedly aided by Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the two defensive midfielders in Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1.
Arsenal’s right-back Ben White managed to take a couple of shots from the edge of the Chelsea penalty box, narrowly missing the target.
The best chance for the Gunners came when the ball was played to Martinelli from inside their own half after a flurry of quick passes and the Brazilian winger delivered an inch-perfect cross to Gabriel Jesus inside the Chelsea penalty box.
However, the 25-year-old Brazilian failed to connect with his head. Jesus also had one of his shots blocked by Thiago Silva inside the box.
Chelsea defended deep, relying on counter-attacks
Chelsea, for their part, kept defending dourly keeping players behind the ball. Marc Cucurella and Cesar Azpilicueta did not give the Arsenal wingers any leeway on the flanks, with the former having to commit a few fouls in the first half.
They also had to deal with a high-press that kept them under constant pressure as the Gunners managed to retain the ball on a number of occasions in the opposition half.
However, there were a few counter-attacking runs by the Blues, with Raheem Sterling making a few speedy forays into the opposition half and playing the ball to Kai Havertz, who came close to scoring a goal once.
Towards the latter stages of the first half, both Martinelli and Saka started shifting inside more often and Jesus began to move to the left flank to create space and shake things up for the Gunners.
Still, there were not enough overlapping runs from Arsenal full-backs Oleksandr Zinchenko and White, as neither of them could deliver quality crosses during the first 45 minutes.
Arsenal’s high-press did the trick in the second half
Arsenal continued to press high in the second half, with Jesus taking on Thiago Silva repeatedly while the wingers kept the Chelsea full-backs under pressure.
Gabriel Jesus had the chance to put his side ahead after Saka played a pass to him inside the box, but his shot went straight to Edouard Mendy. Moments later, the high-press won the Gunners a corner and they got their goal through it.
Saka’s left-footed delivery swung in and beat everybody, including Mendy, before Gabriel Jesus managed to get a touch on the ball as it was about to cross the goal-line.
Chelsea reacted immediately by replacing Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Conor Gallagher and Armando Boja, respectively. Probably this change should have been made earlier as the Blues lacked an extra man in the central midfield, with their No. 10 Mason Mount doing little in the match.
Chelsea gained more possession with the change, but the Gunners continued to look sharp on the counter. The hard-working Jesus once shrugged of the challenge of a couple of Chelsea players before playing the ball to Martinelli, who could not score.
The Blues, meanwhile, kept launching sporadic forays into the opposition half, with Raheem Sterling being in the thick of things whenever they tried to break free.
Potter also introduced Matteo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic in place of Loftus-Cheek and Mount, respectively, but that had no impact on the score-line as Arsenal notched up a deserving win.