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Havertz haunts Chelsea as Arsenal thump Derby rivals 5-0

Havertz haunts Chelsea as Arsenal thump Derby rivals 5-0

Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

Arsenal thrashed Chelsea 5-0 at the Emirates on Tuesday night to go three points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.

Having registered a morale-boosting victory over Wolves last time out, Arsenal looked to carry their momentum into a must-win clash against London rivals Chelsea.

The Gunners made a dream start inside the opening four minutes, as a superb driving run from Declan Rice released Leandro Trossard in the box, and the Belgian winger took one touch to compose himself before rifling a low finish beyond Dorde Petrovic at the near post.

Buoyed by that early breakthrough, Arsenal came close to doubling their lead as Petrovic produced a couple of sublime saves to deny Kai Havertz and Trossard, while at the other end, the lively Nicolas Jackson saw an effort deflected against the post.

Chances continued to flow for both sides as the first half progressed, and it was Chelsea who came closest to altering the scoreline before half-time, with Enzo Fernandez firing narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Similar to the opening period, Arsenal came flying out the blocks in the early stages of the second half, but Petrovic again came to Chelsea’s rescue, saving smartly from both Rice and Havertz.

Not to be denied, Mikel Arteta’s men deservedly doubled their advantage in the 52nd minute, as Ben White reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box to curl a composed finish into the far corner for his third goal of the season.

Two became three just five minutes later, with Martin Odegaard producing an inch-perfect ball to release Havertz through on goal, and the former Chelsea man held off the challenge of Marc Cucurella to finish expertly beyond Petrovic.

That goal killed off any hopes of an unlikely comeback from the visitors, and Havertz added his second of the evening with 25 minutes remaining, sweeping into the bottom corner after good work from Bukayo Saka.

It was a case of damage limitation for Mauricio Pochettino’s men from that point on, and White soon scored Arsenal’s fifth with a fortuitous cross-cum-shot that dropped into the far corner of the net.

That proved to be the catalyst for Arteta to hand several of his key players some valuable rest ahead of Sunday’s North London derby, as Arsenal coasted through the closing stages to earn a crucial three points in their pursuit of the title.

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