Chelsea have the edge on Arsenal


Written By: Robert Halter


In the opening exchanges of Chelsea against Arsenal, Henrikh Mkhitaryan supplied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose soft strike was covered by new Blues keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga. In the third minute, a long range strike by David Luiz, rose over the crossbar, through a Pedro assist, which was followed by Pedro’s, wayward strike flying wide to the left. In the eighth minute, from a Nacho Monreal cross, a snap shot by Mesut Oxil, went over. But within a minute, the Gunners were trailing, as Jorginho slid the ball through to Marcos Alonso, whose delivery went to Pedro, whose left footed shot found the bottom right corner. In the thirteenth minute, Kante’s pass was hit narrowly over the upright from Ross Barkley. On seventeen minutes, a long low pass forward from Shkodran Mustafi, cleared the way for Aubameyang, whose first time strike was deflected away by Arrizabalaga. Then two minutes later, Matteo Guendouzi, cleared the way for Hector Bellerin, before Aubameyang blazed over. But within sixty seconds, a long ball over from Cesar Azpilicueta opened up the Gunners defence, and Alvaro Morata, turned Mustafi, before comfortably driving the ball into the middle of the net. An Arsenal move followed with Iwobi, before a miscued strike from Mkhitaryan, flew over, in the thirty second minute. During the next four minutes, Morata combined with Pedro, whose snap shot, was comfortably stopped by Cech. But on thirty seven minutes, the Gunners pulled a goal back when from Barkley’s stray pass, Willian was caught in possession, and the ball broke to Iwobi, as the ball deflected back off Azpilicueta, before Mkhitaryan, drilled a low strike past Arrizabalaga, into the bottom left corner. The Blues responded, when Kante pulled the ball back to Morata, whose ferocious strike was acrobatically turned over from Cech. Although, Arsenal drew level in the forty first minute, as Bellerin and then Mkhitrayan, enabled Iwobi to drive the ball into the middle of the net. The Gunners were on the ascendancy as Xhaka supplied Guendouzi, who struck the ball low into Arrizabalaga. Before the end of the first half, from Iwobi’s cross, a miss timed connection by Aubameyang, went narrowly past the left post, before Bellerin combined with Mkhitaryan, and Iwobi cannoned a strike over the top. Before the re-start, Lucas Torreira took the place of Xhaka,. On forty eight minutes, through a lay off by Kante, the ball was put high over the top from Pedro, In the fifty seventh minute, Alonso’s strike rebounded back off Sokratis Papastathopoulos to Barkley, whose strike required Cech to dive to his right and turn the ball away. The Blues later brought on Mateo Kovacic for Barkley with Eden Hazrad appearing for Willian. On sixty three minutes, Hazard combined with Pedro from a short corner, before finding Jorginho, who drove the ball low into Cech. The Gunners later changed Ozil for Aaron Ramsey. After Torreira clipped Kovacic, a free kick by Luiz, was pushed out by Cech, in the seventy third minute. Arsenal then changed Alexandre Lacazette for Iwobi, while the Blues brought on Olivier Giroud for Morata. In the seventy seventh minute, from a Mkhitaryan assist, a low strike by Ramsey was spilled by Arrizablaga, before he bravely stopped the follow up from Torreira and Lacazette. Chelsea pressed again as Pedro’s cross was headed over by Kante. But in the eighty first minute, the Blues went in front, as from Lacazette’s stray pass, Hazard found Alonso, who applied a fine finish past a crest fallen Cech. On eighty five minutes, after linking up with Giroud, a shot by Hazard was deflected off Cech’s legs. The Blues went once more, as Alonso found Giroud, whose high shot, was plucked out the air from Cech’s agility. Near the end from Bellerin’s ball forward and knock on from Mkhitaryan, a rising effort by Ramsey, went onto the outside roof of the net. Before the final whistle, Pedro set free Hazard, who found Giroud, but the Frenchman rammed the ball straight against Cech, before Chelsea edged Arsenal with a thrilling 3-2 derby victory.