The Blues produced an impressive performance at the Emirates this afternoon to complete a 2-0 victory over Arsenal.
Chelsea fans revel in Arsenal’s misery
Prior to today’s game at the Emirates, there was a certain amount of hesitancy from Chelsea supporters given the Blues’ recent record against the Gunners.
In the previous four meetings between the two sides in all competitions, Arsenal had come away with three wins and a draw. Yet from quite early on, it was clear Chelsea were going to end that particular poor run.
The confidence breathed into the team by Romelu Lukaku was astounding. From minute one, Chelsea looked a cut above Arsenal. Hy half time, they were two goals ahead after Reece James added to the Belgian striker’s opener.
There were a couple of nervy moments for the Blues to overcome at the start of the second period, but they did so and from then on it was only a case of whether they’d add to their lead.
That allowed the visiting supporters inside the Emirates to enjoy themselves. There were several chants of “you’re going down” aimed at the Arsenal fans and other songs that we shall not write out here for obvious reasons.
Few Chelsea players enjoyed playing Arsenal quite as much as Didier Drogba. The Ivorian’s record against the Gunners was hugely impressive: 15 goals in 16 matches in all competitions.
The hope was that Lukaku could emulate his childhood hero after returning to Stamford Bridge. He’s off to a good start with today’s goal.
And after the match, Drogba was quick to take to Twitter in order to highlight that order has been restored in this Premier League fixture.
Lukaku’s frustration with James
The opening 45 minutes of Lukaku’s second debut for Chelsea went almost exactly to plan. The Belgian striker got on the scoresheet for the Blues inside the opening 15 minutes after he turned home a cross from Reece James.
It was a big moment for Lukaku; a boyhood Blues supporter, this was the first time he’d ever found the back of the net for the club.
Minutes later, Lukaku felt he should’ve been teed up for a second in Chelsea colours. Another flowing Chelsea attack freed James down the right flank and Lukaku again darted into the middle of the penalty area.
Had James spotted Lukaku’s run, a simple cross would’ve resulted in a tap-in for the Chelsea No.9. Instead, the academy graduate cut back and teed up Mason Mount. But the 22-year-old’s effort was deflected away for a corner.
As the ball trickled over the byline, Lukaku was quick to admonish James. A shout of “Reece!” was audible around the Emirates from Belgium’s all-time top scorer.
Arsenal battered by the Belgian
Given the number of players Arsenal currently have injured or unavailable – and the fact they started their campaign with a defeat to Brentford – they went into the game as underdogs.
The first half would’ve been a humbling experience for Mikel Arteta and his players. Arsenal registered just one shot on target and that was an effort from distance from Emile Smith-Rowe that was easily saved by Edouard Mendy.
There was a bit more intent shown after the break by the home side. Yet barring one deflected effort that required tipping over the crossbar by Mendy, Arsenal never came close to finding the back of the net.
The Gunners registered eight shots across the 90 minutes. Which was how many Lukaku managed on his own at the Emirates.
That is partly why there will be a hint of frustration on Lukaku’s part that he didn’t add to his early opener. He certainly had chances to.
The best of which came in the second period when Mason Mount’s clipped cross was powerfully headed towards goal by the 28-year-old.
Yet somehow, Bernd Leno was able to get a hand to the Belgian’s header and pushed it against the crossbar.