Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea FC: Romelu Lukaku back with a bang as weakened Gunners brushed aside

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 (PA)
(PA)

Romelu Lukaku scored on his Chelsea return as Thomas Tuchel's Blues brushed aside a weakened Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates on Sunday.

The pressure was on Lukaku to deliver following his club-record £97.5million reunion with Chelsea, and the Belgian delivered with a scintillating performance in a one-sided London derby.

Mikel Arteta will rue going into a game against the Champions League holders with a number of players out with Covid-19 - with Ben White joining the list of absentees - but it was a controlled performance from Thomas Tuchel's Blues, and in particlar his new No9.

Lukaku made and scored the first goal, holding up play brilliantly and bullying Pablo Mari before turning home a Reece James cross from close range 15 minutes into his second debut for Chelsea.

The visitors were two goals to the good 20 minutes later as Arsenal once again lost track of James on the right flank, with the wing-back powering home a fine finish high past Bernd Leno.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Arsenal were spirited but lacking in quality and numbers, and an early-season defeat against Chelsea was never going to define their season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was back after his bout with the virus, but could only offer 30 minutes from the bench with the game already effectively over - and Arteta also lost Kieran Tierney to another injury.

Lukaku could have added his second, and Chelsea's third, late on were it not for a stunning save from Leno, but Arsenal kept the scoreline relatively respectable.

Though it is early on in the season, Chelsea already have the look of title challengers - especially with Lukaku leading the line.

As for Arsenal, they have plenty of players still to return - but for now, they look a long, long way off their London rivals.

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