Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Martin Odegaard brace keeps Premier League title hopes alive amid Frank Lampard misery
Martin Odegaard’s first half brace helped Arsenal inflict a sixth consecutive defeat on Frank Lampard since becoming Chelsea interim manager – and boosted the Gunners’ title hopes again.
The Norwegian’s two near-identical finishes and Gabriel Jesus’ goal did the damage in the first half, before Noni Madueke pulled back a consolation for Chelsea.
The win lifted Arsenal back up to top spot in the Premier League, although Manchester City will have the chance to reclaim the position when they host West Ham on Wednesday.
Arsenal flew out of the blocks at the Emirates, creating a flurry of early chances, and it was inside 19 minutes that Odegaard fired in a deserved opener. Granit Xhaka squared it from the left to the Norwegian, who slotted home via the underside of the crossbar.
Chelsea looked shellshocked, having started the game poorly – and in an uncustomary 4-3-3 system – and they had no answer to Mikel Arteta’s rampant team for most of the night.
The second Arsenal goal was almost a carbon copy of the first, with Xhaka again picking out Odegaard who swept home from around 12 yards.
And the Gunners piled on the misery for Frank Lampard, as Jesus pounced on some more sloppy Chelsea defending to bundle home at the near post to make it 3-0 after little more than half an hour.
The second half brought even more chances for Arsenal who should have stretched their advantage. But the Gunners’ profiligacy allowed Madueke to reduce the deficit on 65 minutes to give Chelsea some hope.
Lampard’s listless side never really threatened to come back though, succumbing to another defeat and remaining on 39 points for the season.