Chelsea 2-4 Arsenal: Eddie Nketiah brace gives Gunners huge top-four boost after thrilling Stamford Bridge win

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·3-min read
Chelsea 2-4 Arsenal: Eddie Nketiah brace gives Gunners huge top-four boost after thrilling Stamford Bridge win
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Eddie Nketiah’s first Premier League goals of the season helped Arsenal to a thrilling 4-2 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The 22-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, put Arsenal in front early on before Timo Werner’s deflected strike quickly got the Blues level again. Emile Smith Rowe restored the lead for the visitors but once again they were pegged back, this time Cesar Azpilicueta the man to get Chelsea on terms.

There was to be no third equaliser though after Nketiah puts his side in front once more after the break, and the Gunners sealed a massive three points when Bukayo Saka scored from the penalty spot in stoppage-time.

After bouncing back from three straight defeats, Mikel Arteta’s side are now level on points with Tottenham heading into the final six games of the season.

Romelu Lukaku started for the first time in two months for Chelsea, while Arsenal brought in Rob Holding and Mohamed Elneny as they looked to bring back some solidity to the side.

Solidity is not a word than can be used to describe the frantic first-half that followed.

It was a slow start from the Gunners but they took the lead early on thanks to a gift from their hosts. Andreas Christensen played a terrible backpass, Nketiah pounced on it and finished with consummate ease past Edouard Mendy as he finally got off the mark in the league.

Five minutes later though, Chelsea were level. Arsenal lost it deep in their own half this time, allowing Werner to cut inside and his shot, with the help of a big deflection off Granit Xhaka, beat Aaron Ramsdale at his near post.

Saka got an increasing amount of joy on the right wing, seemingly beating Marcos Alonso at will, and he was involved as the Gunners restored their lead. He drifted inside and found Martin Odegaard, he played it to Smith Rowe who sent a wonderful first-time finish into the far corner.

 (PA)
(PA)

Once again, five minutes was all Arsenal managed before they were pegged back. Ben White thought he was fouled but the referee waved play on as Mason Mount curled a low cross into the box, and Azpilicueta was there to poke his side level.

The visitors could well have had a third before the break as Smith Rowe went close after brilliantly finding space at the end of a crazy first 45 minutes.

Thiago Silva was introduced at half-time, as Thomas Tuchel tried to bring some calm to proceedings.

It worked for the opening stages of the second-half, but Arsenal then took the lead for a third time in incredibly scrappy fashion. As Nketiah looked to turn into space, Silva poked the ball away and it bounced off Malang Sarr and back into the striker’s path. The ball bobbled around again, before Nketiah got just about enough on the finish to beat Mendy.

Chelsea very nearly had a third equaliser, as Alonso’s deflected strike flew towards the far corner but White got back to clear it off the line.

Gabriel Martinelli and Cedric Soares, both introduced off the bench, had chances to make more of dangerous counter-attacks, though couldn’t find a final ball that would have finished the match off.

The win was sealed though, as Azpilicueta bundled Saka over in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Saka picked himself up and dispatched the penalty to seal a famous win, as the Gunners kept their top-four fate in their own hands.

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