Chelsea FC 2-4 Arsenal LIVE! Saka goal - Premier League result, match stream and latest updates today

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·26-min read
Chelsea FC 2-4 Arsenal LIVE! Saka goal - Premier League result, match stream and latest updates today
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Chelsea vs Arsenal LIVE!

Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-2 in the Premier League helped by two Eddie Nketiah goals, leaving the Gunners running neck-and-neck with north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the race for a Champions League spot.

The Gunners went ahead twice in a pulsating first half at Stamford Bridge thanks to Nketiah - who pounced on a weak back pass by Andreas Christensen - and Emile Smith-Rowe, only to be pegged back by equalisers from Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Nketiah restored the visitors’ lead in the 57th minute when he seized on another mix-up in Chelsea’s defence to make it 3-2, stabbing the ball home after Thiago Silva’s interception bounced into his path off Malang Sarr.

Bukayo Saka rounded off the win when he converted a penalty in the 92nd minute after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Azpilicueta.

The win left Arsenal just outside the Champions League qualifying positions in fifth place but level with Spurs on 57 points, with six matches to go.

Chelsea vs Arsenal latest news

  • GOAL! Saka seals win from the spot

  • GOAL! Nketiah gives Arsenal lead for third time

  • GOAL! Azpilicueta gets Chelsea on terms again

  • GOAL! Smith Rowe puts visitors back in front

  • GOAL! Werner levels with deflected strike

  • GOAL! Nketiah pounces on error for opening goal

Chelsea FC 2 - 4 Arsenal FC

Tuchel: Christensen HT sub down to injury

08:00 , Malik Ouzia

Tuchel also moved to clarify that his decision to take Andreas Christensen off at half-time was not as a result of his blunder for Nketiah’s opener.

“He said he cannot continue, so I think he had some problems,” Tuchel told reporters. “I don’t take a player out because he makes one mistake.”

Rudiger set to miss West Ham clash

07:36 , Malik Ouzia

Tuchel also provided another injury update on Antonio Rudiger, who missed last match and is unlikely to return against West Ham this weekend.

“Not good, I don’t think he will play against West Ham,” he said.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Tuchel blames pitch for Nketiah opener

07:19 , Malik Ouzia

Some reaction from the Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel now, who has bizarrely blamed the club’s own Stamford Bridge pitch for last night’s defeat...

“To say that the pitch is difficult to play here is maybe sounds like an excuse but it is a very, very difficult pitch that we have here,” Tuchel said.

“It is not to our favour. The ball bounces very, very awkwardly in front of Andreas [Christensen] when he wants to play this ball.

“But still, we had the same mistake against Real Madrid that cost us the Champions League next round, this one cost us the next match, I cannot remember when we got a goal like this.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Match report

23:06 , Matt Verri

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.

Click here for our full match report

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

First Premier League goals of the season...

22:52 , Matt Verri

Chelsea ratings

22:36 , Matt Verri

Timo Werner 6

Another decisive moment from him with his goal in the first half. It might have taken a heavy deflection, but it was about him committing defenders and taking a chance.

Mason Mount 6

Chelsea’s heartbeat on his 100th Premier League performance. Wonderful ball set up Azpilicueta’s goal and so tenacious when chasing down red shirts.

Romelu Lukaku 5

A rare start and a big chance for him to begin to get his Chelsea career back on track. Tuchel said he would get an hour and it felt like he could not wait to get him off as the clock hit 60 minutes. One shot – off target – all night.

Read James Robson’s full ratings here

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal player ratings

22:25 , Matt Verri

Martin Odegaard 7

Actually did a lot of his best work without the ball and worked tirelessly, diving into tackles. Was good in possession too and looked back to his usual self.

Eddie Nketiah 9

Handed another chance to start as Alexandre Lacazette is not fully fit yet. Took his chance with both hands as he scored twice.

Emile Smith Rowe 8

Had a one of his best games for a while. Took his goal really well and looked a threat all night. Carried the ball well and caused problems.

Click here for the full look at Arsenal’s players

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Tuchel’s thoughts on post-match disagreement

22:14 , Matt Verri

Hosts not impressed with the penalty decision...

22:10 , Matt Verri

Bukayo Saka’s post-match reaction...

22:02 , Matt Verri

“We wanted to give the fans something to believe in us and we did that. We showed fight and character. It’s a huge result.

“It means a lot to us. Losing three games in a row is really difficult.”

21:55 , Matt Verri

Chelsea fans give Azpilicueta stick... and then ask for his shirt.

Interesting tactic, and believe it or not it doesn’t look like it worked for the supporter. Strange that.

Look how much that meant to Saka...

21:49 , Matt Verri

21:46 , Matt Verri

It’s a huge result for Arsenal - they move level on points with Tottenham. Six matches remaining in the season.

One of those is that massive north London derby on May 12. Could it all come down to that? Looks like that could well be the case...

Nketiah with his second of the match...

21:42 , Matt Verri

FT: Chelsea 2-4 Arsenal

21:40 , Matt Verri

WHAT A WIN FOR ARSENAL!

Three straight defeats coming into this one, but they’ve come out on top in a Stamford Bridge thriller.

They move level on points with Tottenham and their top-four fate is in their own hands. Stunning night for Arteta’s men.

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

21:38 , Matt Verri

Could see the emotion pour out of Saka as he slotted that penalty. Huge moment for him given what happened last summer.

GOAL! Chelsea 2-4 Arsenal | Bukayo Saka 90+2'

21:36 , Matt Verri

SAKA SEALS A MASSIVE WIN FOR ARSENAL!

At last the Gunners can relax - they’ve gone to Stamford Bridge and got the job done.

21:35 , Matt Verri

90+1 mins: So unnecessary from Azpilicueta, Saka was never getting anywhere near the cross.

VAR has checked it. Decision stands! Saka will take the penalty himself.

PENALTY ARSENAL!

21:34 , Matt Verri

Saka down in the box as Azpilicueta challenges him... PENALTY!

Cedric’s cross was a poor one, well behind Saka. But he thought he was being wrestled to the ground and the referee points to the spot.

21:31 , Matt Verri

88 mins: Corner swung into the Arsenal box, Ramsdale off his line to punch it away.

Holding then goes down and the referee stops play. Looks like it might just be cramp. Ramsdale walks towards the home fans with a smirk on his face, sure they appreciated that.

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

21:31 , Matt Verri

Arteta is kicking and living every ball here. Being ushered back into his technical area by the 4th official. Can’t stand still.

21:28 , Matt Verri

84 mins: Mount lucky to only get a yellow card?

Really poor challenge on Cedric, catches him high. Shown a yellow and VAR decides nothing more is needed.

21:26 , Matt Verri

82 mins: HUGE CHANCE FOR ARSENAL!

That could have sealed it. Cedric gets the better of Sarr and he has so much time to pick a pass out in the box.

Martinelli makes the run at the far post, Cedric takes an age before sending a really poor ball to nobody. Eventually comes to Tavares, who slices a shot wide.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

21:24 , Matt Verri

Chelsea weren’t great on Sunday and this feels like a bit more of a hangover. In recent seasons Arsenal seem to have to caught them at good times.

Ziyech coming on now to replace Alonson. Can he turn things around?

21:23 , Matt Verri

80 mins: Martinelli leads the break for Arsenal, cuts the ball back into the box. Saka quickly tries to change director but he slips... brief penalty appeals but never going to get that.

And quickly the Gunners are back into their shape.

21:21 , Matt Verri

77 mins: Good work from Tavares to track the run of Mount, Gabriel tries to boot it up the pitch but instead fires it into Xhaka and out of play.

Chelsea have had 80% possession in the last ten minutes... pressure really building.

21:18 , Matt Verri

75 mins: Tavares is limping a bit, but it’s Smith Rowe who is going off. Cedric on to replace him.

Full focus from the Gunners is holding on to what they have now.

21:17 , Matt Verri

73 mins: That was a real test for Holding!

White’s clearance smacks into a Chelsea player and falls for Werner, who is one-on-one with Holding. He knocks it past the Arsenal man, who just about has enough pace to get there.

21:14 , Matt Verri

70 mins: First change of the night for Arsenal.

Nketiah gets a brilliant ovation from the away fans as he trudges off. Martinelli on to replace him, looks like he’ll be playing down the middle.

21:13 , Matt Verri

69 mins: Saka plays it wide to Smith Rowe who has space on the left to drive into the box.

He looks to whip something into the middle, loses his footing though and it dribbles out of play.

21:09 , Matt Verri

65 mins: OFF THE LINE!

Nearly 3-3. Ball is fizzed low into the box, Ramsdale parries it straight out into the box. Alonso’s shot hits Gabriel and White is there on the line to keep it out.

Nketiah then does superbly to hold the ball away, plays it to Saka and he wins a free-kick for his side.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

21:08 , Matt Verri

Tuchel said Lukaku could probably only play for an hour and that is what he got. In that time he managed one shot, which was off target.

He touched the ball 22 times.

Hard to put up a case for him to start again at the weekend.

21:08 , Matt Verri

64 mins: Arsenal certainly sitting deeper now, as you’d expect.

White shoves Werner out of play, referee plays the advantage. Nketiah is working so hard for the Gunners, really making the most of Lacazette’s absence.

21:04 , Matt Verri

61 mins: Lukaku off, Havertz on for the last 30 minutes.

Arsenal will be desperate to hold on to the lead for the next 10 minutes or so, something they couldn’t do in the first-half.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

21:03 , Matt Verri

Well that didn’t last long. Another horrible defensive mix up from Chelsea. We are seeing things here that you just don’t expect from a Tuchel side. How many goals are they going to gift Arsenal tonight?

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

21:03 , Matt Verri

Like London buses, you wait for one to come and then two turn up. What a night for Nketiah. The away end are chanting: “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie.”

GOAL! Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal | Eddie Nketiah 57'

21:01 , Matt Verri

ARSENAL HAVE THE LEAD FOR A THIRD TIME!

Scrappy goal, but the Gunners don’t care one bit. Tavares plays the ball in, Nketiah turns into the box but Silva pokes the ball away.

Bounces off Sarr and back into Nketiah’s path, then it bobbles around again and eventually the striker pokes home!

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

21:00 , Matt Verri

It feels like Chelsea have a bit more control at the start of this half, but it is far from comfortable. The game is nothing like as open as it was in the first 45, but that is hardly a surprise.

Nor is the addition of Thiago Silva. There was no way Tuchel would leave his defence looking so ragged.

20:59 , Matt Verri

56 mins: Nketiah down in the box, Arsenal fans appeal for the penalty but not much from the players. They’ll have to settle for a corner.

Saka swings it in, but the referee has blown the whistle. Not impressed with Gabriel and Sarr, who are pulling each other around.

Take two - Nketiah nearly has a free header, just over his head. Whistle goes again though, free-kick Chelsea.

20:58 , Matt Verri

54 mins: Elneny swings it out wide towards Saka, Alonso out this time to head it away.

Chelsea fully aware of how dangerous Saka was in the first 45 minutes, they’re getting two or three men over to that wing when he has the ball.

20:55 , Matt Verri

51 mins: Lukaku runs at the Arsenal defence, nutmegs Gabriel. Werner picks it up, nutmegs Holding and the Belgian tries to get on the end of it the pass, Xhaka is there though.

Arsenal midfielder gets his body in the way and watches it run through to Ramsdale.

20:53 , Matt Verri

49 mins: Ramsdale has twice had to be quick off his line since the break, with Chelsea nearly catching Arsenal out with a ball over the top.

Lukaku and Werner are making the runs, haven’t been found yet though.

20:50 , Matt Verri

46 mins: Early signs would suggest we may get more of the same!

Worked out wide to Werner, he goes past White on the outside and drills an effort at goal. Side-netting.

Back underway!

20:49 , Matt Verri

We’re up and running again at Stamford Bridge.

Thiago Silva is on for the home side, replacing Andreas Christensen.

20:44 , Matt Verri

60% of the ball for Chelsea in that first-half. Six shots, two on target which were the two goals.

Eight shots for the Gunners, who look to have found some form in attacking areas again. Again, their two shots on target were both goals.

Azpilicueta of all people there to equalise...

20:42 , Matt Verri

How Arsenal took the lead for a second time...

20:37 , Matt Verri

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

20:34 , Matt Verri

What a mad half of football, played at an insane pace. Some good stuff from Arsenal, who look back to being a threat going forward. Odegaard looks back on it and Saka getting joy out right. Big half to come for Arsenal.

HT: Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal

20:32 , Matt Verri

And breathe!

What a first-half at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal twice took the lead, through Nketiah and Smith Rowe, but on both times they were quickly pegged back as Werner and then Azpilicueta equalised.

Frantic 45 minutes, and it was a brilliant watch.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

20:30 , Matt Verri

45 mins: SO CLOSE FOR ARSENAL!

You guessed it, Saka starts it. Odegaard slides it into Smith Rowe, who somehow manages to keep the ball under pressure from four defenders.

Finds space for the shot, flies just wide of the post. Mendy wasn’t getting anywhere near it.

Two minutes added on.

20:29 , Matt Verri

44 mins: Arsenal look so dangerous every time they play it out wide to Alonso.

Drifts inside, curls a wonderful cross into the box. Mendy and James both let it go, with no Arsenal player making the run at the back post.

20:26 , Matt Verri

41 mins: Tavares plays his way out of trouble nicely and the Gunners can break. Nketiah tries to set the left-back away, pass is intercepted though.

Saka again gets past Alonso with ease, Odegaard and Smith Rowe combine, comes to Xhaka... shot blocked. Tavares’ cross in them smacks Azpilicueta in the face and play is paused.

20:23 , Matt Verri

38 mins: Arsenal are struggling to string more than a few passes together in midfield.

Mount pings a sensational ball out to Alonso and he’s got in behind White. Perfect first touch to bring it down inside the box, but the shot is blasted high and wide.

20:21 , Matt Verri

36 mins: Chelsea knocking the ball around comfortably at the back, maybe just trying to slow things down briefly.

Both sides look so vulnerable at the back, with neither particularly secure on possession. Made for a thrilling match.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

20:20 , Matt Verri

We are seeing tonight what happens when you take Rudiger and Thiago out of Chelsea’s defence. They are being run ragged. The amount of chances Arsenal are creating is ridiculous.

They should and could have more to show for their two goals, if not for their finishing.

Surely Tuchel won’t stand by and let this continue.

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

20:19 , Matt Verri

This is just a bonkers game, neither manager will be happy with the lack of control from their sides but it’s great entertainment.

20:19 , Matt Verri

34 mins: It’s Arsenal’s turn to attack now!

Nketiah with a shot from distance that flies just wide. The Gunners are quickly back on the attack, worked wide to Tavares and he drags an effort wide after driving into the box.

GOAL! Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal | Cesar Azpilicueta 32'

20:17 , Matt Verri

CHELSEA LEVEL AGAIN!

White briefly has the ball, then throws himself to the ground appealing for a free-kick. Doesn’t get it.

Mount whips a low cross into the box, Azpilicueta gets across Tavares and pokes it in at the near post. Lovely finish.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

20:15 , Matt Verri

Chelsea were badly exposed after Alonso vacated his side in search of a goal. Still, some slick play from Arsenal and a wonderful finish from Smith Rowe, but Tuchel will not be happy with that.

20:15 , Matt Verri

29 mins: Alonso gets forward and his cross is deflected behind for a corner.

Headed away, Tavares tries to bring it clear but is then caught in possession. It’s been a chaotic start to this match!

GOAL! Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal | Emile Smith Rowe 27'

20:12 , Matt Verri

ARSENAL RETAKE THE LEAD!

Seconds after a shambolic spell of defending, the Gunners are back in front.

They break up the pitch with Saka, he plays it inside to Odegaard who feeds Smith Rowe. He runs onto it and finishes perfectly first-time.

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

20:11 , Matt Verri

This is being played like an old school Premier League game, with the ball zipping about at 100mph. Arsenal are mainly playing on the counter, but Saka is getting joy against Alonso.

20:10 , Matt Verri

25 mins: And again from Arsenal - Saka has got the beating of Alonso.

This time he cuts inside, the ball in takes a deflection and loops to the back post. Nketiah can only flick his header on and Tavares is offside as he throws himself at it.

20:09 , Matt Verri

23 mins: Saka gets his first chance of the night to run at Alonso and he skips past him with ease.

Pulls it back for Nketiah who has space in the box, scuffs his effort badly though and it goes harmlessly wide.

20:06 , Matt Verri

21 mins: Alonso fires the ball down the line, Lukaku has made the run in behind.

Ramsdale charges off his line and gets there first to clear, getting clattered in the process.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

20:05 , Matt Verri

Werner is obviously a confidence player and he is flying now. It is not always pretty, but he is such a problem to defenders, who are terrified of his speed.

GOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal | Timo Werner 18'

20:03 , Matt Verri

CHELSEA BACK ON TERMS!

That didn’t take long! Arsenal lose the ball deep in their own half again, and Loftus-Cheek pounces.

Comes to Werner out wide, he cuts inside and goes for goal from distance. Xhaka has turned his back, it deflects off him and rolls past Ramsdale at the near post.

20:01 , Matt Verri

16 mins: Arsenal look to have moved to a back four, with White shifting out to right-back.

All it took was one Chelsea error, which the Gunners were ruthless in exploiting, and now the visitors have something to defend.

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

19:59 , Matt Verri

Shades of the Real Madrid game with that Arsenal goal. Christensen got that all wrong, but fair play to Nketiah - a decent finish from a player who hasn’t scored in the Premier League all season.

GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal | Eddie Nketiah 13'

19:58 , Matt Verri

THE GUNNERS TAKE THE LEAD!

It’s Chelsea who are sloppy on the ball this time and they’ve been made to pay. Christensen tries to play it back to Mendy but he gets nowhere near enough on the pass.

Nketiah can run onto it and he finishes calmly past Mendy. Arsenal ahead at Stamford Bridge.

19:57 , Matt Verri

12 mins: Holding the latest Arsenal man to play a terrible pass straight to a Chelsea shirt.

Gunners get it back, Saka lays it off to White who tries to clear it up the pitch... straight out of play. Visitors yet to really get going.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

19:56 , Matt Verri

Has to be said, Arsenal fans are making the biggest noise so far. This is the first league game Chelsea have played at home with only season ticket holders permitted.

The atmosphere is still impressive - but you can certainly hear the visiting fans, who are doing a certain amount of taunting.

They are chanting: ‘Just like the old days, there’s nobody here.’

19:55 , Matt Verri

10 mins: Gunners haven’t been able to have any sort of sustained possession yet.

Doesn’t help when they give it away cheaply, as Smith Rowe does. Turns into a lovely through ball for Lukaku, who then drags a shot wide of the far post.

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

19:53 , Matt Verri

Unsurprisingly, given he hasn’t kicked a ball since New Year’s Day, Elneny looks a little rusty. Chelsea’s midfield are pressing him high when he’s in possession.

19:52 , Matt Verri

7 mins: Nicely-worked free-kick from the Gunners.

Taken short to Xhaka, he dinks it over the top and Gabriel has space to drill the ball across the face of goal. Mendy sticks out a leg and the rebound falls to a Chelsea shirt.

19:50 , Matt Verri

5 mins: Corner Chelsea, who are very much on top.

Drops for Alonso, Xhaka and White throw themselves in the way and the shot deflects just wide for another corner.

Second one is swung in deep towards the back post, it sails over Ramsdale and Gabriel has to head it away on the line!

19:48 , Matt Verri

3 mins: Poor pass from the Gunners and Chelsea can break on them. Mount very nearly sets Werner free, but a combination of Holding and then Odegaard clears the danger.

Been a bit frantic at the back from the visitors so far.

19:47 , Matt Verri

2 mins: Arsenal happy to let Chelsea have it at the back in the early stages. Looks like a back three for the Gunners, with Tavares at left wing-back and Saka on the right.

Flexible with the players on the pitch though, that could easily change.

KICK-OFF!

19:45 , Matt Verri

We are underway in what looks set to be a huge London derby!

19:42 , Matt Verri

Players are out onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge!

Two sides that aren’t exactly the most consistent, so very difficult to predict what we’re going to see tonight.

How it stands...

19:37 , Matt Verri

Chelsea look relatively secure in third place in the table. They’re five points clear of Tottenham with two games in hand, but are 12 points behind Man City.

Arsenal meanwhile still have plenty to play for. Victory tonight would take them level on points with Spurs, though even a draw would keep their top-four fate in their own hands.

Warm-ups almost done!

19:30 , Matt Verri

Arteta: We must play with courage

19:27 , Matt Verri

Mikel Arteta has called for his side to find their best form tonight as they look for what would be a huge win in the top-four race.

“Every game we play to win and we try to find the best way to win the game,” Arteta said.

“I expect a tough game against the champions of the Champions League. We will have to be at our best.

“We will have periods we will suffer against this team. We must play with certainty and courage like we always do.”

The Arsenal boss also revealed that Alexandre Lacazette will only be available for a few minutes if needed, as he continues his recovery from Covid.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Ton up for Mount...

19:21 , Matt Verri

Saka: We’re going to put it right

19:17 , Matt Verri

Bukayo Saka believes Arsenal are capable of turning their recent form around and pulling off a statement win tonight.

“Obviously we’re disappointed with the last few performances but we’re looking forward now to today, Saturday and the rest of the season - we’re going to put it right today,” Saka told Sky Sports.

“It’s in our hands. Belief is the most important thing, that’s what we’re going to do right to the end. Fans are with us and they’ve been great, so we want to keep giving them something to believe in us.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Simon Collings at Stamford Bridge

19:10 , Matt Verri

Tuchel on team selection

19:00 , Matt Verri

Thomas Tuchel has been speaking to Sky Sports ahead of kick-off and has explained his decision to start Romelu Lukaku tonight.

He said: “You were asking so much about him so I finally put him in! Kai Havertz is overloaded so it was the moment to go with Romelu.”

If you have a good experience, a good memory against an opponent it can help. It was not the main reason - he deserves to play first of all and Kai is a bit tired. Also a little bit that he had a good game in the first match.”

 (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
(BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

18:54 , Matt Verri

For Chelsea, Lukaku starts in place of Havertz - the Belgian has not made a Premier League start for two months. Werner keeps his place, while Loftus-Cheek and Kante line-up in midfield.

The Gunners look to have reverted to a back-three system as Holding comes into the team. Elneny also earns a rare start, while Nketiah keeps his place up front. Lacazette is among the substitutes, having recovered from Covid-19.

Chelsea team

18:48 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Mendy, James, Sarr, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Alonso, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Werner, Mount, Lukaku

Subs: Arrizabalaga, Chalobah, Jorginho, Silva, Barkley, Pulisic, Ziyech, Havertz, Saul

Arsenal team

18:46 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Ramsdale; Holding, Gabriel, White, Tavares, Elneny, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Smith Rowe, Nketiah

Subs: Leno, Cedric, Swanson, Lokonga, Azeez, Hutchinson, Martinelli, Pepe, Lacazette

18:42 , Matt Verri

Team news coming up in a few minutes...

Talk that Arsenal may be opting for a back three tonight to try and give themselves a bit more solidity. We’ll soon see.

Capital’s ‘problem’ clubs go head-to-head

18:34 , Matt Verri

When the executives at Amazon reflect on their decision to film a documentary about Arsenal this season, there are unlikely to be many clubs they would rather have followed.

It has been a campaign full of drama at the Emirates Stadium. One that started with three straight League defeats, included Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being stripped of the captaincy and has seen injuries to key players derail the team when fourth place was in touching distance.

Chelsea, though, are one club who have rivalled Arsenal when it comes to drama this season. As well as the upheaval of Roman Abramovich being sanctioned and putting the club up for sale, Chelsea have also had a major striker issue.

Click here for Simon Collings’ full preview

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Visitors have arrived

18:25 , Matt Verri

Arteta: Aim criticism at me

18:18 , Matt Verri

Mikel Arteta insists he is willing to take the flak for Arsenal’s alarming slump in form in order to protect his young players from criticism.

Arsenal began this month sat fourth in the Premier League, but three defeats on the spin have dented their Champions League dream and seen them slip to fifth ahead of tonight’s clash with Chelsea.

“Hit me, give [it to] me, because I don’t want them to be hit because they are not prepared to take that,” Arteta said.

“The bill that you have to pay when you have such a young squad is this: that sometimes these things are going to happen.

“So, it is so fulfilling and so great to see what they are able to do and what they are really doing, which I cannot find a lot of cases very similar to that. And on the other hand, when this comes and when the storm comes, you have to be prepared to take it.”

 (Reuters)
(Reuters)

Where it could be won and lost

18:06 , Matt Verri

Our man James Robson has been having a look at some key issues ahead of tonight’s clash...

Release James

Tuchel admits he cannot decide where he prefers Reece James – at centre-back or wing-back. It is a good problem to have – but there is no denying the England international’s impact when given freedom to attack.

He remains one of Chelsea’s most creative outlets with his crossing and runs beyond defenders into the box.

Arteta must stop the rot

It does not matter how he goes about it, but Arteta simply must avoid defeat or effectively kiss goodbye to his hopes of a top four finish.

Of course defeat, alone, will not be enough to end Arsenal’s Champions League pursuit. But a fourth straight loss could do untold damage to the confidence that was coursing through the team just a few short weeks ago.

Tap into Werner riches

Germany forward Timo Werner is arguably enjoying his finest form in a Chelsea shirt and confidence is flowing through him right now

He is still far from perfect – and there remain doubts about his long-term future at Stamford Bridge - but Werner and Chelsea are reaping the rewards for his refusal to give up.

Click here for the full piece

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Stage is set

17:57 , Matt Verri

Prediction

17:50 , Matt Verri

The Gunners are due a fightback and take on a Chelsea team enjoying a good run but still prone to shakiness at home.

A draw would not be a bad result for Arsenal, keeping their top-four fate in their own hands.

A 1-1 draw.

Arsenal team news

17:43 , Matt Verri

Arsenal are sweating over Alexandre Lacazette’s status after he tested positive for Covid, ruling him out of the defeat at Southampton.

Takehiro Tomiyasu is “very, very close” to a return from a calf problem, according to Mikel Arteta, but it is not yet clear whether the Japanese international will feature tonight. Kieran Tierney (calf) and Thomas Partey (thigh) are out.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea team news

17:34 , Matt Verri

Mateo Kovacic is a doubt having been forced off in the win over Crystal Palace with an ankle issue.

Ross Barkley missed the trip to Wembley due to illness while Callum Hudson-Odoi (back) and Ben Chilwell (knee) are longer-term absentees.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

How to watch Chelsea vs Arsenal

17:25 , Matt Verri

TV channel: Tonight’s match will be televised on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event, with coverage beginning at 7pm.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the Sky Go app.

Live blog: You can follow all the action right here, with James Robson and Simon Collings at the ground to provide expert analysis.

Click here to read the full blog on The Evening Standard's website

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