Chelsea vs Arsenal – Football Match Report – 21 April 2022
An Eddie Nketiah brace propelled Arsenal firmly into the fight for a Champions League spot with a 4-2 victory over Chelsea in a breathless London Derby at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Arsenal led twice in the first half, first by Nketiah and then Emile Smith Rowe, only to be quickly brought back by Chelsea goals from Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta.
But Nketiah added his second early in the second half and a Chelsea side with Romelu Lukaku leading the attack this time had no response. Bukayo Saka secured the vital three points when converting from a stoppage time penalty.
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The victory ends a three-game losing streak for Arsenal and moves up the points level with Tottenham in fourth and three points clear of Manchester United, who played one game more, in sixth.
Despite the loss, Chelsea retain a five-point cushion in the third and are one game clear of Arsenal and Tottenham.
Arsenal struck first in a frenetic first half when Nketiah pounced on a weak back pass from Andreas Christensen in the 13th minute and then when Smith-Rowe completed a smooth counterattack in the 27th.
But the visitors were quickly caught each time, first after a deflected effort from Werner and then a close-range finish from Azpilicueta from a Mason Mount cross.
Nketiah restored the visitors’ lead in the 57th minute when he seized on another confusion in the Chelsea defense to make it 3-2, stabbing the ball after Thiago Silva’s interception bounced off the way of the Arsenal striker off Malang Sarr.
Chelsea pressed for a third equaliser, calling on Kai Havertz for an out-of-form record signing Lukaku who largely failed to impress once again when given a rare start by coach Thomas Tuchel.
But Saka completed the win by converting a 92nd-minute penalty after being ruled for being fouled by Azpilicueta.
The defeat marked the first time since 1993 that Chelsea had lost three consecutive home games after being beaten by Brentford in the league and Real Madrid in the Champions League. They have conceded a total of 11 goals in those games, a run of form that contrasts with their usually secure defense under Tuchel.
Arsenal had lost all three of their previous league matches.
“We wanted to give the fans something to believe in us and we did that,” Saka told Sky Sports. “We showed fighting spirit and character. It’s a huge result. It means a lot to us. Losing three games in a row is really difficult.”
Wednesday’s game was played with some sections of Stamford Bridge unfilled after the government ruled in March that Chelsea could not sell new tickets to their fans due to restrictions linked to the club’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.