Chelsea vs Arsenal score: Emile Smith Rowe throws himself on Jorginho’s mistake to win the Gunners’ victory
Emile Smith Rowe jumped on a Jorginho mistake to earn Arsenal a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Wednesday, completing a Premier League brace over their London rivals for the first time since their Invincible season and keeping slim qualifying hopes alive European next season.
Chelsea should have been ahead moments before Smith Rowe’s goal, with Kai Havertz capitalizing on a confusion between Gabriel and Pablo Mari but blazing above Bernd Leno’s bar face to face with the goalkeeper. They had to pay for their debauchery when Jorginho returned a hospital pass to Kepa Arrizabalaga, who handed the ball to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score Smith Rowe’s second goal in as many games.
Arsenal’s fortuitous opening set the stage for what often felt like an attack-to-defense training exercise with Chelsea looking for weaknesses in a visiting backline that rarely seemed settled but did just enough. Rob Holding blocked Mason Mount’s effort as he flew towards goal as Christian Pulisic came home from a corner kicked back by Kai Havertz but from an offside position. As the match progressed against the Blues, substitute Olivier Giroud stole the rebound from a header from Kurt Zouma against the crossbar.
Arsenal’s victory took them to eighth place, but they are just one point behind fierce rivals Tottenham in a Europa Conference League qualifying spot after playing one more game. Chelsea, meanwhile, are six points clear of West Ham in fifth place, but have played one more game as they look to hold onto their top-four spot.
Here are the takeaways from Wednesday’s game.
The clown shoe is on the other foot for Arsenal
You can almost imagine Mikel Arteta muttering to himself “this is how it feels” after he’s finally been on the winning side of a moment of inexplicable defensive ineptitude. Prior to his appointment and since, Arsenal has turned self-destruction into an art form, constantly finding new, more inventive ways to make life more nerve-racking for themselves.
This season alone, Arsenal have handed over eight goals and 15 shooting opportunities to Premier League and Europa League opponents through their own mistakes, according to Opta. Extend that to the past four national seasons and the Gunners lead the league with 37 errors that gave goals to the other team. In many ways, it’s remarkable that Arteta’s side entered tonight’s game with the Premier League’s third best defensive record and it’s hard not to wonder what they could have accomplished s ‘They hadn’t handed goals to Burnley, Everton and Aston. Villa.
These mistakes do not balance out over the course of the season as teams like Chelsea simply do not allow themselves to make them. At least not that often. A strange catalog of mistakes has given Arsenal the lead. The clever pressing from Martin Odegaard, Mohamed Elneny and Smith Rowe forced Jorginho to a nervous pass towards his own goal, a cardinal sin for any defensive player.
Kepa received criticism, as usual, although it could be noted that the Spaniard’s positioning far from goal gave Jorginho a simple angle for a safe pass. As he came up, instinct was obviously gaining the upper hand and Arsenal would have received an indirect free kick on the edge of the six-yard penalty area if referee Andre Marriner hadn’t chosen to play when the Chelsea keeper had removed the ball from the line. Instead, the game continued and Aubameyang made the right choice, cutting back for Smith Rowe to screw a ball into the bottom corner.
So often Arsenal have been the architects of their own misery, there is a cruel irony in fortune that ultimately favors them in the most insignificant of great games.
Chelsea struggle to chase matches
It’s not something Chelsea often had to do under Thomas Tuchel and it may explain why the Blues seemed so devoid of ideas as they tried to break down an Arsenal side that barely seemed hold it together at the back once they’ve taken it. the head.
Tuchel’s side are exceptional at tearing apart teams that push too far forward in pursuit of a goal and have been so good at defending that they only need to capitalize on a mistake to win the game. They have been a winning machine and it is extremely difficult to question much of the work their new manager did when he led them to two cup finals and a place in the Premier League top four. But the next step must surely be to add a more creative spark on this side.
Between a shot from Mason Mount in the 22nd minute and the stretched effort of Pulisic who obediently rolled into Leno’s arms 64 minutes later, Chelsea failed to score a shot on goal. Tuchel’s midfielder Billy Gilmour and Jorginho was more than capable of recycling possession but couldn’t make his way between the lines. Reece James and Pulisic delivered tempting crosses but Arsenal had defenders on hand and the excellent Thomas Partey was invariably the first to lose balls.
Chelsea had their chances belatedly, a brilliant save from Leno tipped Zouma’s looping header over the bar, but only thanks to desperate football which saw a center-back masquerading as a target man at the top. For much of the game, they struggled to make their way through a low block, even one that was just defending less effectively than them.
Perhaps that is a lesson for Leicester City, who will look to win the FA Cup and tighten their grip on third place in the next two games. This will be easier said than done as Arsenal’s game plan requires scoring against Tuchel’s resolute defense. But the Foxes may find defending a lead against Chelsea not as difficult as it sounds.
Gabriel: A nervous presence to the left of a fullback three – not a role he’s often played since joining Arsenal – the Brazilian misplaced a third of his passes in the first half and was fortunate enough not to concede a penalty early in the second period. He hasn’t always performed at the level he had before his COVID-19 diagnosis in December. Rating: 3
Christian Pulisic: With a battle ahead for places in the FA Cup and Champions League final, Pulisic timed an impressive performance well. His run was fearless and straightforward as he showed an impressive eye for goal, even though he was offside when he hit Havertz head from a corner. Rating: 6
Emile Smith Rowe: Fresh off his debut Premier League goal against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, Smith Rowe, who even on the biggest stage is fearless. He demands the ball and is ready to run over opponents and force mistakes; Apart from his first goal in a London derby, he will always have the memory of the nutmeg to cherish Thiago Silva. Rating: 8