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Chelsea-Arsenal Shows Why Blues Could Win Title And Gunners Could Finish 8th

Romelu Lukaku’s second spell with Chelsea looks destined for great things after the Belgian opened the scoring for the Blues in Sunday’s commanding 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates. The Gunners, on the other hand, look destined for a whole lot less. 

After finishing eighth in 2019-20 and eighth in 2020-21, there’s no reason to believe the Gunners will finish much higher or lower than that. Mikel Arteta’s side still possesses a quality that’ll decimate the majority of Premier League sides, which was evident in the opening 10 minutes as Arsenal put the European champion under pressure with a period of quick passing and clever interplay.

But on 15 minutes, we witnessed a goal the encapsulates everything that’s right with Chelsea (desire, fight, pride in doing what you're paid to do) and everything that’s wrong with Arsenal (“please don’t touch us”). 

The left-hand side of Arsenal’s defense was torn apart by Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount and Reece James throughout the opening 45, and that’s where the breakthrough came from.

Lukaku held off Pablo Marí well to bring Chelsea’s attack into Arsenal’s third, and that allowed Mateo Kovačić to find Reece James in a threatening position. James only had to pick out Lukaku from there, who’d again bossed Marí to the floor.  

Who’s old enough to remember Eden Hazard vs. Francis Coquelin? Over four years later and ain’t shit changed.

On NBCSN, Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux really did an excellent job of explaining to viewers how superior Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea was by exploiting this area, and the second Blues goal, arriving in the 35th minute, was James in acres of space after a lightening cross-field switch orchestrated by Kai Havertz —> Marcos Alonso —> Lukaku dummy —> Mount —> James.

The second half wasn’t much of a contest. Lukaku thought he’d made it 3-0 in the 77th but Bernd Leno pulled off a miracle save.  

Arsenal’s EFL Cup match against Championship side West Brom on Wednesday is suddenly a must-win game, especially with a trip to Manchester City looming next Saturday.

Chelsea travels to Liverpool next Saturday in an early meeting between first and second in the EPL. 

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