Arsenal beat Chelsea in a London derby on Saturday 2-0 with Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny scoring the goals. The Gunners entered the day in fifth place but were jumped by Manchester United before their match against Chelsea. They then returned to fifth with this victory, moving within three points of fourth place. It was a fine showing from the Gunners, who improved defensively and washed away the shock 1-0 loss to West Ham last time out in the league.
For the Blues, the club once again played without a true striker and it showed as Eden Hazard could only do so much against an Arsenal side with its back against the wall.
Here are three takeaways from the match:
Lacazette’s winner was brilliant
The former Lyon striker hasn’t seen a whole lot of the field with Unai Emery often opting to go with just Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he scored his second goal in his last three starts in this one. The attentive forward got hold of the ball in the box, moved into space and fired home near post with a brilliant effort to grab the winner just 14 minutes in. Take a look:
His first touch to settle it and push it towards goal was perfectly timed. His second touch got it into space with his speed helping him get there, and that rifle shot had little chance of being stopped.
Blues’ defense was horrific on second goal
Koscielny’s shoulder goal 39 minutes in was fortunate, but what was Chelsea’s defense doing? There were five guys around him just outside the six-yard box, but not one thought, “Hey, let’s cover him.” The ball went right to him, he didn’t connect on the header but got the fortunate bounce off the shoulder. Had the Blues defended it properly, they would have had a chance at getting a point. Instead they slip up on the road.
Top four race is heating up
Recent slip-ups by Tottenham have seen the team fail to solidify itself in third place, Arsenal’s big win over Chelsea gets them back into the conversation, and red-hot Manchester United no longer looks like a mid-table team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It looks like we’ll have quite the race for fourth place in the league.
Spurs are the favorite to finish third behind leader Liverpool and second-place Manchester City, and at this point I’d put United ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal based on recent form and momentum. But with four teams separated by four points, it’s likely going to be a wild race to the finish