A brace from Eddie Nketiah saw Chelsea fall to a third consecutive home defeat for the first time since 1993, as Arsenal ran out 4-2 victors in a pulsating Premier League (PL) clash.
An absorbing first half saw attack triumph, with some suspect defending from both sides producing four goals in 32 minutes. The first beneficiary was Nketiah, who was never going to refuse a chance to get on the scoresheet for the first time in four matches. Pouncing on an awful back pass by Andreas Christensen, he clinically fired past Edouard Mendy to put Arsenal ahead on 13 minutes. The lead lasted just four minutes, however, with Chelsea drawing level when Timo Werner, a man who always seems to need a bit of fortune to find the net, saw his tame shot wrong-foot Aaron Ramsdale thanks to a large deflection off Granit Xhaka.
The goals continued to flow in-front of Chelsea’s season-ticket holders. This time there was no luck about the finish, as Emile Smith Rowe, teed-up by Martin Ødegaard, calmly slotted past Mendy from the edge of the area to restore Arsenal’s lead midway through the first half. There was further first-half drama, however, as just five minutes after Arsenal had retaken the lead, Cesar Azpilicueta converted a delicious cross from Mason Mount, who was making his 100th PL appearance, to restore parity for the second time.
Even with Thiago Silva, who became the oldest outfield player to represent Chelsea in the PL (aged 37 years and 210 days) when introduced at HT, Chelsea were unable to stop a third Arsenal goal. Just before the hour mark, Nketiah once again benefited from a bit of good fortune, and was alive to put Arsenal ahead with a poked finish from close range.
Chelsea might have then equalised for a third time when Marcos Alonso saw his shot blocked by Gabriel Magalhães, before a victory that moved Arsenal level with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur was secured through Bukayo Saka’s late penalty. Meanwhile, Chelsea, who reached a third consecutive FA Cup Final at the weekend, are just five points ahead of the chasing pack, albeit with a game in hand over their two nearest top-four rivals.