It was a stroke of luck for an uninspiring Arsenal on Wednesday night as they pipped Chelsea 0-1 at the bridge courtesy of a defensive error from the Blues.

The Gunners were looking to keep alive their very slim chances of qualifying for Europe next season while Chelsea were looking to cement their place in the top four.



With the FA Cup Final against Leicester City at the weekend in mind, Thomas Tuchel made seven changes to the team that defeated Champions, Manchester City last week, with Kepa Arizabalaga one of the notable changes returning to the side.

Mikel Arteta, having no other worries or competition to think of, made five changes to his team that relegated West Brom the last time out, opting to play Bukayo Saka on the right side of defence, even with Hector Bellerin, Cedric Soares and Calum Chambers on the bench.

It was the hosts who almost took the lead in the 11th minute. A sloppy play by Pablo Mari at the back released Kai Havertz to run at goal. With only the on-rushing Bernd Leno in goal to beat, the German international blazed his effort over the bar. They would rue that missed opportunity.

Arsenal would not reject their own opportunity when presented, as they took the lead five minutes later. Jorginho play a backpass to Arizabalaga who was already off his line. The goalkeeper tried to rush back towards goal, saving the ball from crossing the line. The ball fell nicely to Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and the Arsenal captain had to be very composed to find Emile Smith Rowe in the middle, who found the bottom corner to give Arsenal the lead.

It was Smith Rowe's second consecutive game with a goal, having scored his first premier league goal against West Brom in their last league outing. He now has two league goals in Arsenal's colour.

For a side that command about 67% of the ball in the first half, Chelsea struggled to create clear cut opportunities.

On the 22nd minute, a wonderful run by Christian Pulisic was found by a Cesar Azpilicueta pass. The Americans's pass on the byline found Mason Mount in the Centre, whose first-time shot was blocked away by Mari.

The home side continued their dominance in terms of possession, but were starved of goalscoring chances. Mason Mount's effort from a beautiful work by Kai Havertz was saved by Bern Leno on the 26th minute.

The half ended wit the hosts behind and they must have felt so unlucky going by their prefomance.

After the interval, it was still the same story as before, Chelsea seeing more of the ball, but unable to find that important opening.

They finally found the back of the net on the 61st minute. Mason Mount's corner kick was flicked on by Kai Havertz towards towards the far post. An unmarked Pulisic was lurking, to turn in the ball. The goal was, however, disallowed after VAR review as Pulisic was in an offside position when Havertz flicked the header.

For a team that made almost as twice as much passes as their opponent, Chelsea were lacking in the final third.

Chelsea kept throwing all their ammunition into the final stages and on the stroke of the 90th minute mark, Leno was called into action by a looping Kourt Zouma header which he tipped against the bar. Olivier Giroud could also only manage to hit his rebound from that effort against the bar. So unlucky.


The final moments of the game which saw Arsenal hit their hosts on the counter. Alexandre Lacazette released Thomas Partey, but on getting into the Chelsea box, the Ghanaian midfielder could only manage to dive to con the referee. The referee rightly hooked him for simulation.

Thomas Tuchel and his lads need to pick themselves up immediately as they prepare to face Leicester City in the FA Cup Final at the weekend.

The win for Arsenal was their first at Stamford Bridge in 10 years, following that memorable 5-3 win in October 2011 and its the first time in 17 years that they have done the league double over Chelsea, having defeated them 3-1 in the reverse fixture in December 2020. The Gunners are now one point off Europe, with two matches left.

Chelsea have now lost just three games in 26 under Tuchel, winning 17 and drawing 6, with all three losses coming at home.