Arsenal produced a devastating first-half display to dismantle Chelsea and secure a fourth successive Premier League win.
Alexis Sanchez took advantage of Gary Cahill’s error to race clear and lift a composed finish over Thibaut Courtois after 11 minutes, and Theo Walcott completed a brilliant move to steer in Hector Bellerin’s pass three minutes later.
Mesut Ozil then left N’Golo Kante trailing to expose Chelsea on the counter-attack and steer home Arsenal’s third five minutes before the break, after an exchange with Sanchez, reports the BBC.
It was little more than damage limitation for Chelsea after that as they fell to their second league loss in a row as rampant Arsenal moved third in the table.
Arsenal, for all Chelsea’s obvious frailties, were simply untouchable from back to front in a magnificent first 45 minutes that revived memories of their finest days.
The Gunners showed pace, skill, pressed Chelsea into submission and probed weaknesses ruthlessly in the manner of a team at the top of its game.
Arsenal’s fans, so often frustrated and having already expressed their discontent at home this season, left Emirates Stadium with a spring in their step and sharing the optimism expressed by manager Arsene Wenger.
He wrote in his program notes: “We feel as though we are on the way up.”
This was a performance that spoke eloquently on behalf of Wenger’s theory – with the proviso Gunners fans have heard this talk before only to be disappointed.
This, however, was a magnificent exhibition of power, pace and end product, from the skills of Sanchez and Ozil in attack to the lightning speed and tackling of Bellerin at the back.