Chelsea 2 : 4 Arsenal: Chelsea battled back twice to equalize but were unable to salvage a point as Arsenal triumphed at Stamford Bridge in a tense London derby.
In the first half, four of the six goals were scored in a 20-minute span, with the visitors’ lead twice being cancelled out.
After Eddie Nketiah had put the Gunners ahead, Timo Werner’s latest goal drew it 1-1, the number 11 darting in and hitting the bottom corner well with help of a useful deflection.
Arsenal took the lead once more after Emile Smith Rowe netted nicely after a rapid move forward, but Chelsea responded quickly and confidently with Cesar Azpilicueta poking in Mason Mount’s wonderful in-swinging ball to level the score at 2-2.
With the second half taking a more measured approach, the following goal was crucial, and Nketiah took advantage of a number of deflections in Chelsea’s box to slip in a clinching goal 12 minutes just after the restart.
Despite the fact that time was on our side, the onslaught on Arsenal’s goal failed to materialize, with Marcos Alonso’s best chance being denied at close quarters.
In stoppage time, the visitors secured the points when Bukayo Saka won and netted a penalty to bolster their European qualification hopes.
“It was a totally wild and open game in the first half – already a 2-2 after we came back twice.
We had a good start but again gave the first goal away, which is impossible to do these things in consecutive matches.
But we’re doing it.
We came back twice, and we scored another two in the second half, unfortunately for the wrong side”.
“It’s a level of mistakes, the number of mistakes in consecutive games here at home, it’s impossible at this kind of level.
You don’t see this.
It’s simply impossible, but we’re doing this at the moment, and you cannot win football games like this.”
Is Antonio Rudiger’s importance to this team highlighted by his performance tonight?
“We conceded seven goals with Toni against Brentford and Real Madrid, that answers the question.
It’s not about individual players.
Defensive performance is a team performance, and offensive performance is a team performance.
You need to have the tactics right, which is doubtful I had this right, and you need the team selection right, again it’s doubtful I had this right.
“Then it’s a game for the players.
They get full praise when they do it when they did it for the last three matches.
And they have to face the reality that it’s impossible to win matches if you make this amount of mistakes of this calibre.
It’s simply impossible. I don’t see it in any other matches, but I see it now in consecutive matches of our games, and it has to stop.”
Andreas Christensen committed the mistake in the first half, and you replaced him – but he didn’t appear on the sideline in the second half. Can you explain how the shift has affected your thinking?
“He said he cannot continue, so I think he had some problems.
I don’t take a player out because he makes one mistake.
To say the pitch is difficult to play here it maybe sounds like an excuse, but it is a very, very difficult pitch that we have here.
It’s not in our favour.
The ball bounces very awkwardly in front of Andreas when he wants to play this ball.
But still, we had the same mistake against Real Madrid that cost us the next round of the Champions League, and this one cost us the next match.
I can’t remember when we got two goals like this.”