Unai Emery is still searching for his first win in charge of Arsenal after they suffered a 3-2 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
- Chelsea 3 Arsenal 2
- Pedro (9′) fires Blues in front
- Morata (20′) doubles their lead
- Mkhitaryan (37′) rifles past Kepa
- Iwobi (41′) restores parity
- Alonso (81′) pounces from close range
Maurizio Sarri’s side raced into a two-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes, but they were pegged by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi before half-time.
Petr Cech kept his team in the contest with a string of good saves in the second half, although he was eventually beaten again in the closing stages by Marcos Alonso.
The derby was an action-packed affair with both teams showing an eagerness to attack from the get-go.
David Luiz fizzed an ambitious strike over the target from 35 yards out in the third minute after space opened up for him in the middle of the park, before Pedro cut in from the right moments later and curled a left-footed shot over from 22 yards out.
Mesut Ozil threatened for Arsenal on eight minutes when he volleyed across the goal from a tight angle on the left after meeting Nacho Monreal’s cutback, but Chelsea broke the deadlock at the other end soon afterwards.
Alonso was released into space down the left flank and he squared the ball for Pedro to slot past Cech from 13 yards out.
The hosts went close again on 13 minutes when Ross Barkley curled a left-footed shot narrowly over the bar from 20 yards out after being teed up by N’Golo Kante on the left.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forced Kepa into a low save with an angled drive four minutes later after being played in on the right by Hector Bellerin, and the Gabon international wasted a glorious chance to equalise on 19 minutes when he lifted the Spaniard’s cutback over from just seven yards out.
The west Londoners made them pay immediately as Morata latched onto Cesar Azpilicueta’s pass and held off Shkodran Mustafi before tucking past Cech with his left foot from 14 yards out.
The Gunners spurned another golden opportunity on 32 minutes in an almost carbon copy of Aubameyang’s miss. Iwobi did well to deliver a low cross from the left that Mkhitaryan lifted over the goal from eight yards out.
However, the Armenian made amends five minutes later when he pulled one back with a crisp left-footed shot that beat Kepa at the left post after Iwobi’s cross deflected into his path.
Cech was called into action a minute later as he pushed Morata’s firm strike from 20 yards out over the bar, and it proved crucial as the visitors restored parity on 41 minutes.
It was another cutback that did the damage with Mkhitaryan picking out Iwobi to fire into the roof of the net from eight yards out.
The north Londoners had their tails up and caused more problems for their neighbours in the final few minutes of the half. After Matteo Guendouzi tested Kepa with a low strike from outside the box on 43 minutes, Aubameyang was wayward again moments later when he side-footed wide of the near post from close range after being picked out by Iwobi.
The Nigerian himself was guilty of wastefulness in added time as he cleared the goal from 12 yards out after getting on the end of Mkhitaryan’s cutback from the right.
The chances continued to come in the second half, with Pedro firing over the target from 21 yards out on 48 minutes following good work by Barkley in midfield, before the former Everton midfielder break into the area on the right and produced a fine save out of Cech with a drilled effort nine minutes later.
The Czech gloveman was being kept busy as he was required to save Jorginho’s deflected shot on 64 minutes, before punching away Luiz’s free-kick from 25 yards out low to his right nine minutes later.
Kante should perhaps have done better when he steered a free header over the bar from Pedro’s cross on the left 12 minutes from time, but it didn’t matter in the end as Alonso beat Cech from close range three minutes later after connecting with Eden Hazard’s low cross from the left.
It could have been worse for Arsenal had Cech not denied Hazard from a tight angle on the left in the 86th minute, before preventing Olivier Giroud from scoring against his former employers moments later from Alonso’s cutback on the left.
Substitute Aaron Ramsey saw his volley from 19 yards out land on the roof of the net in stoppage time after Mkhitaryan headed the ball down into his path, while Giroud was kept out by Cech again after combining with Hazard from a counter-attack.