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Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea - Defensive Display Defeats Blues

Arsenal turned it on for the home crowd and put in a stunning defensive show to subdue top4 rivals Chelsea and heap the pressure on the Blues.Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny in the first half were enough to give the Gunners the points, but it was the defensive work from the whole team that provided the perfect platform for the victory.Unai Emery had been facing doubts after our rudderless performance last week against West Ham, and made changes to reflect a differing set of tactics.We were boosted by the return of Hector Bellerin on the right of defence, and Lucas Torreira came back into the side as part of a midfield three, alongside Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka.In attack, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started with Alexandre Lacazette and the surprise inclusion of Aaron Ramsey, with the fit-again Mesut Ozil confined to the bench.Chelsea boss went for starman Eden Hazard as a false nine again, and it was this lack of a focal point that meant that Arsenal had something to chew - as soon as Hazard received the ball, he was under the closest of scrutiny.We went for the jugular from the off, and inside the first eight minutes we went close twice, firstly with an Aubameyang shot that flew wide after great work from Laca and Bellerin, then Sokratis headed wide from a Xhaka corner.We were not allowing Chelsea any action in the final third, we were content to let them bat the ball about, but as soon as they made any form of intent, our defenders and midfielders were sworn into action.Still, we were making chances, and on the 13th minute, Torreira lifted a free kick into the area and it was met well by Koscielny, only for Arrizabalaga to save.We were getting closer, and we only had a minute to wait until we actually did score.Bellerin was involved again, his curling pass into the box was expertly controlled by Lacazette with his back to goal. His touch gave him a yard to turn and he then lashed a high shot past Arrizabalaga. It was a real fizzer and showed fantastic technique - and it gave us the advantage we deserved.Chelsea dominated possession and a little more forward play after the goal, but Leno was still standing untested, with zero shots to deal with - his defence was doing their job quite superbly.The midfield was seeing the majority of play, but we still had another chance in between the battle, with Aubameyang unleashing a bicycle kick inches wide, with Arrizabalaga stuck to his line.Eight minutes later, filled with Blues possession, we scored another.Torreira flew in a free kick that was rescued by Kolasinac. The ball found its way to Sokratis, who half-volleyed a ball over the top and found the run of Koscielny, who was all alone and went for the header, the ball struck his shoulder and looped into the far corner.Just before half time, Chelsea gave us a nudge that they can still give us plenty of problems. Marcos Alonso hit the upright and was within inches of dragging his side back into the equation. Just before half time, a few centimetres could have really hurt us, but as it stood, we went into the break two goals up and looking good for it.The second half began with Chelsea pressure, but we were looking firm, far firmer than usual. We seemed to be extra pumped for this game, and we were giving no inch.And Leno still hadn’t made a save.Chelsea tried to change things up, bringing on Ross Barkley for Kovacic, in a bid to give their side more of an attacking kick.Instead, we started to enjoy more of the ball again, and we were back at it, Laca, Ramsey and Bellerin having efforts blocked and cleared by the Chelsea rearguard.A raft of substitutions followed. Maitland-Niles and Iwobi both came on for Ramsey and Lacazette, with Chelsea bringing on fan favourite (for Gooners anyway) Olivier Giroud.Then, the only blight so far - Hector Bellerin went to ground with no tackle to be seen, grasping his knee. The Spaniard, only just returned from injury, had to be taken off the field via stretcher, and replays show what appears to be something snapping inside his leg. It resembles an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, and that could mean his season is over.Mohamed Elneny came on for Bellerin, which firmed us up for the last twenty minutes, but we had nothing to worry about. We were untroubled, aside from Chelsea’s sole shot on target - Alonso tried his luck but Leno pushed away with both hands, which earned his clean sheet.We had won the points - and most importantly, we were shown that there is nothing wrong with our pressing, our defence, nor our attack. We would have troubled any team with this performance, hopefully this reminded a few of our own players what is required each week.A great display, and a show of what we can do. A timely one.