Match Report

Short Report: Alonso wins classic

Here is our summary of a thrilling London derby with the key themes analysed and star man picked…

The Blues raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of clinical finishes from Pedro and Alvaro Morata, but Arsenal had chances throughout the first half and converted two of them in quick succession to send the teams in level.

It was Maurizio Sarri’s side who showed the greater threat after the break and Marcos Alonso stroked home a well-worked winner nine minutes from time to make it two league wins out of two under the new boss.

Fast starters and calm finishers

All of the Blues’ pre-season goals came early in games, including against Arsenal in Dublin, and we repeated the trick with two inside the first 20 minutes today. The Blues were electric early on, and after Arsenal fought back to level we showed greater control in our play after the interval to deservedly secure the three points.

Starring subs

Mateo Kovacic and Eden Hazard were brought off the bench for the final half-hour and both showed their class as we pressed Arsenal back and seized the initiative in the closing stages. Hazard recorded another assist, this time teeing up Alonso’s winner having set up Pedro at Huddersfield, and it looks like the player on loan from Real Madrid will enjoy playing with our Belgian star. 

Spanish star in epic London derby

Three different Spaniards found the net and they were all fine finishes rounding off excellent team moves that will have delighted Sarri. Morata's clever finish will give him plenty of confidence, and Alonso showed his customary predatory instincts inside the box to grab the three points. 

Star man

There was plenty to admire about our attacking play, and Pedro was at the heart of much of it. He was in the right place to open the scoring, and consistently threatened drifting in off the right, sprinting beyond Arsenal’s backline or linking play on the edge of the box.

Team news

Sarri selected the same starting XI as for last week’s win against Huddersfield. Kovacic was named on the bench for the first time and was introduced for his debut on the hour. 

Key moments

9: GOAL, 1-0 CHELSEA: A delicious Chelsea move gives us the lead. Jorginho’s incisive pass splits Arsenal open and finds Marcos Alonso bursting down the left. He takes the ball in his stride and plays a perfect square pass to Pedro, who finishes with ease.

19: It should be 1-1. Hector Bellerin gets clear and picks out Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng who can only blaze over Kepa Arrizabalaga’s goal from a central position eight yards out.

20: GOAL, 2-0 CHELSEA: Morata races on to Azpilicueta’s long ball, cuts inside Shkodran Mustafi and sends Petr Cech the wrong way from just inside the box.

32: This time Henrikh Mkhitaryan is guilty of a bad miss for Arsenal, getting his bearings all wrong as Iwobi’s pass fell invitingly to him.

37: Goal, 2-1 Chelsea: Mkhitaryan makes amends with a fine left-footed shot from the edge of the box.

41: Goal, 2-2: Alex Iwobi equalises with a powerful close-range finish from Mkhitaryan’s centre.

57: Ross Barkley produces an outstanding moment of individual play to create space for a well-struck low drive that Cech tips round the post.

77: Kepa dives to cut out Aaron Ramsey’s cross and bravely collects it at the second attempt under pressure from two Arsenal players.

78: Kante heads Pedro’s lovely curled cross over the bar from close range.

81: GOAL, 3-2 CHELSEA: Hazard weighs up his options before beating Bellerin down the left and sending in a cross which Alonso, who had continued his run, passes into the net from inside the six-yard box. 

87: Alonso, still full of running, breaks clear and picks out sub Olivier Giroud whose shot is tipped over by Cech.

What next?

The Blues travel to St James’ Park next Sunday 26 August looking to make it three wins on the spin.