Chelsea endured a painful night in north London as a second-half onslaught saw Arsenal race away into an unassailable lead to inflict our heaviest defeat of the season.

We fell behind early on when Leandro Trossard scored a powerful effort at the near post, but for the remainder of the first half we remained well in the game. We had chances to equalise in an open 45 minutes, as Nicolas Jackson and Enzo Fernandez both went close, while a Jackson cross was deflected onto the post.

However, Arsenal struck early in the second half, and this time they kept their foot on the gas and raced away into a five-goal lead by the 70th minute, meaning there was no longer any way back for the Blues.

Arsenal show their threat

There was a brief early scare when Kai Havertz threatened to get clear of our defence in the box and went down under pressure from Benoit Badiashile. Arsenal were screaming for a penalty, but the referee waved it away and then the linesman’s flag went up for offside, making the whole thing irrelevant.

Unfortunately, that warning wasn’t heeded and in the fourth minute the home side took the lead. They had started well with a lengthy spell dominating possession, and it resulted in Declan Rice carrying the ball into the box, before laying it left for Leandro Trossard to beat Djordje Petrovic at his near post.

The goal began a period of heavy pressure on the Chelsea box, which we didn’t escape until 15 minutes in. But we came through it unscathed and then began to threaten ourselves, with a couple dangerous crosses by Nicolas Jackson and Conor Gallagher, Noni Madueke inches away from meeting the latter at the back post.

Game opens up

We came close to an equaliser halfway through the first 45, and it was all of Jackson’s own making. The striker did well to turn beyond William Saliba with his first touch under pressure on the halfway line, and once he set off there was no catching him. He reached the byline and attempted to cross low, but it nearly went in after taking a deflection off Gabriel Magalhaes, only to go behind off the post.

At the other end we needed two excellent saves from Petrovic to avoid falling further behind. First the Serbian got down low to keep out a Havertz shot and then he showed even better reactions when Trossard followed it up with an effort that took a wicked deflection at close range. They were two stops of the highest quality.

In a surprisingly end-to-end first half, Marc Cucurella then had an effort blocked in front of the keeper and Enzo Fernandez placed a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box. The next goal felt crucial, and both teams were creating opportunities to score it.

However, it didn’t arrive before half-time, meaning we went in for the break trailing 1-0. Jackson had forced a save from David Raya just before that, but replays showed it came off his hand and wouldn’t have stood.

Home team take control

Petrovic was involved again shortly after the break, making another two good saves after we had conceded possession in a dangerous area. Arsenal were pushing hard to find a second goal and kill the game off early in the second half.

Six minutes after the restart, it was 2-0 though. A short corner routine gave Rice the chance to drill a low shot towards goal from the edge of the box. Conor Gallagher managed to block it, but the rebound fell kindly for Ben White to score from close range.

Not long after, Arsenal had another, this time a quick attack seeing Martin Odegaard feeding Havertz in behind, who lifted a high finish past Petrovic into the roof of the net. The Blues felt Madueke had been fouled by Magalhaes at the start of the move, but the officials were unmoved.

We tried to respond, Jackson firing just wide of the near post from close range after a driving run by Madueke. However, it was only a brief respite, as Havertz and the Gunners soon found the net again, this time the striker slotting in off the right-hand post from just inside the box.

Mauricio Pochettino responded by turning to his substitutes, brining on Raheem Sterling and Trevoh Chalobah for Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo. Sterling's first involvement was to have a go from a long-range free-kick, but it was straight at Raya.

There was no let off by the home side either, and they made it five when White side-footed a volley into the top corner. It looked like he was attempting a pass rather than shot, but it made little difference by this point in the game.

Needless to say, there was no way back for Chelsea from 5-0 down with 20 minutes remaining, but we did manage to avoid suffering any further wounds on a very painful night in north London.

What is next

Chelsea have another Premier League away trip kicking off at 8pm at the weekend, this time travelling to Aston Villa on Saturday 27 April.

The teams

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Petrovic; Gilchrist (Thiago Silva 79), Disasi, Badiashile, Cucurella; Enzo (Chalobah 67), Caicedo; Madueke (Casadei 79), Gallagher (c), Mudryk (Sterling 67); Jackson
Unused subs: Bettinelli, Chukwuemeka, Dyer, Tauriainen, Deivid
Booked: Gilchrist 42, Cucurella 43

Arsenal (4-3-3): Raya; White, Saliba, Magalhaes, Tomiyasu (Zinchenko 72); Odegaard (c), Partey (Jorginho 72), Rice; Saka (Vieira 82), Havertz (Jesus 72), Trossard (Martinelli 72)
Unused subs: Ramsdale, Kiwior, Smith Rowe, Nketiah
Scorers: Trossard 4, White 52, 70, Havertz 57, 64
Booked: Trossard 45+1, White 76

Referee: Simon Hooper