Emile Smith-Rowe guides Arsenal to victory over Chelsea

Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe celebrates scoring their first goal of the game during the Premier League

Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe celebrates scoring their first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 12, 2021. - Credit: PA

Arsenal made it three consecutive wins in the Premier League thanks to a narrow 1-0 victory over London rivals Chelsea.

A 16th minute striker from Gunners youngster Emile Smith-Rowe sealed the three points for the Reds to move them up to eighth with two matches left to play.

Mikel Arteta made five changes to his starting line-up by bringing in Pablo Mari, Thomas Partey, Kieran Tierney, Martin Odegaard and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in place of Callum Chambers, Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe, Willian and Gabriel Martinelli. 

Chelsea's Reece James (left) and Arsenal's Kieran Tierney (right) battle for the ball during the Pre

Chelsea's Reece James (left) and Arsenal's Kieran Tierney (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 12, 2021. - Credit: PA

The Blues also made a whole host of changes with Kepa Arrizabalaga, Jorginho, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz coming back into the line-up in place of the likes of Edouard Mendy, Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, Ngolo Kante, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. 

Both sides cancelled each other out in the opening minutes with the first real chance coming in the fifth minute of play with Christian Pulisic and Ben Chilwell linking up down the left before finding Mason Mount who hit a low shot but it was comfortably held by Bernd Leno. 


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Six minutes later Chelsea attacker Kai Havertz dispossessed Arsenal defender Pablo Mari, raced in, but dinked his shot just over the crossbar. 

In the 16th minute however Arsenal opened the scoring as Jorginho played a terrible backpass that Kepa had to dive back across his goal for but he pushed it out to the feet of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who laid it back for Smith-Rowe to dispatch. 

Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe (left) and Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta battle for the ball during the Pre

Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe (left) and Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 12, 2021. - Credit: PA

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England international Mount latched onto a pass from Havetz shortly after, forcing Leno into a save, before the German shot-stopper palmed a Chilwell cross into the path of Mount where he saved the midfielder's effort on the rebound. 

The hosts picked up where they left off in the second-half forcing Arsenal and dominated possession as the Gunners sat deep – seemingly happy to soak up the pressure. 

They finally thought they’d found a way through when Pulisic bundled the ball home at the back post from a corner in the 61st minute but the goal was ruled out for offside by VAR. 

Chelsea's Thiago Silva (left) and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) battle for the ball du

Chelsea's Thiago Silva (left) and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 12, 2021. - Credit: PA

Substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi raced down the left and threads the ball across the box for Pulisic who scuffed it into the hands of Leno with four minutes left to play. 

The hosts pressed hard for an equaliser with plenty of corners and dangerous plays but Arsenal defended well to hold them off.

Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta (Ziyech 78), Thiago Silva, Zouma, James, Gilmour (Hudson-Odoi 46), Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz (Giroud 65), Pulisic.  

Unused subs: Mendy, Alonso, Emerson, Livramento, Anjorin, Werner. 

Arsenal: Leno, Holding, Gabriel, Mari, Saka (Bellerin 65, Chambers 87), Elneny, Partey, Tierney, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Aubameyang (Lacazette 79). 

Unused subs: Ryan, Cedric, Ceballos, Willian, Pepe, Martinelli. 


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