Boos rang out around the Emirates stadium as the curtain closed on a two goal schooling by Chelsea on Mikel Arteta's Gunners.
consequently Gabriel Martinelli started the game as the sole striker in front of three attacking midfielders. The young Brazilian had scored against Chelsea in past fixtures but limped off injured late in the game.
The Gunners definitely missed summer signing Ben White. He was missing from the squad due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Rob Holding replaced White alongside Pablo Mari, who couldn't help conceding two goals.
Lukaku started up front for the visitors with both sets of fans expecting the Belgian to have a significant impact on the game.
The Belgian striker opened the scoring and won the man of the match award.
Story of the match
The fans in red & white were definitely playing their part from the beginning, an electric atmosphere in the stadium helped the home side to muster a shot on target within one minute of play.
However Chelsea took the lead in the 15th minute. After some clever hold up play from Lukaku, drawing in the defenders, James ran into acres of space on the left flank after being neatly found by Mateo Kovacic. James squared the ball back to Lukaku who couldn't miss. 1-0 to Thomas Tuchel's blues.
Arteta's men didn't lose their energy following the opener, keeping up a high press. Within ten minutes Bukayo Saka was played in dangerously on the edge of the box, only for Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta to block his shot well.
To the home supporters' dismay the visitors doubled their lead shortly after the half hour mark. Kieran Tierney drawn out of position, leaving his side of defence unguarded once again. James lashed it home this time for 2-0.
The Gunners had a penalty shout with five minutes to go in the half, James bringing down Saka following a tangle of legs. VAR deemed it to be a legal challenge by the full-back.
The rain was pouring down come the start of the second half. Aggressive defending from Tierney to try and get the ball back pumped some energy back into the crowd.
As the rain eased, an hour in, Holding headed wide after being gifted a free header in the box following a corner. his defensive partner Tierney limped off injured- when it rains it pours....
Nuno Tavares replaced the injured defender, Aubameyang came on for Saka, the hope ebbing away for the team with every passing minute.
With about ten to go, Lukaku almost scored a second with a bullet header from a close range, Bernd Leno, who's had his critics of late, produced the save of the season so far no doubt.
supporters left the stadium in groves with time still left to play. Some fans have seen enough of Arteta's legacy at the club.
Chelsea go top of the table following the clash. Arsenal drop to 19th with a goal difference of minus four.
The Gunners take on West Brom on Wednesday in the EFL Cup, with improved hopes they can pick up their first win of the season against championship opposition.
The blues travel to Anfield next weekend, in what will undoubtedly be a top of the table clash. If anything is to be learned from today's game, the north London side are crying out for a striker like Lukaku up front before it's too late.