Chelsea 2-4 Arsenal: Nketiah brace leads Gunners to vital victory away at Chelsea
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Eddie Nketiah celebrates scoring the 3rd Arsenal goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on April 20, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Eddie Nketiah scored two crucial goals to lead Arsenal to a 4-2 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The win renews Arsenal's hopes of a top four finish, which had looked in doubt after a dreadful run of form that included four defeats in the last five games.

Story of the Game

Mikel Arteta named a surprising starting eleven for the trip to Stamford Bridge, with rare starts for Rob Holding and Mohamed Elneny, whilst Alexandre Lacazette recovered from Covid to return to the bench.

Both sides were guilty of defensive errors in a chaotic first half that saw the Gunners take the lead twice.

A poor backpass from Andreas Christensen played in  Nketiah in the 13th minute, who calmly rolled the ball past Edouard Mendy to put Arsenal 1-0 up, before a deflected Timo Werner effort wrong-footed Aaron Ramsdale to level the match just four minutes later.

Emile Smith-Rowe curled an effort into the bottom corner of the Chelsea goal to score his 10th league goal of the season, completing a risky passage of play that saw a near mix-up between the Arsenal backline before Granit Xhaka broke the Chelsea press.

Arsenal then rushed up the pitch as Martin Odegaard found Smith-Rowe outside the Chelsea penalty area, with the England international shooting first time before Mendy could react.

However, the Blues equalised for the second time in the match in the 32nd minute, when Mason Mount crossed into Cesar Azpilicueta, who converted from close range.

Thomas Tuchel brought on Thiago Silva for the second half, in place of Andreas Christensen.

The Brazilian looked to have dispossessed Nketiah inside the Chelsea box in the 56th minute, but the ball ricocheted off Malang Sarr before the Arsenal striker poked home his second goal of the night.

The Gunners managed to hold their lead, and sealed the crucial win in the 90th minute when Azpilicueta wrestled Bukayo Saka to the ground, gifting Arsenal a penalty which the Arsenal star converted.

The result sees Arsenal move level on points with Tottenham, with the two teams set to meet on May 12th in what seems destined to be a dramatic race for Champions League qualification.

Man of the Match: Eddie Nketiah

Arsenal's lack of an elite striker has been highlighted in recent weeks, with Lacazette's sub-par performances coming under increasing scrutiny as Arsenal failed to score in their previous three games.

Nketiah was given a second start in as many games and provided the finishing ability that Lacazette has failed to show, pouncing on two chances to score the first goals from open play by an Arsenal striker in the Premier League this season.

Whilst the striker's long-term future at Arsenal is in doubt, Nketiah's pace up front and finishing could be vital to the Gunners push for Europe in the closing stages of the season.

VAVEL Logo