Marcos Alonso wins chaotic London derby for Chelsea as Gunners rue missed chances – Eurosport.com
Marcos Alonso struck a late winner as Chelsea maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premier League under Maurizio Sarri with an enthralling 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
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The left back coolly steered in substitute Eden Hazard’s cutback nine minutes from time to condemn Unai Emery’s Gunners to a second straight loss under his leadership.
The visitors had fought back from two down in a crazy first half as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi cancelled out Pedro and Alvaro Morata’s early strikes. The Gunners also squandered a trio of gilt-edged chances, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang blazing over an early contender for miss of the season.
Arsenal’s Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan shoots to scores Arsenal’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on August 18, 2018.Getty Images
The second half maintained the same end-to-end tempo with Hazard’s introduction just past the hour mark lifting the Blues, and it was no surprise to see the Belgian playing a key role in the decisive goal of a pulsating London derby.
Arsenal will now bid to get their first win under Emery at the third time of asking when they host West Ham next Saturday after losing their first two opening league matches for the first time since 1992.
Chelsea remain perfect in the league under Sarri, who will be keen to fine-tune some of his team’s defensive deficiencies ahead of their visit to Newcastle next Sunday.
Contrasting fortunes for two new managers. After being outclassed at home to Man City, Emery must have been wondering what more could go wrong when his side trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes. There was much talk of ‘same old Arsenal’ on social media, but he will have been greatly heartened by how his team responded. He will feel they deserved a point and the late loss will be hard to stomach for the new man in the dugout.
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on August 18, 2018.Getty Images
In truth, he couldn’t have been handed a much tougher couple of matches to open and with West Ham at home and newly-promoted Cardiff away next, there is still an opportunity to send the supporters into the international break with some optimism. As for Chelsea, they have looked more dynamic and entertaining under Sarri so far, but the chances they allowed Arsenal will be of concern. It’s so far, so good for the Italian, but both managers will know they have much work to do if they are to challenge at the very top of the division this season.
Chelsea’s Italian head coach Maurizio Sarri gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on August 18, 2018.Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea). Scored the winner and roared forward down the left at every opportunity. Combined with both Willian and Hazard to great effect and chipped in with a first-half assist too.
Chelsea’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso celebrates on the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on August 18, 2018.Getty Images
CHELSEA: Kepa 6, Azpilicueta 7, Rudiger 6, Luiz 6, Alonso 8, Kante 7, Jorginho 7, Willian 7, Barkley 7, Pedro 7, Morata 6. Subs: Hazard 8, Kovacic 7, Giroud n/a.
ARSENAL: Cech 8, Bellerin 6, Sokratis 6, Mustafi 6, Monreal 7, Xhaka 5, Guendouzi 7, Mkhitaryan 6, Ozil 5, Iwobi 7, Aubameyang 5. Subs: Torreira 6, Ramsey 6, Lacazette 5.
8′ – ARSENAL CHANCE. Ozil guides a volley wide of the far post after lovely build up down the left by Iwobi and Monreal.
9′ – GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal. Pedro coolly slots home Alonso’s low ball in from the left after another superb pass from Jorginho set the full back free.
19′ – ARSENAL CHANCE. Aubameyang blazes over from eight yards after Bellerin had raced into the box and put it on a plate for the striker.
20′ – GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal. Morata races onto a long ball over the top and turns past Mustafi before rolling it beyond Cech.
Alvaro Morata of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal with team mate Ross Barkley during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on August 18, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.Getty Images
31′ – ARSENAL CHANCE. Ozil sees a shot blocked by Azpilicueta. Arsenal keep it alive and Iwobi cuts it back for Henrikh Mkhitaryan who does an Aubameyang and smashes it over the bar when it seemed easier to score.
37′ – GOAL! Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal. Arsenal have pulled one back. Mkhitaryan drills it under the long arm of Kepa from the edge of the box after fine work by Monreal and Iwobi.
41′ – GOAL! Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal. Arsenal are level! What a turnaround. Iwobi smashes Mkhitaryan’s low ball from the right into the net.
81′ – GOAL! Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal. Alonso puts the hosts back in front with a low strike from Hazard’s clever ball in from the left.
Only Frank Lampard (90), Didier Drogba (55) and Gianfranco Zola (42) have more Premier League assists for Chelsea than Eden Hazard (41).
Alonso has now been directly involved in 19 Premier League goals since joining Chelsea.
Arsenal scored more goals in the first half against Chelsea than in their previous six Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.
All seven of César Azpilicueta’s Premier League assists since the start of last season have come for Álvaro Morata; no player has assisted more goals for a teammate in that time (Mahrez to Vardy, also 7).