Arsenal v Chelsea player ratings: Odegaard 9, Havertz 8; Mudryk 3, Jackson 4

Gunners three points clear at top of the Premier League after thrashing London rivals 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium

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Ruthless Arsenal threw down the gauntlet in the Premier League title race with a 5-0 thrashing of London rivals Chelsea to move three points clear at the top of the table on Tuesday.

Leandro Trossard gave the home side an early lead before Ben White and Kai Havertz scored two each in a dazzling spell after the break to sweep aside a dazed Chelsea.

It was a powerful statement by Arsenal who have recovered impressively from a home defeat by Aston Villa and bowing out of the Champions League. And with four games remaining they are piling the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City.

Arsenal have 77 points from 34 games with Liverpool, who face Everton on Wednesday, on 74 points from 33 games. Reigning champions Manchester City have 73 points but have two games in hand, starting with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday.

It was the sixth time Arsenal have scored five or more in a Premier League game this season and in such a tight race their superior goal difference could prove crucial.

“Very happy with the win, with the amount of chances and goals we scored. And with the clean sheet as well it shows the consistency,” said Gunners manager Mikel Arteta.

“We weren't disciplined enough with some stuff we did in the first half and we needed to be more disciplined and we did that in the second half.

“It is a big London derby and we know what it means for the fans. We will enjoy it and rest and get ready for the next one.

“What I would like is that the players can manage themselves in the dressing room. You have to leave them some space. They know what they are playing for. That's what holds the team together. My role is to demand them and also in the right moments make them believe they can do it.

“We have a lot of games coming up. Let's enjoy tonight and let's go back to work.”

The Spaniard was also full of praise for captain Martin Odegaard's performance. “We agreed that he was a player with huge talent and he could grow with us. We were convinced he could add something special to the team,” Arteta said.

“That's always a question: How are you going to handle a different role [as captain]? He has done it so naturally and he is loved by everyone. With the love that he has, it is enough for everyone to wan to follow him.”

Roared on by the Emirates crowd the hosts needed four minutes to settle any nerves as a marauding Declan Rice drove into the heart of the area and weighted his pass perfectly for Trossard to fire home.

Dorde Petrovic would have been disappointed to be beaten from a narrow angle but made amends with a flurry of saves in quick succession to deny Bukayo Saka and Trossard, and then kept out a close-range deflection, although he knew little about it.

Despite being under siege, a Chelsea side without 20-goal Cole Palmer had their moments and Axel Disasi somehow failed to connect in front of goal from a flicked on corner.

Nicolas Jackson saw a cross hit the post via a Gabriel deflection but then inexplicably failed to head in a brilliant Conor Gallagher cross.

But Arsenal tuned up the heat in the second half and Chelsea could not cope. White made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute after Rice's shot deflected to him and Havertz was then played through by an exquisite pass from Odegaard and finished in style.

Former Chelsea forward Havertz made it 4-0 with a low finish and White then miss-hit a cross that flew into the back of the net to end the scoring.

The defeat left Chelsea ninth in the table and manager Mauricio Pochettino gave a downcast assessment of his team’s prospects of qualifying for Europe after a humbling loss.

“Now it is difficult to see the future because after this game we feel disappointed,” he said. “It is difficult to talk about objectives.

“If we compete like Saturday [in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City], OK. But if we compete like today, I think we deserve to go into Europe? I think in this way, no.”

You can see the player ratings from Tuesday's game in the gallery above. To move on to the next slide, slick on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: April 24, 2024, 6:45 AM