Chelsea aimed to get back to winning ways at their rivals Arsenal’s expense when they travelled to North London for the London-Derby. They did so in dramatic fashion, coming back from behind to win 2-1 thanks to two late goals.
It ended up being a horrible start for the Blues, who conceded in the 13th minute after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang crept out from nowhere to head in from a corner.
Frank Lampard’s side took complete control in the second half and after huffing & puffing, they were handed an easy equalizer when Mason Mount’s 83rd-minute free-kick was completely misjudged by Bernd Leno, allowing Jorginho to score from yards out.
That rejuvenated the Blues into completing the comeback four minutes later after a stunning counter-attack was finished off well by Tammy Abraham. The Blues held onto the lead, going back to reform that 4 point difference between them and Manchester United at 5th place.
Here are the Arsenal vs Chelsea Player Ratings.
Chelsea Player Ratings
Frank Lampard (7.5) –
Lampard again proves his wit in a big game. He analyzed the game’s intensity well to make a necessary early change in bringing in Jorginho, who helped turn things around and allow Chelsea to dominate. His other substitutions helped making Arsenal nervous and end up crumbling under pressure in the end.
His trust in Mount and Abraham definitely having poor outings was rewarded with both playing parts in completing the comeback. He’s making Chelsea’s defending strong again and amplifying their never-say-die belief, which allowed them to win today.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (6.0) –
Kepa should’ve saved Aubameyang’s header which swooped past his fingers. The Spaniard had very little to do after that, but held onto whatever he came to his way to seal a win for his side.
Cesar Azpilicueta (6.5) –
The Chelsea captain is drafting in wherever needed, showing a lot of tenacity marching forward. Moved to the left after Emerson’s substitution. Used his experience to put an end to many Arsenal attacks, making strong challenges to nullify their threat through his side.
Fikayo Tomori (5.5) –
Tomori was hassled by Reiss Nelson’s pace. Outjumped for the flick-on by Chambers to assist the opener. Later moved to right-back. Surged forward with intent after that, but failed to make real impact. Defensively shaky under the circumstances and substituted before the hour-mark as a result.
Kurt Zouma (6.5)-
Zouma actually looked the most composed of Chelsea’s centre-backs in a high-voltage environment. Did well to keep Lacazette quiet in the first half, making clutch challenges. Makes an exceptional tackle to stop Aubameyang from scoring in the 55th minute. Kept things clean with his defensive work, rarely put a wrong foot forward and proved himself capable of dominating on big occasions.
Antonio Rudiger (6.0)-
Rudiger has a formidable task ahead keeping Aubameyang in check. Struggling to keep him from getting into promising positions. But he eventually calmed down to command his backline very well from a more central positions. Made some crucial clearances and didn’t allow nerves to settle in for his defence.
Emerson (3.5) –
Completely lost track of Aubameyang allowing him to creep in behind from him to score the opener. Couldn’t deal with Nelson’s threat, being overrun throughout. Provided little attacking threat and subbed after the half-hour to save him further embarrassment.
N’Golo Kante (7.5) –
Chelsea’s midfield general is marching all over the field looking to get things started. Makes a goal-saving interception to deny Lacazette a goal in the 18th minute. Booked for having to rectify his teammates’ mistakes afterwards. Got freedom to march forward after Jorginho’s introduction and banged a volley wide in the 47th.
Worked tirelessly to repeatedly win back possession and throttle his side forward, but lucky to see a sloppy giveaway being wasted by Joe Willock in the 77th minute. Kante’s never-say-die attitude inspired his side into completing the comeback after watching him utilize his three-lungs to another impressive showing.
Mateo Kovacic (5.5) –
Kovacic saw very little of the ball before the half-hour and looked nervous by the derby’s intensity. Grew in confidence as the game went on, showcases glimpses of his swagger. Botched an overly ambitious overhead kick from outside the box after the hour-mark. Not as effective or comfortable as he’d have liked to be.
Mason Mount (6.5) –
Mount’s been harried with Arsenal’s pressing, but showcasing his never-say-die spirit nonetheless. Forced a good save with a strong swipe at goal in the 11th minute. Trying to hard to assert his authority, with a poor challenge getting him booked in the 30th.
Tried his hardest to create and just when it looked he wouldn’t be rewarded, his looping free-kick went past Leno to allow Jorginho to score.
Willian was unable to weave his magic during the high-intense start, but got Guendouzi booked with an incisive sprint around the 10th minute. Kept on driving his side forward, creating some good chances with sweet crosses. Tipped off a great counter-attack and cleverly found Abraham inside the area for his winner.
Another contribution in a big game for the Brazilian.
Tammy Abraham (7.0) –
Abraham hasn’t gotten the service he’d want at all early on. Being troubled by tight-marking. Cutting a frustrating figure being boxed out by Arsenal. Flew free of his shackles in the 66th minute, but his shot was blocked by Luiz. Then strikes a free header onto Leno in the 75th.
But his hard work paid off late on, when he started the counter-attack and brilliantly finished it through Leno’s legs. Powered a shot over in added time.
Jorginho (6.5) –
Helped his side get a hold of the game with his assuring presence. Too sloppy and physical with his defensive contribution and lucky not to get sent off after being booked. Well, lady luck was definitely by his side as Leno’s error allowed him to tap in an empty goal to equalize. Definitely improved his chances of starting next few games.
Tariq Lamptey (6.5) –
A big day for the teenager, making his Chelsea debut in a derby. Showing promise bombing forward and put in a brilliant through-ball to free up Abraham in the 66th minute. Defensively remained alert as well. Will be given more chances after this.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (N/A) –
Hudson-Odi remained a threat moving through the left, putting in some threatening crosses but couldn’t see anyone get to the end of it.
MAN OF THE MATCH
As much as Jorginho/Abraham are important for making the come-back, I’ll have to give this to Kante. He was like a rapid Wolverine with his relentless work, diminishing the cobwebs in Chelsea’s game and inspiring them forward. As big a reason for their win as the goal-scorers, if not more.