Monday, November 29, 2021

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Arsenal boost European hopes with win over Chelsea

Arsenal moved within three points of Europa League places with a hard-earned 1-0 win over London rivals Chelsea on Wednesday.

Emile Smith Rowe’s second Premier League goal in as many games secured the vital win for the Gunners who are seeking redemption after Europa League ouster.

The game’s only goal came in the first half after Jorginho misjudged a pass back that was in danger of tricking over the line before Kepa Arrizabalaga managed to clawed the ball away but only to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who teed up Smith Rowe to slot in off the upright.

Chelsea dominated from then on as Mason Mount twice went close, seeing a volley inside the box blocked before the England international drew a good save out of Bernd Leno.

Christian Pulisic thought he had equalised on the hour but his strike was correctly ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside, while substitute Olivier Giroud should have done better but swung wildly at his shot after a mistake by Mohamed Elneny.

Thomas Tuchel’s men then twice went agonisingly close to rescuing a point in stoppage time as Leno pushed Kurt Zouma’s header onto the bar before Giroud’s volley also bounced back off the woodwork, but Arsenal held on to take the three points.

The victory also meant the Gunners completed the double over the Blues for the first time in 17 years.

Chelsea remain fourth on 64 points, six ahead of West Ham and seven ahead of Liverpool, who have two games in hand on the Blues.

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