Arsenal continued their impressive pre-season form last night with a fantastic performance in a 4-0 victory over Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Mikel Arteta’s side appear to be approaching the upcoming 2022-23 campaign with real momentum behind them, with their new additions seamlessly fitting into the project being built at the club.
Summer signing Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring with a cheeky chip over Edouard Mendy, and Martin Odegaard doubled the Gunners’ lead shortly before the break.
Bukayo Saka added a third minute through the second half and substitute Albert Sambi Lokonga capped off a perfect evening with a header in the dying seconds of injury time at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
“Yes but it was a friendly match,” Arteta responded if Arsenal fans should get excited (via Arsenal’s official website).
“As you could see there are a lot of positives to take from the game. The way we played, the intensity we showed, the way we were trying to show who we are as a team. But at the same time, it’s just a test match. Don’t get carried away. There are still a lot of things that we have to get better at, and do better.
“But I think it’s good to get some momentum, finish the tour in the right way, give some enjoyment to our fans and everybody that’s been contributing to make this tour happen. Now it’s time to go back to London, to focus and keep making improvements and steps forwards.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel was left fuming after the defeat and pulled no punches after magnanimously accepting that Arsenal were well worth the win on the night.
“I think we deserved to lose – which is fair enough – because we were simply not good enough,” Tuchel told reporters.
“We were absolutely not competitive. The worrying part is the level of commitment, physically and mentally, for this match was not the same, it was far higher for Arsenal than us.”
Here are 10 impressive stats from Arsenal’s big win over Chelsea:
– The scoreline was reflective of the balance of play. Arsenal dominated in terms of possession (53%), attempts (10 to Chelsea’s four), and shots on target (seven to Chelsea’s two).
– Arsenal were clinical, overperforming their expected goals (2.44xG) – but most impressively of all, they limited Chelsea to just 0.20xG – via WyScout.
– As well as playing in the ball that led to Jesus’ opener, Granit Xhaka’s deflected shot led to Saka tapping home the rebound for the third goal. In total, seven different players scored or assisted during Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Chelsea.
– After stylishly scoring the opener, Gabriel Jesus now has four goals in as many games for his new club in pre-season. The Brazilian attacker now averages a goal every 47.5 minutes for the Gunners.
– The result maintains Arsenal’s 100% win record in pre-season so far. They’ve beaten Ipswich Town, FC Nurnberg, Everton, Orlando City and Chelsea, scoring 19 goals and conceding five. They’ll be looking to maintain in the Emirates Cup next weekend against Sevilla.
– Late-season defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle proved costly for Arsenal, but their form is otherwise excellent, with 10 wins from their last 12 matches in all competitions.
– This was Arsenal’s highest margin of victory against Chelsea since a 5-1 win at Stamford Bridge in 1930. Admittedly, the friendly caveat applies, so whether this really counts is up for debate.
– Oleksandr Zinchenko follows Gabriel Jesus, William Saliba, Marquinhos and Matt Turner in being given a runout by Arteta in pre-season. That’s four club debutants, plus Saliba with a long-awaited second debut, with Fabio Vieira still to come. Squad bolstered.
– Saliba and Gabriel were the only two Arsenal players to complete 90 minutes. The match continued Saliba’s record of not conceding while on the pitch for Arsenal in pre-season (three appearances; 192 minutes)