Eddie Nketiah scores a brace as Gunners boost top four hopes

Eddie Nketiah’s brace helped Arsenal return to winning ways against London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Bukayo Saka scored his first Arsenal penalty to seal the Gunners victory. This victory makes them equal on points with fourth-placed Tottenham.

The English star missed his last penalty against Italy in the European Championship final last summer.

Tom tactics taking advantage of Chelsea’s sliding standards

The 20-year-old won the late penalty at Stamford Bridge when he was fouled by Cesar Azpilicueta, and quickly insisted on taking the penalty himself.

saka he dismissed any jitters with a sideways footing at home to seal a crucial victory for the Gunners.

Eddie Nketiah had twice taken advantage of sloppy defending to lift Arsenal to a 3-2 lead before Saka’s goal.

Nketiah capitalized on Andreas Christensen’s unfortunate backward pass for his first Arsenal goal in 367 days, to open the scoring in west London.

Later, the 22-year-old striker settled a difficult but fascinating contest when three clearance attempts from Chelsea landed the ball directly into his path and through the goal.

Timo Werner’s deflected effort saw Chelsea level quickly after Nketiah’s first goal, and captain Azpilicueta canceled out a fine strike from Emile Smith Rowe before half-time.

However, the fatigued and off-kilter Blues had to pay for a number of mistakes, with £98m striker Romelu Lukaku once again failing to shoot.

Toni Rudiger’s absence with a minor groin problem unsettled the Chelsea defense and Christensen had a night to forget.

The Denmark international was withdrawn at half-time in a below-par performance, but not even the incomparable Thiago Silva could sharpen the hosts.

Arsenal made the most of Chelsea’s malaise to claim their second win in six league games, snapping a dismal run of results to drop below Spurs on goal difference, leaving the race wide open to finish fourth.

Lukaku’s only significant act from a quiet first half was creeping wide after Ruben Loftus-Cheek intervened.

Chelsea had been under very little pressure from the start, but was their own undoing with Christensen’s back pass attempt.

The defender greatly underestimated his attempted pass to Edouard Mendy, instead gifting Nketiah a walk towards goal.

Nketiah didn’t need a second invite and galloped in before providing a crisp finish.

However, Chelsea equalized just four minutes later, when Werner’s 20-yard shot went wide of Granit Xhaka to beat Aaron Ramsdale at his near post.

However, Smith Rowe quickly put Arsenal ahead 2-1, with a strong shot from the side after Saka combined well with Martin Odegaard, who provided the assist.

The Blues needed just five minutes this time to level, with Azpilicueta sneaking in to provide a poacher finish to Mason Mount’s taunt.

Smith Rowe had the last word in the half as Arsenal attacked again, but this time he could only launch his effort off the post.

Silva replaced Christensen at half-time, with the 37-year-old clearly recruited to secure the Blues’ back line.

However, not even the incomparable Brazilian could solve Chelsea’s defensive shortcomings, as Arsenal took the lead again.

Silva won the ball to full length only for Malang Sarr to miss the clearance attempt, allowing Nketiah to jump for the second time of the night.

The ball fell nicely to Nketiah, but Chelsea again prepared to fail with woeful defending.

Lukaku was replaced by Kai Havertz moments after the goal, with a large part of the Blues’ support booing the Belgian striker.

Chelsea could not find a route back into contention, and in the death the Blues conceded a shot from the penalty spot.

Saka stepped forward seemingly well aware of his attempt to erase any lingering memories of the European Championship, wrapping up a fine Arsenal result with a coolly converted effort.

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