Tue | May 28, 2024

Havertz scores two as Arsenal rout Chelsea 5-0

Published:Wednesday | April 24, 2024 | 12:13 AM
Arsenal’s Kai Havertz (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s fourth goal during the English Premier League football match against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium in London yesterday.
Arsenal’s Kai Havertz (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s fourth goal during the English Premier League football match against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium in London yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

ARSENAL EARNED their biggest win ever over Chelsea as Kai Havertz scored twice against his former team in a 5-0 rout yesterday that solidified the Gunners’ place atop the Premier League standings.

Ben White also got a second-half double against a dismal Chelsea who collapsed after the break and saw most of the away fans leave Emirates Stadium well before the final whistle.

“It’s a great night,” said Arsenal winger Leandro Trossard, who opened the scoring in the fourth minute. “The early goal helped us and after that we played so well. We had a lot of chances and we turned them into goals.”

The win ensures Arsenal will go into the weekend with the league lead. Mikel Arteta’s team is three points in front of Liverpool ahead of Wednesday’s Merseyside derby at Everton. Manchester City are four points back before they play at Brighton on Thursday, with another game in hand.

For Chelsea, it was another dispiriting loss after a 1-0 defeat to Man City in the FA Cup semifinals on Saturday that ended any hope of finishing a disappointing season on a high note.

Chelsea’s leading scorer Cole Palmer was absent with an injury but the manner of the team’s second-half collapse will only renew questions about what progress – if any – the expensively assembled team has made in its first season under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine manager said his players “gave up” after Arsenal’s third goal and lamented his team’s inconsistency throughout the season, with Chelsea languishing 30 points behind Arsenal in ninth place.

“When we have bad days, we are so bad,” Pochettino said.

Arsenal’s previous biggest league win over their London rival was 5-1 in 1930.

Pochettino, though, insisted he didn’t feel let down by his players’ overall effort, pointing to mitigating circumstances such as Palmer’s absence, a young starting lineup and fatigue from what he called “an amazing performance” against Man City three days ago.

“I’m not going to blame the players,” Pochettino said. “The circumstances are bigger than the performance of the players.”