Martin Odegaard scored twice within 31 minutes of the first half before Gabriel Jesus added a third. Chelsea picked up a bit of momentum in the second half and prevented more thrashing with Noni Madueke’s consolation goal midway through the second half in the 65th minute – his first goal for the Blues.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made a surprise push against his former club but was replaced with Kai Havertz at half-time after holding the ball only nine times.
But a vital three points was never in doubt for Arsenal, six days on from their 4-1 loss to Manchester City that placed the title initiative firmly in the grasp of Pep Guardiola’s champions.
With Chelsea’s defeat, Arsenal has now moved back above City by two points at the top of the Premier League, however, Mikel Arteta’s side has played two more games to play and will face West Ham at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.
“Everyone was so hurt after the game [against City],” Odegaard told Sky Sports.
“We used the anger and the disappointment to get back into this game. You can lose games but the way we lost, we didn’t play our game and weren’t ourselves, that was the most painful thing, and we wanted to show a different side and we definitely did.
“Especially the first half was brilliant,” he added. “We came out and showed a different spirit to last time.
“We have to fight and keep going. We believe and will fight until the end.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s woes this season continue with their sixth defeat in six games since Frank Lampard was selected as a temporary coach. Their fans have continued to be at the center of ridicule from other club fans that they would be heading for relegation. Despite their continued struggles, that remains a distant possibility, with Chelsea in 12th, nine points clear of the relegation zone.
Chelsea’s performance at the Emirates was generally poor, allowing the Gunners to find their weakness from the very start of the match. While Martin Odegaard’s 18th-minute opener was outstanding, the space he had in which to take aim was a mockery to the Blues.
Chelsea’s defending was so much below average that ESPN said it will not be a bad idea if they issue a refund to fans who traveled to watch their match, just as Spurs did after last month’s 6-1 defeat at Newcastle.