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Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal: Blues boss Thomas Tuchel accepts responsibility for loss

By Gary RoseBBC Sport
Emile Smith Rowe scores against Chelsea
Emile Smith Rowe has now scored in back-to-back Premier League games for Arsenal

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he takes full responsibility for his side's home defeat by Arsenal after making seven changes for the game.

The Blues had claimed an impressive win at Manchester City on Saturday to delay the Premier League champions' title celebrations and boost their hopes of a top-four finish.

However, with an FA Cup final against Leicester coming up on Saturday, only four players retained their places in Tuchel's side for Wednesday's visit of Arsenal.

It was still a strong line-up but a mistake by Jorginho in the first half allowed Emile Smith Rowe to score what proved to be the winning goal for Arsenal and, although Chelsea dominated possession and hit the woodwork twice late on, they couldn't find an equaliser.

Chelsea remain fourth on 64 points but the defeat will give their rivals hope of sneaking into the top four. They are six points ahead of West Ham, who have a game in hand, and seven ahead of Liverpool, who have two games in hand on the Blues.

"I'm a bit angry that we had so many changes, that's on me," said Tuchel.

"I'm not so happy in the end with the line-up, but I didn't know what would happen, I didn't feel us today like I normally do and we can't expect to win games if we're not 100% in games.

"I'm not happy with what I saw, I have my responsibility because I picked the line-up, but the performance was the performance."

Jorginho's error will have been disappointing for Tuchel. The midfielder misjudged a pass back that was in danger of trickling over the line before Kepa Arrizabalaga managed to claw the ball away but only to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who teed up Smith Rowe to slot in.

Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal: We were not sharp enough in front of goal - Tuchel

Christian Pulisic thought he had equalised on the hour but his strike was ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside, while Bernd Leno pushed Kurt Zouma's header onto the bar in injury time before Olivier Giroud's volley also bounced back off the woodwork.

The victory also meant the Gunners completed the double over the Blues for the first time in 17 years to boost their own hopes of ensuring they are playing European football next season.

Arsenal are eighth and just one point behind Tottenham in seventh, although have played a game more.

Off day for Chelsea gives hope to chasing pack

Christian Pulisic had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside for Chelsea
Christian Pulisic had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside for Chelsea

Chelsea have been hugely impressive under Tuchel and, while the immediate goal is getting the points required to cement a top-four finish this season, the signs are good that they should be title challengers next term.

The two-legged win against Real Madrid in the semi-final of the Champions League highlighted how difficult a side they are to beat but this game also showed that they can sometimes be their own worst enemy.

Jorginho's mistakes, when he attempted a blind pass back to Kepa, was the eighth time the Blues have made errors leading to opposition goals in the Premier League this season, a number surpassed only by Liverpool (nine) and Chelsea's most in a single league campaign since 2015-16.

Despite that Chelsea had plenty of opportunities to get a result but were wasteful in front of goal. Kai Havertz should have scored before Smith Rowe's opener but blazed over when one-on-one while Giroud also had a good chance to equalise in the second half.

Chelsea may have had half a mind on Saturday's FA Cup final against Leicester and they are still in a great position to finish in the top four but the defeat - only their third under Tuchel - will give hope to the chasing pack.

Liverpool's next two games are away to Manchester United and relegated West Brom and if they are to win those they would only be a point behind Chelsea with two games remaining.

"We didn't have a shot for almost the whole second half," added Tuchel.

"Maybe we deserved this, we will learn something."

A welcome win, but still work to do for Arsenal

A win at a strong Chelsea side is certainly a very good result and one that keeps alive Arsenal's hopes of avoiding missing out on European football for the first time in 27 seasons.

The performance was for large periods a disappointing one as, bar Smith Rowe's tap-in following Jorginho's mistake, they struggled to create anything of note as they spent the majority of the game camped in their own half.

Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal: Mikel Arteta delighted with attitude & commitment of his players

But to their credit they were organised in defence, particularly when they came under pressure late on and while they rode their luck at times it was another positive result as the Gunners try to put behind them the disappointment of failing to reach the Europa League final.

Arsenal still look a long way off a side that will challenge for the top four again anytime soon but it is now three Premier League wins in a row and, with games against Crystal Palace and Brighton remaining, they have the opportunity to finish an underwhelming season in a positive fashion.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: "I am really happy with a lot of things we have done, right from the first minute, the attitude and the desire to win that we showed.

"We had to dig in - you have to against this team because they are a fantastic team. We did it and we put [in] everything that we had to try to get the best possible result, and we did it."

Double delight for Arsenal - the stats

  • Arsenal completed their first Premier League double over Chelsea since the 2003-04 season, while this was their first league win at Stamford Bridge since October 2011, ending an eight-game winless run there (D2 L6).
  • Arsenal have won three consecutive away Premier League matches without conceding for the first time since May 2013 under Arsene Wenger.
  • Arsenal have had a different player aged younger than 21 score in each of their last three Premier League matches against Chelsea - Gabriel Martinelli in January 2020, Bukayo Saka in December 2020 and Emile Smith Rowe tonight.
  • Billy Gilmour has started each of Chelsea's last three Premier League games - the 19-year-old is the first Scottish teenager to start three consecutive top-flight matches since Grant Hanley for Blackburn Rovers, in a run ending on New Year's Day 2011.
  • Chelsea have conceded 26 goals in 19 Premier League games when Antonio Rudiger hasn't started this season, compared to just seven conceded in the 17 games when the German has started.
  • Chelsea's Mason Mount created more chances than any other player (four), taking his tally for the season to 82; only Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes has created more in the Premier League this season (92).

What's next?

Chelsea's focus switches to the FA Cup final as they face Leicester at Wembley on Saturday, 15 May (17:15 BST), while Arsenal are next in action on Wednesday, 19 May (19:00 BST) when they travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Player of the match

TierneyKieran Tierney

with an average of 7.79

Chelsea

  1. Squad number29Player nameHavertz
    Average rating

    6.51

  2. Squad number23Player nameGilmour
    Average rating

    5.17

  3. Squad number24Player nameJames
    Average rating

    4.84

  4. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva
    Average rating

    4.80

  5. Squad number1Player nameArrizabalaga
    Average rating

    4.67

  6. Squad number15Player nameZouma
    Average rating

    4.63

  7. Squad number18Player nameGiroud
    Average rating

    4.62

  8. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta
    Average rating

    4.61

  9. Squad number22Player nameZiyech
    Average rating

    4.32

  10. Squad number21Player nameChilwell
    Average rating

    4.23

  11. Squad number19Player nameMount
    Average rating

    4.18

  12. Squad number10Player namePulisic
    Average rating

    4.12

  13. Squad number20Player nameHudson-Odoi
    Average rating

    4.10

  14. Squad number5Player nameJorginho
    Average rating

    3.11

Arsenal

  1. Squad number3Player nameTierney
    Average rating

    7.79

  2. Squad number32Player nameSmith Rowe
    Average rating

    7.78

  3. Squad number1Player nameLeno
    Average rating

    7.21

  4. Squad number25Player nameMohamed Elneny
    Average rating

    7.06

  5. Squad number16Player nameHolding
    Average rating

    6.80

  6. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
    Average rating

    6.79

  7. Squad number22Player nameMarí
    Average rating

    6.65

  8. Squad number18Player namePartey
    Average rating

    6.64

  9. Squad number14Player nameAubameyang
    Average rating

    6.57

  10. Squad number7Player nameSaka
    Average rating

    6.54

  11. Squad number11Player nameØdegaard
    Average rating

    6.49

  12. Squad number21Player nameChambers
    Average rating

    6.23

  13. Squad number9Player nameLacazette
    Average rating

    6.23

  14. Squad number2Player nameBellerín
    Average rating

    6.16

Line-ups

Chelsea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 28AzpilicuetaSubstituted forZiyechat 78'minutes
  • 6Thiago Silva
  • 15Zouma
  • 24James
  • 23GilmourSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 45'minutes
  • 5Jorginho
  • 21Chilwell
  • 19Mount
  • 10Pulisic
  • 29HavertzSubstituted forGiroudat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Alonso
  • 11Werner
  • 16Mendy
  • 18Giroud
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 22Ziyech
  • 33Emerson
  • 55Anjorin
  • 57Livramento

Arsenal

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Leno
  • 16Holding
  • 22Marí
  • 6Gabriel
  • 7SakaSubstituted forBellerínat 66'minutesSubstituted forChambersat 88'minutes
  • 25Elneny
  • 18ParteyBooked at 90mins
  • 3Tierney
  • 11Ødegaard
  • 32Smith Rowe
  • 14AubameyangSubstituted forLacazetteat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Bellerín
  • 8Ceballos
  • 9Lacazette
  • 12Willian
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 19Pépé
  • 21Chambers
  • 33Ryan
  • 35Martinelli
Referee:
Andre Marriner

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home68%
Away32%
Shots
Home19
Away5
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home9
Away1
Fouls
Home7
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Chelsea 0, Arsenal 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Chelsea 0, Arsenal 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jorginho.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Reece James.

  6. Booking

    Thomas Partey (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Thomas Partey (Arsenal) has gone down, but the referee deems it simulation.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Thomas Partey.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Callum Hudson-Odoi.

  10. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. Mason Mount tries a through ball, but Callum Hudson-Odoi is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Hakim Ziyech with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Calum Chambers replaces Héctor Bellerín because of an injury.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Callum Hudson-Odoi with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Héctor Bellerín.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Reece James with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. Callum Hudson-Odoi tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette replaces Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Hakim Ziyech replaces César Azpilicueta.

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