Arsenal hammer Chelsea to move three points clear at top


Ruthless Arsenal threw down the gauntlet in the Premier League title race with a 5-0 thrashing of London rivals Chelsea to roar three points clear at the top of the table on Tuesday.

Any remaining doubts about Arsenal's staying power were answered emphatically as Leandro Trossard gave them an early lead before Ben White and Kai Havertz scored two each in a dazzling spell after the break to sweep aside a dazed Chelsea.

It was a powerful statement by Arsenal who have recovered impressively from a home defeat by Aston Villa and bowing out of the Champions League and with four games remaining they are piling the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City.

Arsenal have 77 points from 34 games with Liverpool, who face Everton on Wednesday, on 74 from 33. Reigning champions Manchester City have 73 points but have two games in hand starting with a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Thursday.

It was the sixth time Arsenal have scored five or more in a Premier League game this season without conceding and in such a tight race they now have a huge goal difference advantage which could prove crucial to the outcome.

"Very happy with the win, with the amount of chances and goals we scored," Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, whose side face arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, said. "And with the clean sheet as well it shows the consistency.

"We will enjoy it and rest and get ready for the next one."

For ninth-placed Chelsea it was a humbling night as they suffered their heaviest ever defeat by Arsenal and a hammer blow in their bid to creep into a European place just days after their narrow FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City.

"The team showed a lack of capacity to resist, that is what is the problem," Mauricio Pochettino, who gave a first Premier League start to young right back Alfie Gilchrist, said.

"Arsenal are a very good team. But I think we allowed them to play."

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