Chelsea’s trip to the Emirates Stadium to meet Arsenal was always going to be an exciting affair, and it certainly did not disappoint.
A late flurry from the Blues saw Chelsea pick up a shock 2-1 victory, in a game which was full of controversy, drama and downright chaos from start to finish. A typical London derby, then.
On Mikel Arteta’s home debut, his side began incredibly brightly. Believe it or not, they played the first half with passion, creativity and defensive awareness. I know, crazy!
The first 45 minutes were everything which Arsenal fans had been screaming for for weeks. Arteta looked to have answered their prayers, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed home after 13 minutes to give the Gunners a deserved lead.
AuBaMeYaNg DoEsN’t ScOrE AgAiNsT bIg SiDeS.
OzIl GhOsTs In BiG gAmEs.
Arteta team here to break every barrier!
— AfcVIP⁴⁹ (@VipArsenal) December 29, 2019
Aubameyang, he score, he defend, he attack, he captain, He lead. He everywhere. He Arsenal.
— WelBeast (@WelBeast) December 29, 2019
Things got so bad for Frank Lampard’s side that they were forced into an early tactical change. Left wing-back Emerson, who failed to track Aubameyang for the goal, was hauled off in favour of Jorginho, as Chelsea looked to try and gain some control.
Blues fans were delighted with the decision, because they were hardly best pleased with Emerson.
It certainly did help Chelsea, who began to take control of the game. They increased possession and spent a lot of the second half knocking on the door, but they simply could not get through.
That lack of creativity which had plagued Chelsea in recent weeks was on full show, and there just didn’t look like a way to get through.
But then, it happened.
With 83 minutes on the clock, a Mason Mount free kick came flying into the penalty box. There wasn’t much to it, but Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno got it all wrong.
The German jumped for the ball but seemingly forgot he’s not as tall as Peter Crouch, and the cross just sailed over his head.
Jorginho was there waiting at the back post to tap home. Chelsea were level.
Bernd Leno. My boy. What was that? How did you get possessed by the spirit of Almunia in a time like that?
— Zito (@_Zeets) December 29, 2019
Arsenal fans weren’t happy, but Chelsea’s certainly were.
Thank you, Leno!!!
Mount to Jorginho, just how you drew it up!
— Alex Goldberg (@AlexGoldberg_) December 29, 2019
Things went from bad to worse almost immediately for the home side. With momentum on their side, Chelsea continued to push forward, and they got their reward four minutes later.
Willian drilled a cross in to the feet of Tammy Abraham, and the striker shrugged off Shkodran Mustafi to fire through Leno’s legs.
With just three minutes to go, this game was Chelsea’s to lose.
SO HAPPY FOR TAMMY HIS FIRST GOAL AGAINST A BIG SIX CLUB! #COYB!!!!
— Gabriel (@Gabriel06530240) December 29, 2019
WHAT A COMEBACKKKKKKKKK
TAMMY COMING IN CLUTCH YOU LOVE TO SEE ITTTTT
— Mod (@CFCMod_) December 29, 2019
They didn’t lose it.
Chelsea fought back from the brink of defeat to restore their cushion in the race for Champions League qualification, and fans could not believe it.
Lampard’s substitution turned things around, and Chelsea were good value for their result. Blues fans will be celebrating this one for a while.
What a come back from Chelsea….Yesssssssssss,We are the true blue…PRIDE OF LONDON…
— Enitan Hakeem (@EnitanHakeem) December 29, 2019
For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!