The first goal in this game was always going to be important, and Chelsea getting it had the expected effect of knocking back Arsenal after they had made a strong start to the game, boosted by their fans returning for the first time in 18 months.
And that first goal, just inside of 15 minutes, couldn’t have been drawn up any better when the plan to sign Romelu Lukaku was made, with Chelsea’s new No.9 holding up the ball to start the move and scoring off James’s cross to finish it.
Chelsea pressed for a quick second, and after wasting multiple chances to get it, James turned scorer from provider to finish off another nice move. This one started on the left with Alonso and Havertz, with Lukaku heavily involved again, just as he had been all first half, with a great dummy for Mount to provide the assist.
The last few minutes of the half were a bit less controlled from the Blues, and Saka had a penalty shout after tripping over James’ foot, but the referee waved it away and VAR did not disagree.
Chelsea started the second half well, and created a fair few chances without making them count, but our control over proceedings then waned and the game became an uncomfortably stretched and haphazard affair. Fortunately, no goals would be conceded.
At the other end, Lukaku came close a couple times to add to his debut tally, but it was not meant to be — thanks in part to one wondersave from Leno as well. Chelsea wasted a few more decent opportunities to make things truly comfortable, including a great chance for Havertz, but would have to settle for “just” the 2-0.
- Just a few changes from last weekend, with James at wing-back instead of Azpilicueta and Azpi dropping to right-center back instead of Chalobah, while up front Lukaku and Havertz in for Werner and Pulisic.
- Like-for-like changes in Kanté for Kovačić, Ziyech for Mount
- Lukaku’s first(!) Chelsea goal, on his second debut. James assist.
- James goal, Mount assist.
- Six points from six for the new season.
- Another clean sheet!
- Next up: Liverpool away on Saturday