Havertz scores 2 as Arsenal routs Chelsea 5-0 to cement Premier League lead

LONDON — Kai Havertz scored twice against his former team and Ben White also got a brace as Arsenal brushed aside a dismal Chelsea side 5-0 on Tuesday for its biggest league win over its London rival.

The win ensures Arsenal will go into the weekend atop the Premier League standings, lifting it three points ahead of Liverpool ahead of Wednesday’s Merseyside derby at Everton. Man City is four points back before it plays at Brighton on Thursday, with another game in hand.

For Chelsea, it was another dispiriting loss after a 1-0 defeat to Man City in the FA Cup semifinals on Saturday that ended any hope of finishing a disappointing season on a high note.

Chelsea’s leading scorer Cole Palmer was absent with an injury but the manner of the team’s second-half collapse will only renew questions about what progress — if any — the expensively assembled team has made in its first season under Mauricio Pochettino.

Arsenal’s previous biggest league win over Chelsea was 5-1 in 1930.

Leandro Trossard put Arsenal ahead in just the fourth minute by beating Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic at his near post from a tight angle. Petrovic made amends by single-handedly keeping his team in the game with a handful of good saves until the floodgates opened in the second half as visitors’ resistance melted away.

White swept home the second in the 52nd and Havertz added the third just five minutes later with a well-taken goal after being teed up by a perfect throughball from Martin Odegaard. The Germany international, who made an expensive move to Arsenal from Chelsea last summer, got another one in the 65th with a shot from the middle of the area, and White added to the rout with a fortunate second goal when his attempt at a volleyed cross sailed into the net in the 70th.

Pochettino responded by bringing on center back Thiago Silva to prevent the scoreline from getting even bigger.


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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