Under the beautiful sun at the Emirates in North London, Chelsea finally got their win against a woeful Arsenal side who have now lost their last 2 premier league games. You have to feel pity for the Gunners at this stage in all honesty. As they continue to ‘trust the process’, they have now recorded the worst start in the club’s history under the ‘brains behind Guardiola’ in Mikel Arteta.
20 – Mikel Arteta suffered his 20th defeat as Arsenal manager in the Premier League, in what was his 60th game – while Arsène Wenger didn’t register his 20th defeat with the Gunners in the competition until his 116th game. Gulf. pic.twitter.com/NRgTaGKFSW
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 22, 2021
It shows how bad the Gunners have declined but it’s not our business to worry about. Over to good stuff at the best club in London.
The Blues were in total control of the game from start to finish as Romelu Lukaku scored his first Chelsea goal in his second full debut during the first opening 15 minutes of the game. This was never in doubt and it seemed so poetic that big Rom followed the footsteps of his idol, Didier Drogba, who was famous for terrorizing the Gunners over the years.
— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) August 22, 2021
Not long after, Kai Havertz played a beautiful pass to Alonso, who found Mount and then squared it up to Reece James. From that position, it was inevitable what would happen as James made no mistake with a cracking shot to the top corner. A goal that had brilliance all over it.
Lukaku once again takes some shine for this as his brilliant hold-up play had the Gunners on strings all game and his positional awareness even dragged Kieran Tierney off his position to make lots of room for James to operate on multiple occasions.
Pablo Mari had no answer to the strength of the big Belgian and the manner in which he was dispossessed for the first goal clearly told the story. There was the back story of Ben White supposedly having covid-19 before the game and that was sorry to hear. However, he would have been pleased he didn’t at least face the terror of Lukaku.
Ben White watching Lukaku bully Pablo Mari like 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/bkeQ1MZ3oT
— Elvis Tunde ➐ (@Tunnykvng) August 22, 2021
Moving on, the west Londoners had no difficulties in dismantling the Gunners right before their own fans. Though they could have scored more with Leno making some fine saves, you wouldn’t expect anything less of this performance from the European champions.
Is Lukaku the final missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle?
It didn’t take long for the £98m pound man to get off the mark as he continued his fine form of scoring on debuts.
The big Belgian was precisely almost everywhere and did exactly what Chelsea wanted from him. You can also say he was the missing piece all along. He was on course for a second goal as he was denied by Bernd Leno who made a superb save. You could see the confidence on his face as he was sure he timed his header perfectly and couldn’t believe his effort didn’t go in.
📸 – Lukaku so close to scoring but great save from Leno. pic.twitter.com/ix2KEjpjGg
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) August 22, 2021
Although he hardly touched the ball until the time he gave us the lead, he made himself known to the defenders and particularly had Pablo Mari in his back pocket all game.
There was the case of Timo Werner missing big chances all through last season, but you get the sense that a good number of such chances will now be buried henceforth. Also, I did make a case of Tuchel dropping Werner and it seems to have been justified so far.
Romelu Lukaku is good news for Reece James!
The England international thrived as Chelsea dominated their London rivals, sorry neighbors. Although he didn’t start in the opening day win against Crystal Palace, he came back to make the starting lineup and showed why he will be a brilliant fit for Tuchel’s system, especially with the arrival of Lukaku.
Reece James on Romelu Lukaku:
"I’m very happy he’s here. His performance speaks for itself. Everyone saw how he uses his body and bullies players. He showed his strengths and qualities with how good he is and how he scores goals. He’s a great addition to our team."
Beasts! 💪🏼💙 pic.twitter.com/qnkTLm6Ti5
— ChelseaFCBlogs (@ChelseaFCBlogs_) August 23, 2021
He scored the second goal which was similar to the opener, with Lukaku holding the back to the goal and drawing in defenders before switching up the play to open the space. The 21-year-old then supplied the finish to make it 2-0.
Lukaku's contribution in that first goal. He not only scored the goal but also played a big part in creating that goal-scoring opportunity by dragging Pablo Mari out and creating space for Mason Mount which then helped to free Reece James on the right flank#ARSCFC pic.twitter.com/MhAa4fXnaz
— Nouman (@nomifooty) August 22, 2021
As it was seen against Arsenal, with Lukaku now leading the Chelsea attack, James will not also benefit from having a central target he can spray his crosses too but also from the space the Belgian creates.
It is no surprise the youngster is the Chelsea star with the most minutes since Tuchel arrived at Chelsea. He can only get better and it’ll be a joy to watch.
Lastly, the squad now boasts proper depth with quality and it’ll be interesting to see how Tuchel manages the options at his disposal.
Players that didn’t start yesterday
– Thiago Silva
– Christian Pulisic
– Timo Werner
– Hakim Ziyech
– Trevoh Chalobah
– Ben Chilwell
– Callum Hudson-Odoi
– Kurt Zouma
No way Tuchel wants to add kounde and maybe Saul to this team 😭 have mercy TT
— Rola (@kofoworola__a) August 23, 2021
My Verdict: Lukaku’s arrival back in the Premier League for Chelsea will make them a force to be feared. He will also improve the Blues’ efficiency in front of goal and that will come in very handy in the course of the season. It’s too early to say Chelsea are ‘favorites’ for the title but it’s easy to see how Lukaku has significantly improved the squad already.