- Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal gave hope to the pack chasing a top-four finish
- Emile-Smith Rowe’s first-half strike was enough for the Gunners to see off their rivals
- This was Arsenal’s first double over Chelsea since the 2003-04 season when they won the league title
Chelsea missed the perfect opportunity to strengthen their grip in third place after suffering a surprise 1-0 loss to Arsenal in the London derby on Wednesday, May 12.
In an interesting encounter, Emile Smith Rowe scored the only goal of the game as he capitalized on a Jorginho error to give Mikel Arteta all three points in London.
The only goal of the game came in the 16th minute when Chelsea’s designated penalty taker horribly misjudged a pass that ran the risk of crossing the line.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga did his best to keep the ball from going in but forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on hand to set up Smith Rowe with a follow-up.
The goal sparked Chelsea into life as the Blues dominated the game from then onwards, with Mason Mount coming close to scoring twice.
For one of his chances, the England talent saw his volley inside the box blocked before forcing a good save from Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
American Christian Pulisic found the back of the net but Arsenal’s skins were saved when after review from the video assistant referee who ruled the goal out for offside.
Olivier Giroud, a substitute on the day, also had a glorious opportunity to grab the equaliser and should have done better with his effort which he swung wildly after a Mohamed Elneny mistake.
Giroud and Zouma also went close as their efforts hit the cross bar.
For all their efforts, Chelsea eventually succumbed to a rare defeat under Tuchel as the Gunners did the double over them this season for the first time in 17 years.
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What does this mean for Tuchel’s top-four ambitions?
The defeat is by no means disastrous for Chelsea but will certainly ring mild alarm bells in terms of a top-four finish.
Chelsea remains fourth on the log with 64 points, six clear of West Ham and seven clear off sixth place Liverpool, who have two games in hand.
If Liverpool win their two games in hand, they could set up an intense final two games of the season as they would come to within a point of Chelsea.
Regardless, Tuchel still has two routes back to the Champions League as he faces Manchester City in the final of the competition on May 29.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Thomas Tuchel has refused to take all the credit for Chelsea's Champions League progress to the final this season.
The Blues will face their Premier League rivals, Manchester City, in the final of the European competition billed for Istanbul on May 29.
Despite doing an awesome job since he took charge of the club in January, the German-born tactician believes Frank Lampard laid a very good foundation for him while he was the boss.
Tuchel insisted that he recognised the work his predecessor had done and he just had to continue from there.