Romelu Lukaku breaks his Chelsea duck and gives Arsenal the blues
Romelu Lukaku scored on his second Chelsea debut to set them on their way to a comfortable Premier League win over London rivals Arsenal.
Having failed to net in his 15 appearances during his first Chelsea spell, Lukaku needed just a quarter of an hour to make his mark as the Blues ran out 2-0 winners at the Emirates Stadium.
Reece James laid on Lukaku’s goal before scoring the second himself, with Arsenal unable to mount a serious challenge to get back into the contest.
Lukaku moved back to west London from Inter Milan last week and revealed he spoke to former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba in the build-up to this game – and he clearly took something from the conversation.
Drogba himself hit 13 goals in 15 games against Arsenal and Lukaku followed suit, sweeping home a low James cross from close range – netting his first Chelsea goal 3,648 days after his first appearance.
Arsenal had started well enough but the goal took the wind out of their sails, Pablo Mari and Rob Holding struggling to contain Lukaku with £50million summer signing Ben White absent due to a positive Covid test.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta had already lost Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson to Covid ahead of an opening day defeat at newly-promoted Brentford.
He had called on the returning Arsenal fans to help bridge the gap between the club and the current Premier League elite – but rousing support was in short supply when Mason Mount picked out James inside the box and he fired home Chelsea’s second 10 minutes before half-time.