Arsenal suffered a late collapse as Chelsea came from behind to claim a dramatic 2-1 win in Mikel Arteta's first home game in charge of the Gunners.
Arsenal seemed to be on course for victory at the Emirates Stadium as they went into the closing stages a goal up thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's early header, but a glaring error from Bernd Leno allowed Jorginho to equalise from Mason Mount's free kick in the 83rd minute.
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Then, three minutes from time, Arsenal were caught on the counter-attack, with Tammy Abraham converting from Willian's cut-back to complete a remarkable turnaround in front of the stunned home fans.
It was a crushing outcome for the Gunners, who were outstanding for the opening half-hour before Chelsea fought their way back into the game, clinching a late victory which consolidates their position in the top four and leaves Arteta to wait for his first win as head coach.
Arsenal: Leno (4), Maitland-Niles (7), Chambers (7), Luiz, Saka (7), Guendouzi (7), Torreira (7), Nelson (8), Ozil (7), Aubameyang (8), Lacazette (6).
Subs: Mustafi (5), Willock (5), Pepe (5).
Chelsea: Kepa (6), Rudiger (6), Zouma (6), Tomori (5), Azpilicueta (6), Kovacic (5), Kante (6), Emerson (5), Mount (7), Willian (7), Abraham (7).
Subs: Jorginho (8), Lamptey (7), Hudson-Odoi (5).
Man of the match: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
How Chelsea roared back to win
Arsenal overwhelmed Chelsea in the opening stages, with Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette setting the tone by ferociously pressing the visitors high up the pitch as Reiss Nelson tormented Emerson on the right flank and David Luiz tested Kepa Arrizabalaga with an early free kick.
There was one early scare for the hosts at the other end when Leno - his vision impaired by the sun - was forced into a scrambling save by Mount, but within a few minutes of that Chelsea chance, Arsenal had the lead their electrifying start deserved.
- Calum Chambers and Matteo Guendouzi returned as Arsenal made two changes from the draw at Bournemouth. Granit Xhaka and Sokratis dropped out of the matchday squad.
- Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic replaced Jorginho and Callum Hudson-Odoi as Chelsea made two changes from their Boxing Day defeat to Southampton.
Mesut Ozil's corner was flicked on by Calum Chambers at the near post, and Aubameyang was alive in Chelsea's six-yard box, escaping Emerson to head beyond Arrizabalaga for his 12th Premier League goal of the season.
Arsenal continued to rip into their opponents after that, with the reinvigorated Ozil picking their defence apart and combining beautifully with Aubameyang, Lacazette and Nelson, whose speed and directness left Chelsea with little choice but to foul them repeatedly.
The hosts lost Chambers to an injury midway through the half, with Shkodran Mustafi replacing him, but their dominance continued, prompting Lampard to make an early change, hauling off Emerson for Jorginho in the 34th minute and abandoning Chelsea's back three.
Jorginho gave Chelsea greater control in midfield, but Arsenal's compact defensive shape made them difficult to break down and they continued to threaten on the break, too, with Aubameyang sending one diagonal shot into the side netting from a Bukayo Saka pass shortly before half-time.
Chelsea looked far more threatening after the break, however, with N'Golo Kante sending an early effort narrowly wide and Leno almost landing Arsenal in trouble with a loose pass in his own half soon after that.
Arsenal's defensive resolve was epitomised by Luiz when he produced an outstanding last-ditch block to deny Abraham after he had been played through on goal by teenage substitute Tariq Lamptey, who had been thrown on for his debut.
Arsenal substitute Joe Willock then fired narrowly wide at the other end, but not long after that the Emirates Stadium was stunned into silence when Leno misjudged the flight of Mount's free kick, allowing Jorginho - who had been fortunate to avoid a second yellow card earlier in the half - to finish into an empty net from three yards out.
The Gunners poured forward in search of a winner, but instead they were caught out on the break, with Willian cutting the ball back for Abraham, who kept his composure to score his 12th Premier League goal of the season and prompt wild celebrations in front of the away end.
Abraham went close to adding a third in the closing stages, with Lucas Torreira sending Arsenal's best chance wide, but there were no further goals, leaving Arteta to rue a costly collapse as Lampard joined his players to celebrate on the pitch at full time.
Stats: Chelsea crash Arteta homecoming
- Chelsea are the first team to win five away Premier League games against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
- Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has made more errors leading to goals than any other Premier League player since August 2018 (7).
- Chelsea became the first team to come from behind at half-time to win away at Arsenal in the league since Spurs in November 2010.
Arsenal host Manchester United on New Year's Day at 8pm, while Chelsea travel to Brighton in the 12.30pm kick-off on the same day.