Rio Ferdinand mocks Arsenal celebrating beating Chelsea ‘B team’ but picks out trio who bossed Blues

Arsenal players celebrate win at Chelsea Credit: Alamy
Arsenal players celebrate win at Chelsea Credit: Alamy

Rio Ferdinand has mocked Arsenal for how they celebrated their win over Chelsea on Sunday and insists the Gunners only beat their ‘B team’.

The victory at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of a solitary Gabriel strike, returned Mikel Arteta’s men to the top of the table after Manchester City had knocked them off their perch 24 hours earlier.

However, a virtually full-strength Arsenal only triumphed against a weakened Chelsea, according to Ferdinand.

The home side had Edouard Mendy in place of the injured Kepa, while Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva and Marc Cucurella made up the back four.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho were the holding midfielders, with Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount all supporting former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Aubameyang was replaced after 64 minutes after a virtually anonymous display against his old club. Havertz was also taken off, with Armando Broja and Conor Gallagher joining the action.

Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic were also introduced but Ferdinand was not impressed with the side Potter put out at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking about Arsenal, he told his YouTube podcast: “You lot were very impressive, I can’t take that away from [Arsenal].

“You lot are serious. A serious team now. But look at the opposition you were playing, it wasn’t even their first team!

“Still impressed, but it was not their first team. Kepa [Arrizabalaga] is the No.1 goalkeeper now.

“[Reece] James, [Ben] Chilwell, [Kalidou] Koulibaly, [Wesley] Fofana, [N’Golo] Kante, that’s six players who all [usually] start.

“It was their second team, their B team. Six starters didn’t start!”

Trio do the business in Arsenal win

Despite his sly dig, Ferdinand was impressed with a trio of Gunners stars who excelled in west London.

He added: “[William] Saliba was immense yesterday, he played really well. He stood out. [Thomas] Partey, he made it look easy in midfield.

“He dominated that midfield. [Gabriel] Jesus, he did everything but put the ball in the back of the net.”

The victory saw Arsenal go two points clear again at the top of the table.

Arteta’s men are next in action in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday when they host Brighton, with plenty of changes certain.

Their final game before the World Cup is a trip to Wolves on Saturday evening. A victory would ensure they go into break sitting pretty at the summit as they chase their first Premier League title since the 2003-04 campaign.

READ MORE: Arsenal, Tottenham in battle to sign 22-goal World Cup-bound international striker also firmly on radar of Man Utd

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