After nearly two months without a league win, and with Chelsea being the most successful away side to play at The Emirates, I think even the most hardened of Arsenal fans were fearing the worst going into the Christmas break.
However, Luiz and Willian were dropped, I mean were mixing with COVID related people, and Pablo Mari, Emile Smith-Rowe came into the side along with a rare start for Martinelli, Aubameyang found himself on the bench for this one in place of the Brazilian, for team news for the Brighton game, check out allarsenalnews.com.
Another immense performance from Kieran Tierney but he made the headlines for the wrong reasons, going down fairly easily for our penalty. VAR decided he was clipped, and Alexandre Lacazette buried the penalty past the imposing Mendy in the Chelsea goal.
Out of favour, and out of form Granit Xhaka scored a belter of a free-kick just before half time, and Bukayo Saka scored a third to put the game beyond Chelsea’s reach, with a shot/come cross/wonderlob just before the hour mark.
We still had a few great chances to increase the lead before a late Chelsea rally almost undid all of our hard work. Abraham chested a ball across to the line to make it 3-1, before Chelsea were awarded a last-minute penalty which Bernd Leno saved to ease the pressure. Thank the lord for the German, who knows what would have happened at 3-2 and five minutes of injury time to see out (well, we all know what would have happened I think!)
Anyway, a memorable and entertaining win sees us stop the rot and even move up a place or two in the league and other results went our way, so fingers crossed we can now build on this well-deserved victory.
After the game, Mikel Arteta said:
“It is a really special day, it doesn’t get any better – Boxing Day, playing a London derby at the Emirates and winning the way we’ve done it. We were really disappointed and frustrated with the results, not so much with the performances, but the results…”
So, finally, things are looking up and our next few games ‘should’ be winnable, as we face Brighton tomorrow night, then West Brom, Palace and Newcastle, another match report from the Evening Standard can be found here.