Arsenal lastly lifted the gloom surrounding the membership and beat Chelsea 3-1 on Saturday, with a powerful efficiency from youthful gamers, because the Gunners received their first Premier League match in practically two months.
A calmly taken penalty from Alexandre Lacazette, a sensational free kick from Granit Xhaka and a weird purpose from Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal all three factors at Emirates Stadium.
But it was a nervy end for the hosts as Chelsea acquired a comfort purpose from Tammy Abraham in the eighty fifth minute after initially being flagged for offside. The guests have been then awarded a penalty a couple of minutes later, however Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno saved Jorginho’s shot in harm time.
Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta mentioned he might really feel the vitality on the crew bus earlier than the match.
“I said to them we have to take this opportunity now,” he mentioned. “It’s a really important win for us.
“We needed the points for sure and we did it against one of the best teams in the league in a convincing way.”
Arsenal moved to 14th place with 17 points after the team’s worst start to a season in decades.
“Yeah, it’s a start, isn’t it? We needed that today,” left again Kieran Tierney mentioned. “We’ve had a few bad results this season. But we started on the front foot today.”
The victory at Emirates Stadium, which was empty due to coronavirus restrictions, eased stress on Arteta.
“Relieved and proud of the players for the performance they put it,” Arteta mentioned when requested how he felt. “And to give something back to the fans who I can imagine have been very disappointed.”
It was Arsenal’s first league win since Nov. 1 against Manchester United. And the Gunners did it with a mix of senior gamers and youth, who confirmed verve and creativity going ahead.
Arteta picked younger gamers to begin, together with Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Saka, and the crew shined all through the match.
“It was a really good mixture of senior players and young players that we have. I think they were really, really good,” Arteta mentioned.
Part of Arsenal’s crew choice was compelled upon the supervisor with central defender Gabriel having to self-isolate for 3 matches as a result of he was in shut contact with somebody who examined constructive for COVID-19. Two different Brazilians, David Luiz and Willian, have been absent as a result of they have been feeling unwell. And Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was among the many substitutes as he recovers from a proper calf harm.
Prior to the victory against Chelsea, Arsenal was winless in its final seven league matches with 5 defeats and two attracts.
Chelsea, alternatively, didn’t appear to show up for almost all of the match, although the membership might have quickly moved as much as second in the league with a win. The Blues dropped right down to seventh with 25 factors.
“The first half was certainly our worst performance of the season,” Chelsea supervisor Frank Lampard mentioned. “I’m concerned about what’s at the bottom of it, but I’m not sure if it’s complacency.”
Arsenal began brightly and inside 40 seconds, Martinelli was unmarked in the penalty space however scuffed his shot. It was an indication of issues to come back.
As halftime approached, Tierney ran previous Reece James in the penalty space and went over. Television replays confirmed that James clipped the again of Tierney’s left foot, with the Arsenal defender showing to go to floor simply.
“I felt contact and I went down but I haven’t seen it back,” Tierney mentioned.
But VAR confirmed that it was a foul, and Lacazette stepped up, ran as much as the ball, stopped for a second after which despatched goalkeeper Edouard Mendy the incorrect means in the thirty fourth.
Lacazette, who’s Arsenal’s prime scorer in all competitions this season with six, celebrated by wiping his forehead in aid and grinning from ear to ear.
Just earlier than halftime, Saka was chopped down by N’Golo Kante for a free kick. Xhaka, simply again from a three-match ban for violent conduct, hovered over the ball earlier than sending a surprising, curling free kick over the Chelsea wall with his left foot and into the highest nook in the forty fourth.
Chelsea tried to realize a foothold firstly of the second half after making a double substitution, but it surely was short-lived.
Saka discovered his means down the best and solely he’ll know whether or not he meant it as a shot or a cross. But the ball confused Mendy and sailed over his head to bang in off the within of the publish in the 56th.
When requested if he meant it as a shot, Saka merely mentioned with a smile: “Of course man.”
Chelsea confirmed spirit on the finish, but it surely was too little, too late. Lampard mentioned his gamers weren’t working and sprinting sufficient for big durations of the match.
“Not a good enough first half, a better second half but it was too late by that point,” he mentioned. “It was certainly a lethargic approach in the first half.”
And the penalty miss from Jorginho energized the Arsenal defenders for the five minutes of injury time to see out the match.
“It would have been a longer five minutes if that penalty went in,” Tierney mentioned.