Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Jorginho penalty miss helps Arteta clinch vital win

Mikel Arteta clinched a much-needed win to relieve some of the mounting pressure, with Arsenal surviving a late scare against Chelsea.
Arsenal survived a late scare to end their winless run in the Premier League as Mikel Arteta's much-maligned side claimed a thoroughly deserved 3-1 victory over Chelsea.

The Gunners headed into the Boxing Day clash at Emirates Stadium having lost five of their last seven Premier League matches, yet were worthy winners against Frank Lampard's hapless team to mark the one-year anniversary of Arteta's first game in charge in style.

Alexandre Lacazette's penalty put Arsenal ahead in a league game for the first time since a win over Manchester United on November 1, and a stunning Granit Xhaka free-kick doubled their tally.

Bukayo Saka then embarrassed Edouard Mendy early in the second half though, after Tammy Abraham's VAR-awarded goal, Arsenal ultimately had to rely on Bernd Leno's save from Jorginho's penalty to prevent a nervy finish.

That meant Chelsea were condemned to a third defeat in four league games.

Saka set the tone early on, getting in behind and crossing for Gabriel Martinelli, who volleyed wide.

Chelsea seemed to have asserted authority when Mason Mount's free-kick clipped the post, yet Arsenal were ahead in the 34th minute, as Lacazette sent Mendy the wrong way from the spot after Reece James was adjudged to have fouled Kieran Tierney.

While Lacazette became Arsenal's leading scorer, the Gunners' second came from an unlikely source – Xhaka curling in a sublime 25-yard free-kick on the stroke of half-time.

Lampard introduced Callum Hudson-Odoi and Jorginho at half-time, but it was Arsenal who struck again 11 minutes after the restart.

Having cut into the area, Saka spotted Mendy off his line, and floated in an audacious – perhaps accidental – effort in off the left-hand upright.

Three key saves from Mendy denied Arsenal a fourth, before Mohamed Elneny struck the bar.

Chelsea made their fortune count when Abraham chested in Hudson-Odoi's cross, and Arsenal’s nerves were fraught when Pablo Mari felled Mount in the box.

Yet Jorginho, who has now missed two of his last four penalties, failed to tee up a grandstand finish – Leno diving to his left to hold onto a weak shot.

Belated Christmas cheer for Arteta

With Gabriel isolating due to a close COVID-19 contact, David Luiz and Willian both ill – though the duo tested negative for coronavirus – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not deemed fit enough to start, Arteta was almost forced to rely on inexperience on Saturday.

It paid off in comprehensive fashion – Saka and Martinelli were supreme down both flanks, while Smith Rowe created two chances, including the assist for Arsenal's third goal, in a free role off Lacazette. The Gunners are now up a place to 14th, while Chelsea sit sixth.





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