EPL 2020-21: Arsenal steals the show to sink Chelsea in Boxing Day London derby
First Published Dec 27, 2020, 8:21 AM IST
This was Arsenal's fifth win of the season in 15 games, along with two draws and eight loses, as it rises to the 14th spot. As for Chelsea, this happened to be its fourth loss of the season in 15 matches, along with seven wins and four draws, dropping to the seventh place.
Arsenal came up with a much-needed win, as it passed a stern Chelsea Test, to tame its London rivals 3-1 in the 2020-21 English Premier League (EPL) clash, at the Emirates Stadium, on Saturday. The win took Arsenal to the 14th spot, with some painful task at hand, while the loss saw Chelsea dropping to seventh.
The opening half saw constant attacks from both sides, with as many as eight attempts coming within the first 31 minutes, including a promising chance for Chelsea, as Mason Mount's 13th-minute free-kick came off the post. Nonetheless, in the 34th minute, Alexandre Lacazette put the hosts ahead after successfully converting a penalty, as Reece James brought down Kieran Tierney inside the box.
Chelsea came up with another chance in the 41st minute, but to put it wide, as three minutes later, it was Arsenal's Granit Xhaka who produced a brilliant free-kick into the top-right corner. The host looked in total control, as it went into the half-time with a healthy 2-0 lead.
Following the restart, 11 minutes into the second half, the first attack of the half from Arsenal saw Bukayo Saka produce a brilliant effort to triple the lead for the host, following an assist from Smith Rowe. It resulted in eight more attempts thereon, including twin saves for both and an off the post chance for the host.
Nonetheless, Chelsea produced its first shot on target in the 85th minute, which resulted in Tammy Abraham's goal, as a low cross assist from Callum Hudson-Odoi did the job. It was followed by another attack from Chelsea, three minutes later.
In the 90th minute, Pablo Marí brought down Mount, resulting in a neatly for the visitor, only for it to be missed by Jorginho, whose shot was saved by Bernd Leno. It turned out to be the game's final attack, as Arsenal walked away with the deserving three points.
Following the game, Saka was in awe of his goal, besides Arsenal's team effort. "I saw him off his line, so I thought I could chip him! We feel that we are a good team who have been unlucky with results and red cards, but this is a big one for our confidence. It's been tricky, tough, but we have come out of it and we are trying our best. We grew up with each other, the young players all want to play and have the passion for this club. We want to make the fans happy," he told BBC.
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta dedicated the win to the fans, by saying, "The result is the main thing today, we really needed that win. We have been unlucky and frustrated with our results in the last eight weeks, so this was a big day for us. From the first whistle, you could see the team had the energy and willingness to come out and win the game."
Furthermore, Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard vented his frustrations, as he said, "It wasn't good enough. We fought in the second half, but in the first half, we gave ourselves too much to do. The players who came on added speed, energy and intensity. I'll take responsibility on the outside, but the players also have to take responsibility. The message was clear - Arsenal are a dangerous team. When you go out and play 60 or 70 per cent, then you're not going to win any games. I am angry because I want us to win games. It was an opportunity to go second. You get what you deserve."
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