Arsenal kids spank Chelsea with style – Merry Christmas Gooners

The kids are alright hey? by Konstantin Mitov

Xhaka, Laca, Saka, Boom! It’s a Christmas miracle lovely Arsenal fans, we won a game of football! We caught Chelsea by surprise, could’ve easily spanked them 5 – 0, but instead it went to a nervy end in typical Arsenal fashion, but oh my good it feels good to win a game I will tell you that.

Luck struck with us, because we didn’t have Willian in the squad and we put a brave young attack and it felt different. We suddenly had energy, desire and a high press.

We attacked Chelsea in their own half, put them under pressure and forced mistakes. We had a chance in the very beginning of the game which set the tone.

Our first goal came in typical fashion from a Tierney run on the left, some skill in the box and a penalty which Laca slotted away. Then later in the half Xhaka slotted perfectly a free kick and we got a 2-0 lead at half time for the first time this season!

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring a penalty during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney / POOL / AFP) /

This was Xhaka’s best half I can remember this season. Not only did he set-up Tierney for the penalty and scored the free kick, he won every arial duel he was in, in those 45 minutes.

And it wasn’t only him, we were actually competitive for the first and second balls and that matters. We showed fight and pride of wearing the shirt and that’s all we’ve asked for.

In the second half, we dropped back a little, but when the chance came Saka made a shot or a cross or whatever it was that lobbed Mendy and went into the top corner. This was the first time I went up to scream in joy, not horror.

We should’ve made it 4 when Laca was gifted the ball by their keeper or when a scramble in front of their goal let to an Elneny shot that rocked the crossbar, but we were unlucky.

Then we allowed a Chelsea goal by letting James in way too easy to make a cross and unfortunately Abraham was on to score. Then we gave away a penalty…

Luckily Leno made a great save and we took home 3 massive points in a time of dire need. Apart from the dip in the end we actually managed to reduce Chelsea to no shots on target until minute 70!

Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (R) is congratulated after saving a penalty from Chelsea’s Italian midfielder Jorginho (unseen) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney / POOL / AFP) /

Funnily enough this was the first game since 2004 that we’ve scored a free kick against Chelsea (Thierry), and the first since 2007 where we’ve scored a penalty against them (Gilberto).

There were a few standout performances, especially the kids. Bukayo was easily man of the match. We all know of his attacking talents, but puting him in front of Bellerin actually helped the spaniard, because he got protection and didn’t get so exposed, which was just as important.

Martinelli gave us the energy and the pace to stretch Chelsea which made them more carefull. He was superb and should’ve scored to make it a perfect night!

Emile Smith-Rowe was the silent maestro that helped everything tick. He was distributing balls to the flanks and running in to create space. It was exactly what you expect from the number 10 role.

To finish off the attacking performance was Lacazette who was superb. His hold up play combined with the energy around him allowed us to stretch Chelsea. He really should’ve scored a second, but apart from that he was the mature head around the youth and it worked.

Kieran Tierney was also sublime again, at both ends of the pitch. The defense should also get a mention as Pablo Mari and Holding managed well most of the game, reducing Chelsea to only 3 shots on target, all in the last 20 minutes.

And then there was Xhaka. This performance was the complete opposite of the madness he did in his last game when he was sent off. But we shouldn’t get carried away.

I’ve seen this before, where we’ve nicked performances out of nowhere and then followed it with nothing. Remember we won at Old Trafford and thought a corner was turned, and we all saw what happened afterwards. This win lifts us to 14th in the table.

There are a few things to take away though. We dropped Willian who’s been utterly shocking and it immediately showed on the pitch. We shouldn’t play anyone because he cost us this or that much or because he’s somebody’s pal.

We left 100+ million pounds of attacking force in Pepe and Auba to play academy players, and they showed more fight and desire. You’d have to question why we are paying those players so much and I really hope this win will give them a kick up the backside to pick it up.

This win doesn’t mean anything if we don’t make the most of our relatively “easy” 5 games coming up. It’s obvious we won’t make most probably even a top 6 finish, but this doesn’t mean the league games can be just wasted and we can stroll in them. We know we need to invest in the side and the rumours are we will do business in January. It makes zero sense, even for Arsenal standards, to back Arteta through this horror run we had and not spend money in the window.

Nevertheless, we showed we can beat a team that spend like 200 million pounds even now, with the kids and a new person in defense and without our top striker and our most expensive signing. Point is as bad as this squad is, we are not a bottom half team.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m so happy and I want to wish you a very happy Christmas to all of you fair readers of this site.


Tags Chelsea konstantin


  1. Very happy. We saw Martinelli and Saka are better than Pepe and Willian. Laca fought hard and those of us who’d been calling for ESR to get a game will be thrilled. I also won money at 30’s so a good night all in all.

  2. Don’t we all love a good spanking – especially when the Chavs are on the end of it 😁
    That morning after a win feeling – boy, I’d missed it!! Well done, fellas!!

  3. Arsenal’s scout layoff is a decisive action, because they need to follow Liverpool’s Moneyball recruitment system. They also need to purchase EPL players who are good in one-on-one situations and duels, as what Liverpool did with Wijnaldum from Newcastle, Robertson from Hull, Mane from Soton, Salah from Roma and Jota from Wolves

    1. gotanidea I finally saw what you keep talking about Xhaka giving us stability being a left footed midfielder, yesterday he was so good yesterday I really don’t know why he can’t play like that every week.

      1. Xhaka is bad in tight spaces and has a limited mobility, but his positioning is essential for the team’s structure and his left foot is indispensable for our passing flow

        I guess he got confused with Wenger’s and Emery’s tactics. By the time he was thriving under Arteta’s system last season, he was already one of the most disliked Gunners and I believe the fans’ comments on social media have really affected his motivation

        We could guess his thought about those comments based on his post-match interview last night

        1. Yes you are right bro, I always love your analysis, Xhaka was one of our best player at the end of last season. See that his pass to Tierney, if that was ozil we would not hear the end of it but because it’s Xhaka no one is talking about that pass. I know he’s average but we really don’t have anyone better in my opinion, some keep talking about Niles playing in that middle role but their must be a reason no coach has ever used him in that position.

        2. I saw an analysis which indicated Xhaka was touching the ball far less after Arteta took over last year but that helped his game. Not exactly sure what to make of that. In any case I think inconsistency and losing his temper are his major issues. When he plays smart like yesterday he’s a very good player – all his managers seem to like him, which can’t be a bad thing

  4. The Ozil camp within the team are obviously known now, sabotaging MA and care less about the fan’s happiness. Shame on the senior players.

    1. I don’t know about that but the sooner Ozil is gone the better. He’s quality but the definition of a ‘luxury player’ and not a guy to look up to (from a playing perspective).

  5. The and merry Christmas to you and all. Yep a great Christmas gift from players…

    And indeed, fact Luiz and William were not fit to play forced Arteta to play other players who showed him how wrong he has been and difference this makes since he took the job.

    As you and all or most of us; we wonder if he will bring back Luiz William ceballos on next game.

    Willian in means Laca or Gabi out, Luis means Holding out.

    Willian can also bench Xhaka or Rowe to play Saka behind him, we have less control and balance in middle.

    That affects a all game as Luiz CB makes that area risky, other players as Tierny and Bellerin forced to help with their own player to handle; then get a 3 for rating when Luiz creates this mess affecting defense and DM forced to help…

    I really hope to not see him do this again but proper choices, not forced by injuries but common sense.

    Think he seen that he doesn’t need to play these guys to get locker room but best players in their natural position.

    Rowe is our only number 10, couldn’t get a break with Ozil, he is the only and best choice to play 10.

    That’s where Arteta messes up, seems to be for locker room reasons then; hopefully he realized that he got lockeroom with youngsters who are eager and desperate to show what they got. .

    The proper mix between young & experimented players is the winning receive, the kids ran out opponent, Chelsea were tired and couldn’t cope with speed talent and energy displayed…

    Let’s hope Arteta learned a good lesson or he must be fired as he should be already. He got it right forced to do so, if he goes back, we all agree, he must be replaced.

    Tuchel is available! Let’s not do a Klopp mistake while we had option. Man U are on him…

    I’m sorry, I’m not reassured to win iwith manager was forced to play this team because he couldnt play Luiz and Willian. We would have lost badly!

    He gets a shot, if he tries this mess again, he must go.

    1. I dont know where you guys get the conspiracy theories from. Luiz has been on the bench for a while now, MA has preferred Gabriel and holding partnership and in the last EPL willian was benched. MA could have started Pepe and AUBA yesterday in place of Martinelli and esr but he changed his experiment he wasn’t forced to do so by any injury or illness

      1. “I dont know where you guys get the conspiracy theories from.”

        They get it from pundits.. They cannot form thoughts of their own

      2. Very good point made here and this is how all the negativity starts and every body is just following through like they all can’t recall these fact, sometimes I wonder if some of us truly follow this club as fan because anyone watching Arsenal lately would know that Luiz has not been in the reckoning so his absence was not forced as the writer and most fans here suggested.

    2. Your criticism of Luis is over the top and its obvious that you do not like the guy for reasons other than football. Luiz has lost pace and is no worse than Holding and Mari…a much better passer and defense organizer especially in a back 3 and actually creates chances. Additionally AFC hasnt been a strong defense team in a while..we had Vermaelan and Mertasacker in defense for the longest better than what we have now..While i agree with you on Willian, its about time we judge players base on what we see on the pitch rather than parroting what useless pundits say

  6. Great win yesterday and I have no real complain. But I want to ask, why is it so difficult for Lacazette to score when he’s one on one, that was the same thing he did against city and Liverpool. I’m happy that Leno saved that penalty if not Lacazette would have been criticize.

    1. It’s sad. Guy looked like a quality finisher at Lyon but he hasn’t been consistent in that area at all since he joined. Like the article said, though, he was great as the old head in this game.
      He always fights for the team and he deserves respect for that.

  7. I do not wish to put a downer after yesterday. But Like Konstantin said we had a great game against MU at OT and then followed by defeat after defeat.

    Brighton are playing well without results. We have to be focused. Pick the same team of hungry, energetic young players.

    We have to take Brighton very seriously like Chelsea or MU and go for the 3 points.


    1. Exactly. This was a derby and relatively easy to motivate for. A massive pickup, but we need the same motivation levels in the upcoming games otherwise we’ll be right back where we started. If every player had even half of Martinelli’s enthusiasm we’d be a very decent side.

  8. First of all, a big congratulations to everyone for the win! As a suffering fanbase for much of this season, we really needed that boost.
    I made some observations for this game, particularly-
    1. The wing combination that we had on both the flanks is the best one that we have in my opinion. KT and Gabi complement each other well, as do Saka and HB. We didn’t see many mistakes from the fullbacks because they were supported by the wingers.
    2. Xhaka had a really good game. He picked out good passes forward and in general was a great presence in the middle. But when he was backing down, it was at that point that we saw his limitations. IMO he needs a CDM behind him, he cant perform both defensive and offensive duties as Partey and Elneny did in the MU game. This brings me to Elneny. While he was far from perfect and was poor in the first half, he did his job well. He has good stamina, just needs to release the ball quickly sometimes and not lose it at the halfway line. He is good at playing out from the back.
    3. I think Lacazette couldn’t have shot that better. The chip was the safest option after his drives against Liverpool had failed, and it sucks that Mendy is a giant goalkeeper and has a large wingspan, although I think Lacazette could have tried to go near post but I think he couldn’t get enough purchase for that shot. And I think Auba would have scored that one but who cares, Lacazette was massive.
    3. I love KT for his attitude and defending, but he is a lot more wasteful than HB IMO. I think today was a game where he tried cutting in more and it worked, but generally, some of his crosses couldn’t clear the first man defending. Now if he gets a little better in his ground crosses, then we would have a devastating left side. His specialities are aerial crosses but at the moment there are few Arsenal players that can get on the end of it. Also if HB would get as much support from his side’s winger or midfielder we could stop a lot of goals from that side. Though in terms of concentration and defensive nous, KT is better of the two.
    4. Went to some Chelsea sites and was absolutely delighted to see them crying. They are already like Lamps out, and I even saw a comment that said that if MA managed them, they would be top of the table, lol. So nice to see that other top teams are also facing some problems and their problems are kind of similar to ours. That really brings our season to some unlucky decisions, bad tactics and bad in-game actions, not dross, deadwood players or incompetent or assistant manager, lol.

  9. What worries me is that MA may revert back to an ‘experienced’ side. If he sticks with the youngsters and Gabriel and Mari in the middle of the defence, Holding if we play a five, we will have energy. Play Martinelli in the big league games, he thrives on them. Get ready to give Balogun a game. Saka…what can I say. ESR reminds me of a young Kevin De Bruyne. I’d rather have a few bad days seeing us trying with the youngsters, than Willian, Kolasinac, Mustafi etc, etc. I still don’t think Elneny or Xhaka have much of a future, Willian is a W.O.Money. The kids may save MA’s ass.

    1. Agree we need to keep momentum with Saka, GM and ESR but he will need to integrate Willian and Pepe eventually. We can’t rely on them indefinitely, what if they get injured. It’s not like the players are just bad, they need to adjust to the team.

  10. in defense of our big boys, I think Arteta defensive tactic which sacrificed an attacker for a defensive player has reduced our potency in the attack, and unfortunately we do not have clinical attack to maximize the little attack treth we put forward. This and laziness, unwillingness and lack of bite showed so far has really destroyed our season, I hope MA jettison the 3-4-3 and stick to 4231 or 442 or 442diamond, arsenal players are not fit for negative tactics where you expect us to be compact and score from limited chances to end the game 1-0 or 2-0.

    our players have been spoilt from over creativity in which we created over 10 chances per game. most of our attackers can be liken to prodigal son

    1. Adjamin: If you have a chance to watch the game again, we played 4-4-1-1 most of the game. The biggest change coming from both wings where the 4 players executed perfectly.

      Now before we get carried away let’s remember that other coaches game plan for us so we shall see if MA keeps this formation and how other coaches react.

  11. Konstantin Thankfully for once you did not call for MA to be sacked and so it was an article with which I could pretty well entirely agree. Whether Covid did us a favour OR whether MA has finally decided to give the kids a proper chance and in the PREM, wher it matters too, we may never know for sure. But either way it seems to me that the changing of the guard has finally arrived and there will be no going back big time. Of course all the uninterested players this season, notably Willian Pepe and even Auba, all of who have been a disgrace in their idleness all season, will, sooner or later, get picked again.

    BUT they must have realised they are on thin ice if they carry on being lazy. It finished OZIL and MA will not tolerate laziness, esp now that he knows he has warrior like and effective (BOTH those words are vital), young and hungry players, ready, willing and VERY able to take their places , permanently. A landmark day for our club yesterday then, as future events will prove ,imo.
    If I could wave my magic wand, I would lose Pepe, Wilian ans Xhaka permanently, this very moment. I loathe and detest laziness and it is cheating us all and we should never accept it . I never have done, as some will surely know!

    1. It’s unfortunate almost half of our squad has this laziness syndrome, how do we keep them unused? This is a big headache for any coach. He has been experimenting different combinations all season, with different attack combinations of laca-auba-willian, willian-auba-pepe, pepe-nketia,-willian, pepe-auba-nketia, none seems to be productive and I don’t see why he will leave the trio of Pepe AUBA willian out of the team for more than 2 games without a proper explanation, we already have issues with Ozil exclusion and sure he wouldnt want to create more problems for himself. I dont envy him presently

    2. Xhaka is not a lazy player though. I am assuming you want him out for his immobility, but I think he is a good squad player to have. He has better leadership qualities, good left foot to pass. Just needs someone at his back to cleanup and he can make his playmaking skills work. Also I think the problem with Willian is tactical cause he inherently isnt a lazy player. He was the best player in the PL during Project Restart, and as he had said he struggles with MA’s tactics. Also he may have been signed on as an experienced squad player, and has to start cause of Pepe’s ineffectiveness. So I think a lot of blame that is placed on him is kind of unfair. That said I do want him out of the starting lineup lol.

      1. Sid Agreed that Xkaka is not lazy , just near useless. Too slow, too ponderous , too immobile. It takes him an age to telegraph his long psses and he has power but little else. A dreadful buy who should never have been bought and needs to go ASAP.

  12. I was expecting Reiss Nelson in, instead of Pepe so as to complete the ‘effective contingent’. But what is it between MA and Nelson? Dosen’t use him even when he’s obviously better than the likes of Pepe.

  13. Well today, they proved that they are ready men!

    MA should learn from this lesson and start giving them more opportunities and this should open his eyes because they are sharp, motivated, and ready, as such he should start using them suitably.
    He should also start considering Saliba and think about adding AMN to this squad, he deserves to be here.

  14. Firstly, hope you all had a great Xmas?!

    What a much needed result! More importantly was the performance for me. Even the usual suspects stepped up and did well. Congrats to them and the team. The youngsters have fire in the belly! Feed the fire I say!!

    Now we have to keep momentum and use this win to move up the table. Now is the time to push on!


  15. For Jon Fox
    I hope you are right. The kids are the future and I would not mind loosing seeing endeavour, spirit and a bit of ability.
    I would not call Xhaka lazy. He has always tried his best. I would call him limited in ability and playing a role he is not fit for except for a few performances here and there with yesterday being one of them.

  16. For our next match, arteta should stick with this winning team and allow the young guns to develop the more. I believe they will gel together as the play the more.

  17. Let’s not deceive each other here, just because xhaka played well yesternight then all suddenly he is Messi?? I completely agree of what Jon Fox says, let’s loose them, they’re lazy!!

  18. Yes it really was a great team performance and hopefully a kick start to better things..No need to worry though as we are in fact doing better than we were last season. How do I know this? An article on Untold Arsenal (using a alternative form of maths) says so, and they never lie. Not ever!

  19. Can’t say I share the Xhaka appreciation society’s love. Three or four bullet like goals in what six years. The master dodger, never putting his body on the line to block opposition shots in the penalty area. Forced to give away too many fowls because he is to slow or not competent enough to challenge cleanly. A master of sideways and backwards passing. I associate him with decliing standards since his arrival. Surely we have seen better players. Gandouzi or Maitland good easily do his job more effectively and provide more energy.. Things will always remain static while he is around. Please sell and don’t look back.

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