Arsenal return to form with impressive derby performance

Arsenal have come away with a 3-1 win over Chelsea thanks to a much-improved performance in the London derby.

The Gunners started the match brightly, pressing the Blues back in their own half in the opening exchanges, but the match changed shortly after.

Chelsea began to push on after the opening 15 minutes, but the first real chance came at the other end. Gabi Martinelli broke away inside the box, and teed Emile Smith Rowe up in the box, but the young Englishman failed to connect with the ball.

From this point onwards we looked like we had blown it, and Chelsea were looking destined to run away with the result, but it was our side who broke the deadlock.

Tierney was brought down as he ran through alongside the goal line, and Reece James failed to get his foot through onto the ball, and VAR had no issues with the decision.

Alexandre Lacazette made no mistake in burying it, and we didn’t have to wait long before it was two.

We earned a free-kick right on the edge of the box, and the Blues decided to line up a four-man wall, and they may have to live with that decision. Granit Xhaka placed his effort neatly over the stand-still defence and into the top fight of the goal to secure a comfy lead going into the break.

Chelsea opted to make two changes in hope of turning the result around, bringing in Hudson-Odoi and Jorginho for Werner and Kovacic, and while they continued to dominate possession, they still struggled to get many shots on target.

We made it three 10 minutes into the second-half to when Bukayo Saka looked to cross the ball into the box, and Edouard Mendy had to chance of stopping it.

The Blues did finally get their first attempt on target inside the final 15 minutes, when Tammy Abraham chested the ball into the goal, and while the officials initially flagged for offside, VAR ruled the decision to be wrong.

They tried to inspire themselves to pull off a late fightback but they still didn’t have the composure to pull it off. A penalty went their way, but Jorginho put nothing behind it allowing Leno to pull off a relatively easy save, and at that point you knew the game was done.

Arsenal didn’t just win, but they deserved to take all three points, and while some of you will have laughed when I predicted Arsenal to win against a struggling Chelsea side, the result was the right one.

Have the Gunners turned the corner or was the result down to Chelsea’s struggles?


Tags Chelsea


  1. The penalty should have not been awarded to us, but Arsenal worked as a team more than Chelsea and the lady luck smiled on us. Smith-Rowe, Martinelli and Saka connected better than the senior attackers’ combination

    Lampard’s tactic wasn’t dirty enough to beat Arteta’s, but his runner tactic almost worked in the first half with Pulisic’s runs. The Gunners just need to be calm during the opposition’s provocation at the upcoming game and Arteta had better keep using this winning line-up

    1. Wow, wow wow how many penalties have wet against us…….i have to eat my words and apologise that team were brilliant tonight, the young lads were outstanding. Energy, creativity, forward play, no fear, brill.

    2. I appreciate your “honesty” but I prefer to win than to be pure.

      If a Chelsea player had dived like that in our box, big chance they get the decision. I don’t mind it. Besides, James did make a challenge and he did make illegal contact with Tierney.

  2. There is always a first time. Now we need to continue playing positive football with more creators like SMH and Saka.

    1. Finally, as we all have clamoured for weeks now..arteta needed to see that young hungry lads are running the show now.
      Play the talented agile kids and win matches…we have tonnes of them ready to go but arteta refused….
      Thank God for the injuries/isolation that forces his hand..pray he’s learnt one or two today bcos immediately he reverted back to the lazy players, we almost gave the game away..
      Build the team around these kids for now:
      Gabi ,saka, balogun, nelson, ESR , willock,

      We have teams in Europe doing well with couple of energetic kids in their 11,
      Ajax,Dortmund, bodoglimt, Ac Milan, leipzig,salzburg even madrid/barca/PSG are blooding the kids in now fati, Pedri, rodrygo etc.

      The time is now arteta and balogun shud not be allowed to leave like gnabry..we wud regret that

    2. Smh? You mean ESR. And Arteta almost killed the game by bringing on willock and pepe for martinelli and ESR. Lady luck really shined on us and big up Leno for that crucial save. At that rate we were definitely going to draw the game or lose. Willock and pepe contributed nothing. Zilch. Nada. Elneny was a bit shaky but did ok. And I give xhaka alot of stick but he did OK with the first and second goals. We shouldn’t be fooled though, he gives good performances like this occasionally, it doesn’t change how very average and poor he is.

        1. We both saw the game SueP and if we’re being honest, your guess is as good as mine if you really saw the game and gave an accurate analysis as echoed by virtually everyone

          1. I did Kstix
            I saw more forward dynamism and ESR and the other youngsters keen to show Arteta why they should start
            I saw the fact that choices due to COVID gave them their opportunity and they took it. Xhaka’s free kick was outstanding and for one evening credit could be given where it was due. Were it not for giving Martinelli and Smith Rowe a break we wouldn’t have had the chance to compare the changes and to see how blood sweat and tears that the senior players could not muster made the difference this evening

      1. Hi Mr. Kstix.
        Just saw your post. Yup agreed that our intensity dropped after Gabi and ESR went off. Willock did win back possession with his team-high 3 tackles, but his forward runs were ineffective. Mo was really shaky in the first half but mended himself in the second half. But Xhaka was good today, maybe because of the change in the system?

        1. Probably Sid, he did well. Hopefully he can do it on a consistent basis but we all know xhaka too well. It’s just a matter of time.

    1. Why does Joe Willock have to play? What exactly I Arteta’s Problem? A comfy lead, Team in good shape, then U bring in Willock?
      All the while i maintained that Tactics & formation was tge Key reason we have struggled. I hope he saw the clear picture here in this game & trust players (He doesn’t really Like) More!!!
      Congratulations to Us. COYG, GOYG. Ya, GUNNERS Ya!!!! ❀️❀️❀️

  3. Top performance today!!! Oh the joy.

    Shout out to Lucas, Xhaka, Saka, and Martinelli.

    Merry Xmas everyone ❀

    1. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘no more to say I did say my heart said 2-1 but we were really good today

  4. great performance and our boxing day record remains intact. the past couple of months have been really tough for me as a fan and this win has cured some of the pain. tremendous character shown by the squad.

    credits where it is due, Arteta got it spot on. the squad did a mighty fine job. perhaps the dressing room was never lost as the media made it to be. the players weren’t as bad as many made them to be.

    but… (yeah there is always a but) .. I won’t hold my breathe until we can string a run of positive results. I won’t fall for the FA Cup overhype twice. prove to us that you’re the man Arteta.

  5. Great game! I know Martinelli didn’t score today but the kid has to start as much as possible. He is such a nuisance when he is on that teams are always on guard allowing us to take advantage.

  6. Great team performance and a convincing victory.

    The 3 youngsters in attack showed enthusiasm and good movement makes a huge difference.

    Well done lads! Onwards and upwards!

  7. Just the job! Just what we all needed!
    So nice to see them all smiling at the final whistle – been a while!!
    3 great goals… sending Fat Frankie back to West London with nowt….our brilliant youngsters – let’s see more of them please! Leno penalty save.. what a night… and yet another win on Boxing Day!!
    Tonight I can watch MOTD for the first time in nearly 2 months!!!! πŸ˜‚
    Ooh to
    Ooh to be
    Ooh to be a gooner ❀

        1. Play like that week in week out the relegation talks will be put on hold forever πŸ˜ƒ I see Klopp and son on new Amazon advert lol what would you do Sue if Son brought your Amazon delivery to your door ? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

          1. Haha your face if JΓΌrgen Klopp landed at your door Sue πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ and you wouldn’t have time to put on your sunglasses πŸ˜†

          2. I just hope you wouldn’t ask for his autograph Sue πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚ can’t believe shearer and Murphy giving us credit tonight πŸ˜ƒ

    1. Finally Sue, who would have thought huh? I could have bet some quid if someone said Arsenal was going to be 2-0 up at half time, let alone win 3-1. I would have bet against that prediction and lost happily. Nobody expected us to win and rightly so tbh but glad we won. Chelsea were also somewhat poor tonight. It’s indeed a Christmas miracle. Can’t wait for MOTD. Been a super long whileπŸ˜‚

      1. Wow, to enjoy an Arsenal match and come through victorious…. been such a long time, Kstix!! What a lush feeling!
        Let’s hope we kick on from here… and also, I was bought an Arsenal shirt yesterday – looks like it won’t be gathering as much dust as I thought 🀣🀣


      1. And you, BT!! We all know we’ve got it in us, let’s just hope we see it more often! What talented youngsters we have hey?!! And just imagine when TP returns… πŸ™‚
        Aww cheers – Happy New Year to you too 🍻

  8. Xhaka > Messi:)
    Ok, but on a serious note Smith Rowe > Willock. ESR has a better vision, he wants to play a through pass, well sometimes he’s slow.. But Willock’s first instinct is to just run with the ball any then may be something will play out.

    1. Willock’s a Ramsey style midfielder, better when the play is in front of him. ESR is more of a David Silva/Iniesta type; moves into pockets and creates spaces for others.
      We’ve badly missed a player like ESR. Ozil does the same things and while he has world class talent, he surrenders the ball far too easily whereas ESR is hungry and fights to keep it or moves it on quickly.

        1. Good or not good, I won’t comment. However, Willock is more of a Ramsey type. Rarely has the vision to pick a pass, but can progress the ball at foot. Also, ends up in a lot of scoring positions and does score a goal or two. The fact that you don’t want to see doesn’t take those characteristics away.

    2. No2No2, what an interesting comment regarding ESR.

      Don’t you think MOST creators are slower with regards to speed, but make that up with vision and accuracy?

      The style and vision in such a young man, reminds me of what we were missing since the beginning of the season.

      I have said before that, if Arteta brought in someone, anyone, who could CREATE then we would be 100% better.

      Now let’s see what we produce against Brighton and WBA, if he keeps faith with this team performance, Partey for Xhaka and Gabriel for Mari apart, rather than reverting back to the senior players, shall we?

      At least the corona virus has done us a favour today, by forcing MA’s hand and the future looks much brighter tonight.

      1. YES Ken, Covid did us a huge favour today We need to learn the lesson that I and a small number of others have been banging on about for years on JA ; that ALL players who wish to coast through games have no part in our team. We were hugely inferior today, ON PAPER, to Chelsea yet we battered them and why? Hunger, passion, fight, will to win and no cowards or lazy players, at least not til Pepe came on and once again disgraced himself by comparison with the admirable warrior MARTINELLI, like the last game too. SAKA MUST NOW HAVEESR AND MARTINELLI beside him in the team, every game as first choice, unless they need a rest, which they will in time, given the fight they all show.
        Today was the changing of the guard and gave proof of that necessity to the entire watching football world. Along with Ozil I want to see the back of Pepe, Willian and, the way he is going, Auba too.

      2. ken1945: You hit the nail on the head. Creators change the game and make other players look good. Credit to MA today for not barking instructions all the time. He let the players play for a change.
        BTW ERS has a bit of DE BRUYNE in him. Just watch.

      3. You’re absolutely right Ken. Some of our greatest creators were not speed merchants: Bergkamp, Davis, Brady, Graham, (perhaps Eastham).

        1. Definitely George Eastham JAX!!

          lcw, why couldn’t MA see it before covid made him him bring in that kind of player?
          He’s had ESR there all the time and didn’t trust or rate him!!!

          Jon, perhaps you should have a think about who has been choosing the players you keep lambasting every second you can – and who played them, signed them or gave them new contracts (apart from OZIL) – it was Arteta… so while you blast the individual players, shouldn’t you also have the same issues with him?
          I notice his main man, Xhaka, was recalled immediately – yet another player you reserve your criticism for.

          1. ken1945: It is obvious MA does not like tactical players who have a vision and can create chances. Maybe today’s game will change his mind. Not hopeful though after his substitution.

            You also notice that the formation was different today and it gave the players a chance to show their skill instead of playing like robots.

      4. Bro . Did you watch the game? Why would Xhaka be the one to make way? If you are looking for the ball to move forward, Xhaka and Partey would be the best combo. Elneny’s passing under pressure was scary to watch.

        1. Joe, wouldn’t argue with that decision, but are you ready to forget Xhaka’s performances and discipline this season compared to Elneny?
          One game doesn’t maketh a man!!!

  9. Martinelli just wanna play..
    Esr is so smooth on the ball and always looking to find space…

    Xhaka. Good goal. No negativity today. He played well today.

    Arsenal finally won a game. Oh yeah..

    Thanks Leno.. Great penalty save. Hopefully this will be a start of something good. Arsenal just have a way of giving the heart troubles in game….Please no more give aways…

    And yes, Lacazette was good today. We could have gone four goals up (Lacazette and Elneny could have scored the 4th or 5th goal). We rode our luck at times but we needed all that….

    Happy day, I m grateful…

  10. Really enjoyed the performance with every player putting in a shift.We could quite easily have scored 5, my only gripe would be that bringing on Willock and Pep e upset the balance of the side which created a unnecessary nervy finish.

    1. Pepe may have upset the balance, not willcock. The boy works hard. Look at the goal Chelsea scored. Where was Pepe to assist on our left wind and try prevent the cross.

      No blame game though. We won.

      1. Yeah, the guy has a decent right foot. Also his initial Europa leauge goals were beautiful curlers with his right foot.

    1. Of course he did. It was pin point accuracy (including hitting the far post). Was it ever in doubt? He needs more goals to keep himself ahead of Greenwood in the England squad.

    2. Surely meant it. If he was going to cross, he might want to take one more touch or two – probably to his left foot – but took the shot as soon as he got the ball and there were no runners to the far post.

  11. Very surprising performance but soooooooooooooo happy that we finally had a Great game

    Long may it continue

  12. It was an effective 4-2-3-1 with Smith Rowe at the no 10 position.
    The three kids up front really linked well and played well.
    They were doing much for each other before Laca’s goal.
    Hope they get to play more, especially Smith Rowe.
    I’ve never gotten the hype surrounding Willock and I doubt I’ll ever get it.
    The boy is bang average. He comes on for Smith Rowe and the game upfront changed, no link between our wingers and midfielders.
    I’d love to see more of Gabi-Smith-Saka please.
    Xhaka did well today, made the pass that brought the penalty.
    Paid Arteta’s trust well.
    The old players should be ashamed of themselves.
    Our next game, they’ll be back in because you can’t play the kids in space of three days.
    I hope they don’t mess up against Brighton. I mean the senior players that’ll be back

      1. My friend, one player can be overwhelmed, where was Pepe? Did you see how Martinelli kept on helping Tieney? Pepe is poorer than Ozil when it comes to helping in defence. Before the match I said Bellerin is a good player, just needs help when going forward., help that Pepe and Willian are not willing to offer hence our wing backs looking bogus.

    1. Yeah, Willock and Pepe were ineffective. That front four played really well and I hope none of them get injured. Though I think we might have turned over a new leaf, and the players will respond well. I saw Auba slightly sad, I think he might be raring for a chance to snatch back the starting spot. If MA can counter Brighton then we win.

      1. Willcock was the one running his heart out to foil a counter attack, which he did but there was no help and he was overwhelmed.

        1. Yeah, sorry could not reply faster(different timeline lol). For me, the only problem was that Willock’s runs were ineffective today, and Pepe was really awful. Willock won possession a lot today (joint team-high 3 tackles) but as always, needs a little more to bypass the defenders.

    2. Willock’s just a different kind of player. I thought it was a defensive move to get another CM on the field. Could be wrong but I wouldn’t judge him based on that.
      Not sure what to make of willock but his thing is ghosting into the box to score goals, something like Ramsey, and he’s deceptively skillful. Seems to have a good attitude as well so we’ll have to see how he does going forward. Understand your doubts on him.

      1. Kind of wonder if he’s a bit of a lampard, who no one rated at WHU except the manager but eventually he became a bedrock in a successful Chelsea team. Who knows.

  13. And Sakas goal..

    Fluke or intended?
    At first it looks like a fluke but I think he saw the keeper off his line and took that chip..

    1. Saka has shown he can use both legs proficiently so he made the chip not across, I don’t think it’s a fluke

  14. Great result up gunners. This result wz shocking. If i wz arteta i will keep this line up just add our captain for laca.

  15. Credit to Arteta tonight he got it spot on and I’m one of his critics but he deserves credit tonight πŸ‘Œ brilliant performance from the team and great result, let’s build on it πŸ‘ŠπŸ”΄βšͺ

    1. MA deserves credit till he began his non sense substitution. Wallock and Peppe will be the last on his mind. He almost gave the game away.

      MA biggest asset is when he lets the team play. He wasn’t barking at the players all the time today. Also he needs to rely on creative players more.

      1. He certainly does lcw I think he had no choice in his subs as the players worked their socks off and maybe a little fatigue setting in. I have no complaints tonight πŸ‘

        1. Kev82: No complaint here as well. A win is a win. I just want MA to let the players play. I would have liked to see AMN instead of Willock and anybody else instead of Peppe. Did you see when Tieney was yelling at Peppe to move so he can pass him the ball? The kid is clueless as a team player.

          1. Oh I’m no great fan of Willock or Pepe lcw especially Pepe, he’s lazy, lacks awareness and it’s a pain to watch. Yeah absolutely he’s clueless lacks a footballing brain he’s one of the many underperformers that needs to be shipped out, he’s an expensive flop. It will interesting to see how the team lines up when Partey comes back, Elneny and Xhaka were good today but both aren’t known for their consistency.. ESR and Martinelli must be in our starting 11, with those 2 we look much better offensively πŸ‘Š

          2. Yeah, I spotted Tierney yelling at him too. They used to say that Walcott didn’t have footballing brain and I think Pepe has inherited his title.

          3. Jax: This is the second time I see a teammate yell at Peppe for the same exact reason. I wouldn’t name the player because he is exiled but it did happen.
            That can be coached though and he needs to be told.

    1. Saka,martinelli and Smith Rowe are golden generation for Arsenal.Turns out that Mari our best defender he’s good bye bye luiz,Rob is a great defender too.

  16. Honestly if we can get 50-60k million for Pepe I would sell. If we cannot talk any positiive about him on this good day hes sh*t. See how Nartinelli chases defenders with the ball always causing trouble. Basic runs they he can’t even bake.

    1. Martinelli and Saka were more threatening on the wings than Aubameyang and Pepe. I think giving Saka more chances on the right wing would be worth more than starting Pepe there

      1. did you notice how Saka covered Bellerin when he overlapped and cfc counter attack? This is why we always blame Bellerin, because Elnely and pepe/willian don’t cover for him when he overlapped to attack. That’s why AMN wouldn’t attack but sit back, we then think AMN is better

    2. At least we watched the same game. Pepe comes on and even brilliant Tierney looks bad. He should be sold. He makes the team weaker.

    3. Agree Gogo, times running out for Pepe and after this season Arsenal will have to take a loss so as to move him forward as a bad investment. Like many the substitution of Smith- Rowe for Willocks didn’t make sense. It broke up the attacking fluency, while offering nothing in defence. I hope this is another learning experience for Arteta, as you could feel the positive desire to go forward from the kick off.

  17. Well I learnt a few things tonight:

    1. Mari isn’t half as bad as people make him out to be.
    2. Auba is more of a problem than we think and stifles the team.
    3. Pepe and Willock are very average players.

    1. When did people start believing Mari was rubbish? I thought he was looking very good until his injury last year?

    2. For you to say Auba is a problem.. Am sure you watched the match from the back of your tv, not the screen.. A man whose goals have kept arsenal up for at least 2 seasons.. Your eyes need a carpenter to repair..

      Hes been Short of goals yes.. Have you assisted him? What arteta needs to do is play a front 3 with saka and martineli on each side of becca.. Not your poor mans match analysis

  18. Youngsters were absolutely fantastic today….
    Hope Partey will be fit soon to join these youngsters…
    Put Seniors on bench

  19. Mighty impressed with the performances from everybody. The only negatives were Elnemy’s first half performance, Pepe’s lackadaisical pressing and movement and Willock’s ineffective cameo. Saka, Lacazette, Smith Rowe and Gabi were immense today. Shoutout to our fullbacks who were great too and the defenders did their job well, with both Holding and Mari with 2 great blocks to deny Chelsea early on. Mari especially was quite good considering he was returning from a long term injury. Leno was great today.
    Onwards and Upwards!

    1. Elneny was not that bad apart from
      Not releasing the ball fast on two occasions. But he played well. He is also effective when starting play from behind, he make quick dashes to receive the ball. He also covers for forward going wingbacks. I will play wil Kock anytime as a substitute cause of his energy.

      1. My worry is that today he got overwhelmed by the Chelsea midfield in the first half and lost the ball for, as you correctly said dawdling and not releasing quickly. I hope it’s just because of his COVID illness, and he returns back to MU form, or his consistently solid 7/10 form. He almost had a goal though, so Im not complaining too much. Pepe disappointed though.

  20. Why should old players be ashamed when Arteta plays them in 3-4-3 defensive formation. Look at Wenger’s 4-2-3-1 winning today with mostly Wenger’s players.

    1. I also think that’s true. Static Willian is something that we have only seen at Arsenal. He at least is a good attacker, and his decline here (in spite of three assists) is surprising.

  21. Willian and luiz illness the chelsea pensioners was a blessing in disguise,Smith and Mari got a game and they were outstanding.I liked Mari and holdings in defense,Tierny and bellerin were superb too.Arsenal has a great squad to finish top4 we should not be in this position.If we keep winning no one will be calling for Arteta head.

  22. hUngry players make successful teams Why do people onher ethink I constantly criticise laziness as in Ozil, Walcott, Mkhi, Pepe, Auba, Willian and all lazy players however much talent they posses are poisoin in football, which is a TEAM sport.

    Perhaps one day far into the future, other fans besides me and a few other realists will fully take this truth on board. We had fight, passion and hunger throughout the team today , at least until lazy Pepe came on.

    1. That’s the thing Jon prior to this game Arteta picked these idle players, remember the youngsters only played due to the idle players being not being available, I hope Arteta learned a lesson tonight we have a natural 10 in Smith Rowe in our ranks

      1. Mike I agree that he got selections wrong. Too many older but idle players. Even one is too many! I have been consistently preaching for many years on JA that ALL idle players, whatever talent they possess, are useless unless they work flat out.

        Witness today where man for man on paper we had a far inferior team than Chelsea, yet we battered them. Why? We had hunger and passion and they did not. Not rocket science Mike and it beats me why some fans want bone idle players like OZIL back in our team.

        It would be a disastrous mistake and give completely the wrong message to our hungry impressive youngsters. Fortunately, with MA in charge, I have more chance of becoming Pope than Ozil does of playing for us ever again.

        1. Jon to a certain extend I agree with you but not all players are created equal as an example I think Xaka had a very good game this evening, yet he would normally be regarded as a idle player I think the difference for him tonight was he played in a familiar system, the 4231 extensively used by Wenger also I believe Xaka Excell playing on the front foot and the youngsters picked tonight gave him that platform, he doesn’t do well when he constantly gets turned, so to me even the idle players have a role to play depending obviously on the opposition we play on the day

        2. Well Captain Mainwaring, it took a crisis for Arteta to eventually field a side due to illness and injuries. I wonder what team he would have fielded if he had a fully fit squad to build on.
          And in regards to actually picking the team for each match, what do you feel about the selections your love child Arteta made prior to this game? Arteta has single handed lyrics cost this club many many points this season due to fielding the wrong side and using the wrong formations and tactics, as any one with even an ounce of a football brain would not disagree with. Let’s see what happens at Brighton and WBA before we get too carried away shall we.

          1. Don’t know why you bother and so waste you time , nonpal. Unless you apologise for being foul mouthed, which I realise you wont, as you have neither the humility nor the morals, then I will not speak about team matters ever again. Your choice then nonpal, but I already know what it will be. Cheerio then!

      1. Well Jon- you harp on about the bone idle players yet Arteta chose to not only continually play them, but actually bought Willian did he not? And also gave the Captaincy to Aubamayang. Not good management PAL, but then you actually know nothing about football in my mind. You spout a lot, but actually have nothing to say.

  23. Please willock and Pepe are not just Arsenal qualities, the moment they entered I started breathing very fast

    1. LMAO 🀣🀣🀣.. willock and pepe are just not arsenal material. They are both bang average. Bringing in both pepe and willock up set the balance of our team. Arteta should take note of that.

        1. agree on willock . he had game high tackles and only 20 minutes or so . and surely coinciding with pepe’s arrival it would be unfair to blame willock completely. while not his best cameo I think he has a place in this team

  24. What worries me is that most of the changes made tonight were forced upon arteta. Very glad with the result and I think we could all see the benefit of playing a natural no 10. Well done lads let’s hope arteta can learn from this.

  25. good fighting spirit and movement from the youngsters. for once things went our way.
    but still, we didn’t create a single chance from open play and were lucky Chelsea had an off day. still a long way to go.

  26. Martinelli is my MOTM. That kid is a real nuisance for defenders, his pressing, work rate & composure… I just love him. Shout out to ESR, Saka, Tierney & Laca.
    Xhaka was brilliant today, & Leno proved his doubters wrong once again.
    You can see the difference that those kids brought on the pitch today, I hope to never see Willian & Pepe on the starting lineup again.
    I won’t get overly excited but I hope this is the start of something beautiful.
    Onwards & upwards Gunners.

    1. Martinelli always takes high risk and possesses the skills to play like that. If he’s injured, we don’t have another dribbler who can wreak havoc at the opposition’s defense

  27. The dynamism of Martinelli, Saka and ESR improved other players. We could see the difference in Laca, Xhaka and Tierney game today

  28. Let’s be honest no one thought we would get a result or points until our next match so this is a massive bonus and the confidence this will bring is massive ,just hope we don’t fck up the next match .
    Really hope that Leno gets the praise after this performance, because if that penalty had gone in we would have had 5 mins under pressure.
    Martinelli is a world class player in the making ,fcking love what he brings when he plays ,best youngster I’ve see at this club in over 10 years .

    1. I for one think we have the best youngsters in the first team among all PL teams, except for Chelsea. Martinelli, Saka, ESR. Add in Saliba, Azeez, Balogun, Cirjan and Moller and I see a very bright future!

      1. Sid, exactly and let’s not forget who signed most of those younger players on.

        Add Tierney, Gabriel, Partey, AMN and, maybe Saliba (?) and we just need MA to make the right selections.

        1. Agreed Mr. Ken. Would also add Willock and Nketiah too. I think Willock can become a good ball progressor. His cameo today was ineffective, but he had a joint team-high 3 tackles. Also, Nketiah can’t really be successful in a lone striker formation, but in a two man system with someone with better hold-up play, he can get into lots of good positions and score lots of what we call dirty goals, lol. I would like to see him in a partnership with Balogun or Moller. Also completely forgot about Nelson, but that guy is quality too and can do a job on the wings. He seems to have regained his confidence this season and played well from what I saw of him this season.
          Also sorry for the late reply( timeline difference lol).

    2. Agree with everything you’ve said. I just loved Martinelli from the first day he stepped on the pitch. That kid is gonna be a star as long as he stays humble & takes his chances.

    1. Gervinho dribbled past four opponents to score a wonderful goal for Parma and even Walcott dribbled past four players as well. I’ve never seen Pepe do that

  29. Time to banish the demons, cast away the masquerades. The two-faced shall be dumped and true disciples given a chance. RISE GOONERS RISE. Congratulations on a great victory.

  30. Sorry to spoil the party but did someone suggest Mari was our top defender?Could well have been sent off for being miles late in the tackle and conceded the penalty.Apart from that he did well for someone who is obviously short of match fitness.I thought Holding and Tierney were very good and the three “amigos” brought great energy and mobility to the attack which was well led by Lacca.The system used by Arteta today is the one he should focus on.Uncomplicated and the most suitable for the players at his disposal.As for our absent Brazilian contingent, they should not be guaranteed an automatic return to the first team.

  31. Willian and Pepe should be used as warm up cones, the youngsters really put in effort , passion and lots of thinking.

  32. Xhaka my motm today! Proved the doubters wrong . Stood tall when we needed him and added a goal. Hopefully the fans will get off his back now!

      1. I hope he remembers this in the next game, jump to head, quick killer foreword passes, release the ball quickly and no stupid slow back and side ways passes.

    1. His left foot, aerial ability, forward passes, free-kicks, positioning, dirty work and work rate are indispensable to any double-pivot formations, but he needs to have a cooler head. He’d probably be leaving though

  33. We are never as bad as most of us think when we lose and we are never as good as most of us think when we win.

    But hard not to get excited after today’s performance. The only change I can see for Tuesday is Partey in for Elneny if he is healthy (although Elneny improved second half).

    Special shout out to Xhaka who gets a lot of deserved stick but was huge today. His pass to Tierney before the penalty was world class. As was the free kick.

  34. Gervinho looked like Maradona in Serie A after he left us and Pepe has shown he can score plenty of goals in France, so it’s not a question of quality. Difference between their times at Arsenal is that Gervinho was incredible at getting into dangerous positions. I remember us throwing him on for 10 minutes at the end of a game and he’d get to the byline, 10 yards from goal, 4 or 5 times, but he almost always made the wrong decision. Pepe just doesn’t seem to move until he gets the ball. I haven’t given up on him – I’ve no doubt in my mind he has the quality to make the final pass/shots count – but he needs to take a look at the youngsters and figure out what he needs to do differently.

    1. Pepe just not giving enough playing time IMO. Always playing with pressure and everyone on his back especially arteta just waiting for him to make a mistake

    2. People are making out that Gervinho was some kind of sensation in Italy, where in fact he had a few good games and than fizzled out. He had the natural skills but couldn’t back them up with those which require hard work to improve,crossing, shooting passing etc. I don’t necessarily see Pepe as any improvement. I really hope to be proven wrong but so far he has been so easy to mark and has made really dumb decisions all across the ground.

  35. Balogun, Martinelli, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Niles. These young players will tear teams apart.

    The time is now for them to be played more often. Only them can save our season.

  36. Well-done to the team, just watched highlights. Looked like good performance. We were a bit lucky with the penalty at both ends one not a pen and other missed but sometimes you need this luck to win matches. Hopefully this will kick start our season, I won’t spoil the fellow fans mood by saying anything negative. πŸ‘

  37. Pepe red carded, was played in the Europa League, performed brilliantly in that game.

    Fast forward…

    Xhaka red carded, was slotted straight back in after serving his match bans, what a performance today! What a goal!

    What the h*** did Arteta told these guys?

  38. all the fans that keep asking why Arteta keeps playing Xhaka, the answer is simple, unfortunately, he is our best midfielder (when Partey is out).
    Arteta got the subs wrong. Willock and Pepe almost lost us the game with all the easy balls they lost. Caballos and AMN should have come on instead.

  39. I think everyone else except laccazet would have score that glorious Chelsea goalie howler. The question is, can AUBA put pressure on mendy to make such mistake

    1. I dont think that. Lacazette’s decision was for the most part correct. He went for the safe option and with any other goalkeeper that was going in. As we saw in the Liverpool game, Lacazette driving in one on ones are not working so a chip was good enough in my opinion. That giant Goalie saved it because of his wingspan. That said I think going for the near post was a good idea, but I guess he couldn’t get enough purchase for the shot.

  40. Interesting affair, obviously pleasing to get a result finally, but Arteta’s in-game decisions still confound me…I have no problem with not parking the bus too early, especially with a 3 or 2 goal lead, as it usually exposes are still present defensive weaknesses, but to bring in 2 players who are remarkably poor in our own end and who are known for giving the ball away cheaply in the final third, just seems counter-intuitive…maybe bringing in a Auba to play up top and keep the Chelsea defenders honest, then have AMN replace ESR and just play positionally deeper, would have made considerably more sense…on a positive note, it’s about time we scored a couple of top level goals…I’m not sure if Saka meant that as a shot, but the fact he had a quick look then tucked his head, makes me think it was meant to be on target…as for our 2nd goal, that was one of the very reasons the club originally targeted the Swiss International…if we don’t have Xhaka coming farther up the pitch and taking some set pieces, like today, he doesn’t even makes sense tactically…obviously 1 goal doesn’t excuse all of his ineptitudes, but we’re in no position to look a gift horse in the mouth..from a defensive perspective, it still seems unbelievable to me that Saliba is so poor in training that he can’t start ahead of our very pedestrian options…Holding, Mari, Luiz and Mustafi are just an accident waiting to happen…I would much rather give time to someone who just might have a future with the club, than continue to hold my breath with these average at best players on the pitch…only the next games will tell us if the right lessons we’re learned today…until then I’m going to briefly enjoy this Christmas miracle of sorts

  41. The Elephant In The Room:
    What about Auba? Returning from injury Auba will be put back in by MA and he just won’t work in that formation. I certainly think Laca’s style of play suits much better. Today we had a great offensive front three and good to see Saka on the right, giving us at last balance with Tierney/Saka as wingers and threats both sides. ESR isnt quick physically but his football intelligence is obvious – he’s not the finished article yet but he reminds me of Sheringham the with his positional sence and movement.
    I still don’t get Willock. His skills are just not developing as quick as his peers. 100% effort yes but passing, finishing, ball control not EPL standard. I’d loan him out.
    Xhaka was great. Calm, quick AND forward passing, good defensively. Maybe all he needed was a fluid front line? On today at least, Partey replaces Elnany, not Xhaka.
    Tierney, Saka, Gabi, Partey are all phenomenal players even now. Throw in ESR, Gabriel who will improve.. Better stop now, I’m drooling. MA – its written plain as day, give the kids their head…!

  42. What a surprise!!
    Thanks, finally we play like a team.

    MA made some changes, and obviously, this paid off well! I hope he understands now how player’s selection matters!

  43. Great win today no matter what the circumstances or who was on the field.Xhaka had the best game in last 2 years and Gabi and Saka wirkk their socks off as well as have great football sense. ESR is good on the ball and will be a similar option to Ozil untll the fans start turning on him for not winning enough tackles. if we can loan out a few players (willock/amn) and clear out some others we may be able to replace the mid with some real quality. BTW i had to spend 2 hours after the game to clean a wool rug that got my drink on after i jumped ceiling high on Saka goal!!!
    It was worth it!!

  44. What a difference a win makes. Even Xhaka is forgiven for the time being. One player who few have mentioned and mostly in a negative way is Holding. I think everyone is underating him. I know he is not spectacular but he was solid. He is a classic English centre half who makes up for lack of pace with craft and effort. Playing with Mari in an untested combination can’t have been easy but Holding kept a clear head and was often a stumbling block for the Chelsea attack. If you can avoid another serious injury he will be a rock in that penalty box.

  45. Some of us have been calling for the youngsters for a while now. Funny but they didn’t let us down, like some of the experienced players that Arteta has been relying on.

    1. πŸ‘ Reggie, home grown talent with energy and commitment to the badge, combined with seasoned professionals at last putting in. A win in a local derby, breaking a bad run, Leno saves a penalty, 3 points with hopefully Arsenal turning the corner, provided Arteta gets his selections right for coming games. Something to be positive about at last!

      1. Sue, it was a great win and much needed but the reason that team played was because of circumstances and not by design. Plus it proves sone people cant see beyond experience over young precocious talent and that is a worry, especially when it has been slapping the manager in the face.

  46. There are some players that have an ability to make opposing players ask more questions before making their moves for tackle. Martinelli is that player.

    Didn’t have shooting boots today but expect him to score a few over the next month. Hope he gets more game time

    1. I know might annoy you with this lol, but couldn’t resist. So here goes- He did MORE than Pepe has done since his Sheffield game in the EPL. Also, he was more effective than Willian.

  47. ESR created more chances and recovered possession more than anyone else and he only played for an hour. What a talented player we have in our hands. And I’m sure I’m not the only one enjoyed Martinelli’s performance. Upwards and onwards. COYG. Let’s hope Arteta doesn’t brain fart and plays his favourites again after they’re done with isolation🀣

  48. Arteta should do better when it comes to substitution. As a coach, you dont make substitutions when the team is performing. We could have punished yesterday for making wrong substitutions. The coming in of Willock and pepe did not add any value

    1. I would agree that they weren’t an improvement but I did think that – rightly or wrongly- that ESR and Martinelli were taken off because Arteta thought the match was won and wanted to conserve their energy over the Christmas fixtures. If Laca had been able to capitalise on Mend’s error we wouldn’t have had that tense ending

  49. The two substitutions didn’t make sense to be either, Happy. Perhaps he thought Pepe could exploit Chelsea’s need to push forward and have lots of space to counter. That tells you more about Pepe, although not in a positive way. Also, if you are looking for someone to hold the ball, Willock is definitely not your man. If anyone needed to be replaced wouldn’t AMN and Ceballos have been better options. He got away with it though, so put it under,”positive learning experience” this time.

  50. If Mikel Arteta really like this his job, he should stick to this team today that beat our noisy neighbor because they are hungry and determine to wear the shirt. The senior players he trusted is really letting him down and his job is at stake.

  51. Awesome Gunners.

    Way 2 go.
    The gunners wonderkids did a great job providing the energy to complement the whole team.
    Xhaka for once brought out his magic perhaps he’s making atone for his previous mistake.

    Striker Mart provides really smart runs n nuisance. He’s really great. Just need to use n rest him properly.

    Hope the whole team n seniors will work better n believe in themselves more. This is Arsenal with a fantastic history. If u can beat man u n Chelsea why not the rest of the teams man.

    Let’s get to work Go Gunners!!

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