July 27, 2021

SportsOnly

Football and other sports news

Chelsea win can be a turning point for Arsenal – Arteta

3 min read

Mikel Arteta is hoping Arsenal’s Boxing Day win over London rivals Chelsea can prove to be a “turning point” for his side.

The Gunners boss had not tasted victory in the Premier League since November 1 but watched his side run out 3-1 winners at home to Chelsea.

Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring from the penalty spot before a fine Granit Xhaka free-kick doubled the lead before the interval.

When Bukayo Saka’s misplaced cross flew in, the game looked to be sewn up. But Chelsea rallied, pulling a goal back when VAR overruled the assistant referee’s offside call to grant Tammy Abraham’s late effort before substitute Jorginho missed an injury-time penalty.

With Arsenal just four points clear of the relegation zone heading into the Boxing Day fixtures, the pressure was starting to mount on Arteta.

The Spaniard was with Brazil trio Gabriel Magalhaes, Willian and David Luiz due to Covid regulations but his side impressed and now Arteta wants that to set the standard moving forward.

“Obviously (it is) a really big win for us,” he told Sky Sports.

“We were really disappointed and frustrated with the results, not so much with the performances, but the results.

“The players were suffering, our fans were suffering and today is a really special day. It doesn’t get any better – Boxing Day, playing a London derby at the Emirates and winning the way we’ve done it.

“Hopefully this is a turning point and will elevate the confidence of the team because I know that they can play at this level.

“It is how consistent we are throughout the game to sustain that level and to maintain it.

“We needed the points that’s for sure, and today we did it against one of the best teams in the league in a really convincing way.

“That shows you that we are able to do it when we are at our best. Can we do it every three days? That’s the question mark that we have to respond to in the next weeks or so.”

Arteta was also keen to stress his whole squad had played a part in finally getting back to winning ways, adding: “I sensed on the coach to the game everybody was brighter and how much they wanted to win.

“There is nothing better than a Boxing Day London derby. To put in such a good performance made it very special.

“Everyone was outstanding. We had a good mix of experience and youth today and we have shown we can compete at this level. We needed the result and the points.

“Now we have to continue like this in what was always a very important week for us.”

Chelsea have enjoyed a much stronger start to the campaign than the side that beat them in last season’s FA Cup final.

This defeat, however, is a third away loss in a row for the Blues and Frank Lampard was left bemoaning a slow start to the game.

“I am angry because I want us to win games,” he said.

“We were lazy to give away a penalty, lazy to give away a free-kick that he puts in the top corner and I am very, very disappointed in the way we approached the first half because some things in football are basics.

“It is not tactics or systems, it is do you want to run, back your team-mate out and sprint? Or do you want to jog and say ‘maybe I don’t have to run’, and we took that decision instead of the right one.”

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