Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Gunners stun Blues to ease pressure on Mikel Arteta

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Xhaka fired Arsenal into a two-goal half-time lead for the first time this season with a stunning free-kick
Xhaka fired Arsenal into a two-goal half-time lead for the first time this season with a stunning free-kick

Arsenal’s youngsters eased the pressure on Mikel Arteta as they inspired the Gunners to a 3-1 victory over an insipid Chelsea on Boxing Day.

Chelsea travelled to the Emirates Stadium looking to boost their title credentials but were outclassed in every department as a youthful Arsenal ended their seven-game wait for a Premier League victory.

Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty on 34 minutes after Reece James was penalised for a foul on Kieran Tierney, before Granit Xhaka fired Arsenal into a two-goal half-time lead for the first time this season with a stunning free-kick.

Bukayo Saka’s long-range lob over Edouard Mendy early in the second half put Arsenal three up before Tammy Abraham sparked a late Chelsea rally, but it proved too little, too late for Chelsea as Bernd Leno saved Jorginho’s stoppage-time penalty to end their hopes of pulling off the unlikeliest of comebacks.

Arsenal climb up to 14th after their first league win since November 1, eight adrift of Chelsea who drop a place to sixth after missing the chance to move second in the table.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Leno (7), Bellerin (7), Holding (8), Mari (6), Tierney (8), Elneny (7), Xhaka (8), Smith Rowe (8), Martinelli (8), Saka (9), Lacazette (7).

Subs: Willock (6), Pepe (5), Mustafi (n/a),

Chelsea: Mendy (4), James (4), Zouma (5), Silva (5), Chilwell (4), Kante (5), Kovacic (5), Mount (5), Pulisic (6), Werner (5), Abraham (6).

Subs: Hudson-Odoi (7), Jorginho (5), Havertz (5).

Man of the Match: Bukayo Saka.

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