After two games Mikel Arteta takes his first loss as the manager of Arsenal in his first London derby clash against Chelsea. Is Frank Lampard lucky? I would like to think so.
Chelsea leaves it till late to exploit the usual Arsenal issues in defence. This time forcing goalkeeper Leno into a silly error. However, truth be told, Arsenal looked a far better brand in their second fixture under new boss, Mikel Arteta.
The man at the helm was let down by some poor play at the back but has many positives to take from this home fixture. For one, no boos were uttered throughout the stadium and the Gooners backed their players till the final whistle.
Secondly, the team played as a team, attacked as a team, and at least tried to defend as a team. It was just not meant to be for the Gunners. All that went wrong during the 90 minutes just proved how much still needs to be done, despite the improvement in gameplay.
A quick recap of the Arsenal and Chelsea Encounter
Arsenal led the game for about 70 minutes and were almost about to win their first game in their last five outings. This was also the first outing they took the lead in a game since November. Another stat showing the improvement of the side after just two games in charge.
The Gunners launched counter after counter but were just not clinical enough in front of goal. This aided in making the game an exciting 1-0 ballgame inside the Emirates Stadium. So much so, there were 8 yellow cards issued, and quite frankly, a red should have been shown to Jorginho.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 13-minute header was only cancelled out by Tammy Abraham in the 83rd minute of the game. So close but yet so far for Arsenal from winning their first game since October on home soil.
Sadly, football has no friends or family and Christmas is not a time for giving out red cards it seems. And because football has no friends the player skating on thin ice was the one to put away Chelsea’s second goal of the game from a Leno error.
Three points to Chelsea in the first London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea and also Arteta and Lampard’s first meeting as managers.
What we picked up about Arsenal
Arteta was able to outsmart Lampard, forcing him to make a substitution as early as 34th minute of the first half. Little did we all know, this is where Frank handed us a taste of his experience and unleashed the player that would come to haunt the entire fixture with controversy.
The Gunners took the lead, held on for dear life for as long as possible, and unfortunately failed in the end. But the positive talks comes about because this lead is the first since November, 11 games ago. If they continue to run hard (as they did against Chelsea) they will get better results.
With more time off the pitch and on the training field, Mikel will get this Gunners firing from all over the pitch. They go up against Man United (H), Crystal Palace (A), Sheffield United (H), in their next three EPL outings. How many points can they collect from these fixtures?