Arteta’s adventure brings Arsenal to safety on Boxing Day night

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Arsenal regained its fighting spirit, achieving a home victory after a long absence in the Premier League by beating Chelsea (3-1) on Saturday evening, in the 15th round.

On Boxing Day, Arsenal found a reason to celebrate, as they were the best and most deserving party to win after their coach Mikel Arteta resorted to a series of adjustments.

Arteta’s amendments succeeded in correcting the team’s conditions, even if temporarily, to achieve much-needed victories after a disturbing series of bad performances, especially at the Emirates Stadium.


Arsenal’s desire

The most important thing that distinguished Arsenal in this deserved victory is the players’ adamance required, their restoration of the desire to please their fans absent from the stands, and their understanding that the late position in which the “Janors” are presently is not suitable for him at all.

This was the main reason for the victory, in addition to a tactical adjustment in the style of play, commensurate with the way the opponent plays offensively, after a series of disappointing recent results.

Arsenal adhered to his usual way, with some changes made to the squad, some of which were unnecessary, and some of them came as a result of the low level of some key players.

Arsenal looked as if they would follow the 3-4-3 style of play, with Kieran Tierney alongside Pablo Marie and Rob Holding in the backline, with Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elnni positioning deep in the middle.

Hector Bellerin and Bukayo Saka stood on both sides, while the front line was formed by Emil Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, and Alexandre Lacazette, in the absence of the injured Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.

Saka Arsenal
Saka celebrates scoring the goal

Sudden shift

But as soon as Arsenal received the ball, the plan would turn to 4-2-3-1, with Terni advancing to the left-back position, giving Saka the freedom to move left and right with a clear exchange of places between him and Smith Row.

The lack of centralization among the front-line players confused Chelsea’s defense, as Martinelli sometimes played in the penalty area, and other times on the wing, with an exchange of positions between him and Lacazette, especially when launching counterattacks.

El Nieny and Xhaka did not advance when taking possession, unlike what happened in previous matches, when Danny Siapius exaggerated in supporting the attack with the movement albeit tireless, but random, to leave El Neny alone in front of the defenders without any support.

Arteta’s adventure

Ventured when he pushed Smith Roe mainly, but reaped the fruits of his adventure after a balanced performance from the young player, while Martinelli was a torch of activity in the front line, taking advantage of Lacazette’s experience in discharging him.




Chelsea manager Frank Lampard paid the tax for not resorting to planning adjustments on the other side of the field, although Chelsea’s problems have already begun to appear in the last four matches.

Lampard relied on the 4-3-3 play method, where the backline was formed by the quadruple Reese James, Curt Zuma, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, and Matteo Kovacic played the focal point with the support of Ngolo Kante.

Mason Mount was the spearhead behind the attacking trio Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, and Tammy Abraham.

A losing

Bet Lampard bet on Werner returning to score goals after fasting in the last nine matches, but lost the bet after the German international presented his worst match this season, with 3 other defenders inside the penalty area.


This match specifically needed a leading player behind the attackers to create games with an innovative spirit, which was not present with the continued absence of the injured Hakim Ziyech.

Abraham – despite scoring his team’s only goal – was unable to create spaces for his team-mates. Therefore Lampard was not successful in keeping the Frenchman Olivier Giroud as a substitute.

But it is calculated for Chelsea that he did not give up until the end, and if substitute Jorginho managed to translate the penalty kick calculated in the last minute into a goal, Arsenal would have lived a difficult time in the 5 minutes calculated as injury time.

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