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'It's good to give something back to the fans' | Arteta relieved after Arsenal sink Chelsea

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

08:40 26 Dec 2020


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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta got a much-needed Premier League win on Saturday evening - his first in eight weeks. 

His side beat Chelsea 3-1 at the Emirates where Alexandre Lacazette scored from the penalty spot in the 34th minute with Granit Xhaka doubling their lead just 10 minutes later before Bukayo Saka made it 3-0 approaching the hour mark.

Tammy Abraham scored for the visitors in the 85th minute and it was a nervy finish for Gunners fans as Jorginho took a penalty in injury time, which goalkeeper Leno saved.

Arsenal were full value for their win and dominated the game pretty much from the off.

Speaking to Sky Sports at full-time Arteta said it was great to get the win, particularly for the fans.

"I'm relieved with the result and proud of the players and the performance they put in and happy to give something back to our fans because I imagine that they've been really disappointed with the results.

"It was different from the last few games, we started really, really well. We were on top and that elevated the level of confidence of the team.

"We started with good momentum, we were dominant, created good chances straight away and that gives confidence and then the team had belief.

"We scored the first goal, we went for the second one, we could have scored a fourth and fifth and then in the end we end up hanging in a little bit but I think that related to the moment we are in."

Arteta made six changes to the side that were beaten by Everton in the league last week and trusted in youth with 19-year-old pair Saka and Gabriel Martinelli and 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe.

He felt the freshness they brought to the fixture was important.

"We had a good mixture today of youth and some experience of senior players.

"I think all of them were superb. I would not like to speak of just certain [players] because the atmosphere, the players on the bench, even the mood before the game I could sense it - we were talking about it that it's really good and it's not easy in this moment.

"I'm proud of the group of players that we have and the team spirit that we have as well."

Arsenal climb up to 14th in the table with the win and it buys the manager some breathing space after coming into the game with talk of a relegation fight and his sacking.

He wasn't getting carried away though and with fixtures coming up against Brighton and West Brom in the next week, he knows they can't afford to get distracted.

"We have to carry on, we mentioned that it was a big week for us, we started the week really good so let's carry on and we know we still have a lot of things to improve and be better at.

"Let's focus on that and move onto the next game."


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