Arsenal End Weeks of Tears to Soothe Fans as Chelsea Moan

Boxing Day presented a huge gift to all Arsenal faithfuls. Prior to this day, it has been weeks of epileptic displays which birthed disappointing results except in the Europa League where the younger blood had made it six wins in six group stage matches, a feat that has earned us a place in the knockout phase against Benfica.

I have not been available here after our 1-0 loss to Burnley and during the time, we have played Southampton and Everton in the league, and also Manchester City in the Carabao Cup. All were not impressive.

Against Southampton, our ex-player, Theo Walcott, threw us in panic with his first half strike. Luckily but not good enough for us, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got an equalizer in the final half. Our chances got reduced following a second booking that led to a sending off for Gabriel. Nevertheless, we could have sealed a late victory if not for Rob Holding’s header that hit the woodwork. It ended 1-1 at fulltime.

We headed next to Goodison Park and again, it did not go well for us. Rob Holding had first gifted Everton the lead before Nicolas Pepe leveled up from the penalty spot in the absence of Aubameyang. Our joy did not last long as the hosts retook the lead close to halftimr, courtesy Yerri Mina’s headed corner from the near post. 

The second half was barren in terms of goalscoring and we had to stomach another defeat.Things became more terrible when we faced Manchester City in the EFL Cup quarter-final. 

It was not long before Pep Guardiola’s men went forward through Gabriel Jesus’ header. Alexandre Lacazette grabbed an equalizer for us following good work from Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian had been out of action since last season and he returned with a big bang after nine months.

Unfortunately, his comeback was ruined by a collision he had with Steffen and although he managed to stay on for the remaining part of the first 45 minutes, he could not go past the opening of the second half. He was replaced by Pepe.

Runarsson failed to handle a freekick from Mahrez properly and that put us behind again. A Phil Foden chip over our goalkeeper made it three for the visitors and it never looked hopeful for us at this point.Laporte confirmed our woes with a fourth placing us on a fifth loss in our last six matches. It was the end of the road for us in the Carabao Cup this season.

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With no win recorded on the domestic front for close to two months, many would not have expected that our sunshine after the rain will come today against Chelsea even though there was this faction that kept saying that no matter how bad Arsenal are, they get to their best to surprise everyone once Chelsea is involved. They proved that and made us happy for once in a long time.

There was a massive shuffle to the team in the absence of some senior players and probably because the coach had to try out something new. Emile Smith Rowe surfaced and Martinelli made it back after that scare against Man City.

We were the first to take the lead after a good start. Kieran Tierney was fouled and that resulted to a penalty which was well taken by Lacazette. More morale was added to our starting spree and Granit Xhaka was able to double our lead with a free kick before the end of the half.

Chelsea came back with fury as they looked to redeem themselves but we were the side that still got a goal, courtesy Bukayo Saka’s curling attempt over Mendy.

The visitors managed to get one consolation through Tammy Abraham and would have gotten another if our ever gallant Bernd Leno hadn’t stayed up to the task. The German goalkeeper denied Jorginho’s penalty from going in and we had all three points with a 3-1 scoreline at the end of the day. 

What a relief it was! We will be away at Brighton & Hove Albion next Tuesday, December 29 for our last match of the year 2020.

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