Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea: Mistakes cost Arteta first win as Gunners boss
PUBLISHED: 16:04 29 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:11 29 December 2019
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Arsenal lost 2-1 to London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon as they were made to pay for defensive mistakes, costing Mikel Arteta his first win as Gunners boss.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring for the Gunners with 13 minutes gone as he headed home inside the six-yard box, but Bernd Leno missed a cross on 83 minutes to allow Jorginho to tap home before Tammy Abraham found the winner after a quick break away on 87 minutes.
Arteta made two changes to the side that drew with Bournemouth on Boxing Day as Calum Chambers returned from suspension to replace the injured the Sokratis, while Matteo Guendouzi took the place of Granit Xhaka.
The hosts made a bright start as they looked to take the game to Chelsea, and they found a deserved opener with 13 minutes gone.
Chambers met a Mesut Ozil corner at the near post and his header into the six-yard box found Aubameyang, who adjusted brilliantly to nod past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
While Arteta would have been hoping to see his side create more clear cut openings he would have been delighted with the work rate and intensity as they controlled the game.
Aubameyang went close with one of the few chances they did create, as he raced clear and hit the side netting with a shot from a tight angle.
There was one negative from a superb first half for the Gunners though, as Chambers was forced off with an injury after an aerial duel with Tammy Abraham, but the Emirates crowd were clearly delighted with the performance at the break.
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It was all Chelsea after the interval though as the home side were pinned back.
It took some heroic defending to keep them out, including a superb block from David Luiz as he threw himself in front of Abraham's close range effort.
Abraham had another chance as Chelsea continued to see most of the ball, but his header from a corner was straight at Leno.
Substitute Joe Willock had a chance for Arsenal down the other end as the ball broke for him on the edge of the box, but his shot on the turn flashed just wide of the post.
After dominating the second half, the Blues did find an equaliser with 83 minutes gone thanks to a big helping hand from Leno.
The German goalkeeper came to punch a free-kick from the left and got caught under the ball which dropped for an unmarked Jorginho to tap into the empty the net.
The home side also had the right to feel aggrieved that the Italian was even on the pitch as he somehow avoided a certain sending off for a second yellow after fouling Matteo Guendouzi moments earlier.
Despite all their hard work and effort, the Gunners let their lead slip as Chelsea went with just three minutes to play, breaking Arsenal hearts.
A counter-attack through the middle saw Abraham feed Willian who gave it back to the striker. He turned substitute Shkodran Mustafi inside the area, firing through Leno's legs and shattered the positivity of a spirited display from Arteta's men.