EPL: Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1
Arsenal eased their relegation fears and lifted the pressure on beleaguered boss Mikel Arteta with a much-needed 3-1 win against Chelsea on Saturday.
Arteta’s side sat just three points above the relegation zone before kick-off at the Emirates Stadium after their worst start to a season since 1974-75.
But the Gunners produced their best performance this term to out-class their London rivals.
Alexandre Lacazette’s controversial penalty opened the scoring before Granit Xhaka’s superb free-kick increased Arsenal’s lead before half-time.
Bukayo Saka bagged Arsenal’s third goal after the break as they won in the Premier League for the first time in eight games stretching back to November 1.
Tammy Abraham’s late strike was no consolation for woeful Chelsea, who missed a penalty through Jorginho in the final moments.
Moving six points clear of the bottom three will buy Arteta a little breathing space following talk he was in danger of the sack after just a year in charge.
Arsenal have only been relegated from the top flight once in their history, in 1912-13.
With matches against Brighton and West Brom coming next in their Christmas schedule, Arsenal have a chance to climb to a healthy league position heading into 2021.
Having won the FA Cup final against Chelsea in August, Arteta has now delivered two major blows to Blues boss Frank Lampard this year.
Chelsea would have gone second with a victory, but instead they remain six points behind leaders Liverpool after a third defeat in their last four league games.
Lacklustre in attack, short of drive in midfield and bereft of a cutting edge up front, Chelsea’s £200 million ($267 million) pre-season overhaul is yet to pay off.
Lampard has only 48 hours to lift Chelsea’s flagging spirits before they are back in action against Aston Villa on Monday. Punch