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Update Arsenal lift gloom with 3-1 win against Chelsea in Premier League

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Arsenal finally lifted the gloom surrounding the club and beat Chelsea 3-1 on Saturday, with a strong performance from younger players, as the Gunners won their first Premier League match in nearly two months.

A calmly taken penalty from Alexandre Lacazette, a sensational free kick from Granit Xhaka and a bizarre goal from Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal all three points at Emirates Stadium.

But it was a nervy finish for the hosts as Chelsea got a consolation goal from Tammy Abraham in the 85th minute after initially being flagged for offside. The visitors were then awarded a penalty a few minutes later, but Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno saved Jorginho's shot in injury time.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he could feel the energy on the team bus before the match.

“I said to them we have to take this opportunity now,” he said. “It’s a really important win for us.

"We needed the points for sure and we did it against one of the best teams in the league in a convincing way."

Arsenal moved to 14th place with 17 points after the team’s worst start to a season in decades.

“Yeah, it’s a start, isn’t it? We needed that today,” left back Kieran Tierney said. “We’ve had a few bad results this season. But we started on the front foot today.”

The victory at Emirates Stadium, which was empty because of coronavirus restrictions, eased pressure on Arteta.

“Relieved and proud of the players for the performance they put it,” Arteta said when asked how he felt. “And to give something back to the fans who I can imagine have been very disappointed.”

It was Arsenal’s first league win since Nov. 1 against Manchester United. And the Gunners did it with a combination of senior players and youth, who showed verve and creativity going forward.

Arteta picked young players to start, including Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Saka, and the team shined throughout the match.

“It was a really good mixture of senior players and young players that we have. I think they were really, really good,” Arteta said.

Part of Arsenal's team selection was forced upon the manager with central defender Gabriel having to self-isolate for three matches because he was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Two other Brazilians, David Luiz and Willian, were absent because they were feeling unwell. And Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was among the substitutes as he recovers from a right calf injury.

Prior to the victory against Chelsea, Arsenal was winless in its last seven league matches with five defeats and two draws.


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