Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said his team had let fans down “for many weeks” before an invigorating 3-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea on Saturday.
The Gunners scored their first league home win since October when goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka put them up 3-0 before a late Tammy Abraham strike completed the scoring.
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Arsenal had failed to win any of their previous seven league games — losing five of them. Speaking after the match, Arteta said Saturday’s result was one to celebrate but acknowledged his side’s lack of victories had frustrated supporters.
“The result is the main thing today, we really needed that win. We have been unlucky and frustrated with our results in the last eight weeks so this was a big day for us,” Arteta told BBC Sport.
“From the first whistle you could see the team had the energy and willingness to come out and win the game.
“The spirit before the game was really positive, they really wanted it. I am pleased for the players and for the supporters. We have let them down for many weeks so it was a good day to give them something to cheer about.
“When we gave the penalty away I couldn’t believe it — it’s the magnificent game called football. It can always surprise you.”
Arteta hoped the match will reverse Arsenal’s fortunes this season.
“It doesn’t get any better than winning a London derby against Chelsea on Boxing Day. Hopefully this is a turning point. I know they can play at this level. We know how good Chelsea are but big moments in the game we were the better team,” he said.
“The injuries, the Covid, playing 10 men…you start to think what do we need to win a match.
“It’s nice to give something back to fans because I can imagine they have been really disappointed. We started well and we were dominant. That gives the team confidence.
“Let’s carry on. We still have big things to improve on.”