Arsenal went into Saturday evening’s match with rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium with the mood slightly changed from a few weeks ago. There are cracks behind the scenes, while the team is no longer displaying the consistent results of earlier in the campaign.
However, the Gunners produced a solid display to see off the Blues 2-0 to move back within three points of the team from south west London.
Showed steal in a vital match
At times in recent seasons, Arsenal have crumbled under pressure. This was a high-pressure game. A defeat would have seen the Gunners fall nine points behind their London rivals, with sixth place Manchester United also in good form.
Unai Emery’s side produced the sort of display that gives them a major chance of overtaking a lacklustre Chelsea in the table. Recent displays have put those objectives in doubt of late, as the Gunners have struggled to fulfil expectations in the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s time with the team from north London.
The team just seemed to show more determination and discipline to achieve what could prove to be a pivotal result in the Gunners campaign. It will hopefully lift the spirits of everybody connected with the north London club.
Chelsea have been unconvincing of late
Chelsea have struggled for top form of late, with even Blues boss Maurizio Sarri questioning his player’s mental attitude. In the early stages of the campaign, the Blues looked like potential title challengers.
However, Saturday’s visitors have not been terrible, but they have also not looked like a team who are dead-certs for a top-four finish, which would have been the minimum expectation of Sarri’s team at the beginning of the season.
Arsenal have a decent run of fixtures
The win over the Blues will raise the confidence amongst the Arsenal players ahead of a good run of fixtures. The Gunners host Cardiff, Southampton and Bournemouth at home, while visiting rock bottom Huddersfield.
A visit to reigning champions Manchester City is obviously a tough one, but the other matches the Gunners should be winning. Those fixtures should give Arsenal a good chance of maintaining a challenge for top-four, with the Gunners now odds of 10/3 of finishing in the Champions League spots.
The win should restore some faith in Emery as a coach and help avoid the atmosphere at the club descending into that of Wenger’s latter years.
Will win over Chelsea help lift the recent gloom amongst some Gunners fans?