Arsenal went into the Christmas season during the crisis, but now they’re approaching 2021 with a sense of new found faith thanks to back-to-back wins.
Mikel Arteta’s side returned on form to end their seven-game Premier League winning streak when they beat Chelsea on Boxing Day. On Tuesday evening she prevailed in Brighton with a 1-0 win.
It wasn’t the best performance at Arteta’s side at Amex Stadium, especially in the first half when they only managed one shot.
But they improved dramatically after the break, inspired by the excellent Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, taking all three points thanks to a goal from Alexandre Lacazette, who ended a wonderful move from Saka just 21 seconds after leaving Bank.
The win brought Arsenal to 13th. Place in the Premier League and brought her nine points out of the relegation zone. More importantly, they’re only six points below the top six.
A season that threatened utter collapse less than a week ago now looks curable thanks to two wins largely inspired by the club’s academy stars.
Fans have been shouting for weeks after Smith Rowe’s introduction, and the 20-year-old has made a huge difference after being finally taken off the leash in the last two games.
He presented himself in No.. 10 roll against Brighton, as well as against Chelsea, and although kept quiet in the first half by the formidable Yves Bissouma, he came to life in the second.
The young playmaker was involved in almost everything Arsenal did well after the break and his connection play with Saka caused all sorts of problems for the home side.
A fantastic break involving both players resulted in Saka Pierre-Emerick picking Aubameyang in the middle and only a superb save from Robert Sanchez denied the Arsenal skipper the first goal.
The goal came just 21 seconds after the Gunners striker replaced Gabriel Martinelli and while it was a good French result it was all thanks to Saka.
Arsenal’s young winger took possession of the ball in his own half before heading into the Brighton box and picking Lacazette with a perfect cut back.
It was another moment that demonstrated the 19-year-old’s quality and highlighted why there are many reasons for Arsenal to have a positive start into 2021.
There have been some dark times over the past few months, but with Saka, Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal have some attacking talents who have already started to lift the darkness.
And since Thomas Partey is back in training and is about to return, things suddenly look a lot better for Arteta, who will certainly relax more easily with two wins on the spin.
Partey’s introduction to central midfield will make a huge difference and only add to the momentum Arsenal have shown in attacking in the last two games.
The Ghana international was a huge failure as he sidelined with a hamstring injury and Arsenal’s shortcomings in central midfield were again exposed without him, especially during a drab 45-minute opening.
Partey will most likely make the trip to West Brom on Dec.. Missed January but should be able to take on Newcastle in the FA Cup a week later.
This will give Arteta a huge boost, who is now looking forward to 2021 and hoping the worst is behind them.
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Arsenal F. . C.. . , Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, Premier League, Mikel Arteta, Alexandre Lacazette
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