Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea on Sunday as late goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham condemned Mikel Arteta to his first defeat as Gunners head coach.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first half header had given Arsenal a deserved lead at half time, but the Blues struck back with two goals in the final 10 minutes.
The result leaves Arsenal 12th in the table, 11 points adrift of the top four, while Chelsea remain fourth.
Next up for Arteta’s side is a pivotal New Year’s Day clash against Manchester United.
Graeme Souness on Ozil
Arsenal fans will love the verdict provided by Graeme Souness on Mesut Ozil after his impressive display against Chelsea.
The Gunners started the contest on the front foot and took the lead in the first half thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike.
But it was Ozil’s performance in particular which impressed Arsenal fans, who gave the former German international a standing ovation when he left the field in the 76th minute as Joe Willock replaced him.
Ozil has been criticised in recent seasons for not tracking back and producing some indifferent defensive performances.
But Souness was particularly impressed with that side of Ozil’s game at the Emirates, with the 31-year-old leaving the field whilst his side were still 1-0 up.
“We see Ozil actually sprinting and Arsenal midfielders making tackle after tackle. They are more aggressive across the park,” Souness said at half-time in the contest with Arsenal winning 1-0.
We eventually went on to lose the game but Ozil’s performance was surely a positive.
Chambers injury blow
Arsenal’s defensive injury curse has struck once again.
Earlier in the month the Gunners lost Hector Bellerin to injury in the warm-up ahead of the 3-1 win over West Ham United at the London Stadium – the last time the side has tasted victory.
In the same game Kieran Tierney suffered a dislocated shoulder which will rule him out of action until March.
And now, Arsenal look like they have lost Calum Chambers ahead of the crunch clash against Manchester United.
Flicking on from Mesut Ozil’s corner, Chambers’ header dropped nicely for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to break the deadlock from close range.
However, moments later joy turned to concern.
Chambers went down and stayed down after a rather innocuous coming together with Tammy Abraham.
Replays showed the Gunners might have a problem with his knee and it was serious enough for the defender to be replaced by Shkodran Mustafi and he’s now a doubt to face Manchester United on New Year’s day.
Arteta’s transfer hint
Mikel Arteta has hinted that he may be busy in January given the injury crisis at the Emirates. Calum Chambers was substituted with an injury during the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea and will join the likes of Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Sokratis on the sidelines.
Sead Kolasinac and Dani Ceballos have also been forced to miss minutes in recent weeks, giving Arteta something of a headache.
And the Spaniard, who has only been in charge of the Gunners for a week, has revealed he may be forced to dip into the transfer market.
“We will discuss in the next few days, internally, where we can improve the squad,” Arteta told talkSPORT.
Arteta had hinted that Chambers would be out for a while following the defeat to Chelsea.
The Spaniard said:““I spoke with the doctor and it was not very encouraging.
“We will have to see the scan and what it shows. But he was in pain.”
Arsenal still remain interested in the duo of Koulibaly and Upamecano and are expected to step up interest in one of both players.