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Back-to-back wins ease pressure on Mikel Arteta as Arsenal revival begins

Arsenal recorded their second win in two games after beating Brighton.
Arsenal recorded their second win in two games after beating Brighton.
ANALYST
Modified 31 Dec 2020, 16:44 IST
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The last two months have been very tough for Arsenal and their fans. However, in the space of three days, things appear to have changed following a run of two wins in as many games.

The Gunners had gone seven games in the Premier League without a win, with some of the team’s established stars badly underperforming. However, that changed when Arsenal faced Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day.

Opting to give a couple of young players the chance, Mikel Arteta was rewarded with a much-needed 3-1 win against the Blues. Arsenal then followed up by defeating Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday to make it two wins from as many games.

From a side that hadn’t won a league game in almost two months, Arsenal are now buzzing after recording back-to-back victories in the Premier League.

Arsenal back in contention for a top-six finish

The win against Brighton may have been a narrow one, but it is exactly what Arsenal needed at the moment. And Arteta’s decision to stick with the youngsters once again paid off.

Pablo Mari and Rob Holding retained their places at centre-back while the attacking trident of Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka played behind lone striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

All the aforementioned youngsters gave a good account of themselves, and it was Saka’s superb run that led to Arsenal’s goal, with the 19-year-old setting up Alexandre Lacazette to score what proved to be the winner.

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"We know we've been struggling with results,” Arteta said, as quoted by Goal. “The fact we won against Chelsea was a big boost. To come here and get another win was massively important. I'm proud for the boys and happy for the result. Lacazette is in a good moment. He's full of confidence. We wanted to change the team in the second half and give it some freshness.”

Arsenal's latest win has immediately made them top-six contenders, as they are now only six points behind Chelsea, who are currently sixth in the 2020-21 Premier League table.

Arsenal’s revival continues

The unpredictability of the Premier League means that Arsenal can still qualify for the UEFA Champions League despite their indifferent form in the last two months.

There are still many games to be played and points to be dropped. However, the major challenge that could afflict Arteta’s side is their consistency or rather the lack of it. Despite winning two games in a row, one cannot tell which Arsenal will turn up next week.

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However, as things stand now, Arsenal’s revival is going on quite well, with the club now 13th in the league table and nine points behind fourth-placed Everton.

It may be a long shot, but the Gunners are gradually crawling their way back after a disastrous run of form. Moreover, the back-to-back wins have eased the pressure on Arteta, who was being mooted as the next Premier League manager to be sacked just a week ago.

Arsenal’s revival is well and truly on.

Published 31 Dec 2020, 16:44 IST
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