Mikel Arteta’s first home match as Arsenal manager turned into an eventful affair.
After overseeing a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, the new Gunners boss returned to the Emirates to see his new side take on Chelsea in a clash that looked vital to their hops of finishing in the top four.
Arteta was in bullish mood before the game too, making a huge declaration about Arsenal’s stature in the English game.
“We are the biggest football club in England, and we have to play a little bit with that arrogance, that belief,” the club’s former midfielder told Sky Sports.
“This stadium has to create fear again. I used to hate coming here as an opponent, and we need to use that power. The opponent must be uncomfortable playing here. We need to recover here.
“It was incredible to play here as an Arsenal player. It’s one of the most beautiful, exciting stadiums in the world. When this crowd gets going, and you feel them right behind the team, it’s an incredible place.”
And for a while it looked as though the Spaniard was going to have a successful afternoon.
The Gunners took an early lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and were good value for that lead as they looked to increase it.
Then things fell apart in the final 10 minutes as Chelsea roared back.
An catastrophic error from Bernd Leno allowed Jorginho a tap-in after the German missed a cross, before a lightning breakaway from Tammy Abraham and Willian ended in the England forward slotting in the winner.
It was harsh on Arsenal, but social media was soon awash with ruthless mocking of Arteta, who will have to get used to this sort of thing now he’s in the firing line.