Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney explains Mikel Arteta’s two-word message to inspire Chelsea win

Arsenal v Chelsea: Match in pictures

Kieran Tierney has revealed what Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told the team at half time of their 3-1 Boxing Day victory over Chelsea. The Gunners ended a seven-game winless run in the Premier League with a win over their London rivals at the Emirates.

Arsenal opened the scoring in the first half when Tierney was brought down in the box by Reece James and striker Alexandre Lacazette made no mistake from the spot. 

Granit Xhaka doubled the home side’s advantage when a stunning free kick to beat Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal. 

Leading 2-0 at the break, left-back Tierney says the under-fire Arsenal boss was full of encouragement for his improved side. 

“Keep going,” he told Sky Sports. “The last few weeks we’ve been in a different situation at half-time, so we did go in more positive.

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“As I said, it was ‘keep going’. It was hard work that got us here in the first place, so we need to keep that up first and foremost.”

The Gunners made it 3-0 in the second half when Bukayo Saka beat Mendy from distance. 

Tammy Abraham pulled on back for the Blues late on and were given the chance to reduce the deficit further when they were awarded a penalty before full time. 

However, Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno guessed correctly and was able to save Jorginho’s effort from twelve yards. 

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The result sees Arteta’s side pick up three points for the first time since the start of November when they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford. 

Having slipped down the table to 15th, speculation began to mount over the future of the Arsenal boss,  as well as talk of the club being dragged into a relegation battle.

Arteta confessed he was relieved with the result to stop the poor run and praised his side for their attitude throughout. 

“That’s the word I think, relief,” he said afterwards.

“After all the hard work we’ve put in, and happy as well to give something back to our fans because I imagine they’ve been really disappointed with the results.”

“We started really, really well, we were on top, and that, again, elevated the level of confidence in the team.

“You start with real momentum, you are dominant, we created chances straight away then that gives confidence.

“Then the team had belief, we scored the first one, we worked for the second one, the third one we scored.”

Tierney suggested the win could be the catalyst to help kick-start what so far been a disappointing league campaign for the misfiring Gunners.  

He added: “It’s a start, isn’t it? We needed that today and we needed to give the fans something to be positive about. We’ve had a few bad results this season, so it’s a start.

“As I’ve said, It’s the start of something to build on. We’ve been looking to get that first win, the three points, but this is just the start. 

“Chelsea are a good team and they’re higher up in the table than us. We knew it was going to be tough, so to come out with three points today is so important for us.

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