Premier League: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty before Granit Xhaka’s superb free-kick doubled Arsenal’s lead just ahead of the break.

Chelsea, looking to stay hot on the heels of the chasing pack, were caught out again after 56 minutes when Bukayo Saka clipped home a third.

Mohamed Elneny drilled a fierce effort against the crossbar before Chelsea pulled a goal back after 85 minutes through Tammy Abraham, who was ruled onside by VAR after initially being flagged offside.

Gunners keeper Bernd Leno produced a fine save from Jorginho’s penalty in stoppage time as Arsenal closed out a first league win since beating Manchester United away at the start of November.

Before kick-off, the Gunners announced defender Gabriel was set to miss the next three matches due to self-isolation after being flagged as a close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19.

Brazilian duo David Luiz and Willian were said to be “unwell”, but both recently returned negative tests.

The result sees The Gunners climb to 14th in the table whilst Frank Lampard’s Chelsea drop to 6th.

Arsenal’s Kolasinac tests positive for Covid-19 and Aubameyang sleeps on airport floor in difficult international break for the Gunners

Kolasinac’s positive test is the latest of a number of Covid-19 cases in the Premier League, with Arsenal teammate Mohamed Elneny also returning a positive result.

Elneny’s Egypt compatriot – Liverpool’s Mo Salah – has also got the disease following the latest round of international fixtures.

Arsenal man Kolasinac, who plays for Bosnia and Herzegovina on the international stage, is one of two in the Bosnia squad to have returned a positive coronavirus test.

It is unlikely that either the Bosnian or Mohamed Elneny will be available to manager Mikel Arteta for the Gunners next Premier League game.

Elneny continues to self-isolate in Cairo where he is said to be displaying no symptoms of Covid-19.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also had a challenging international break, sharing on his social media platforms that he had to sleep on the floor of Banjul Airport in the Gambia on Monday night.

Aubameyang slammed the Confederation of African Football regarding the incident, which took place before Gabon’s fixture with the Gambia in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

The Gabon squad weren’t allowed to leave the airport due to an alleged administrative problem.

Liverpool see off unambitious Arsenal at Anfield.

Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota, on his home debut, all scored after Alexandre Lacazette had been gifted the opener after a Robertson error.

If the France international’s finish from Arsenal’s first shot on target in the 25th minute was not that convincing his performance in two second-half one-on-ones – one latterly flagged offside – with Alisson Becker was even less so and his misses will have left Mikael Arteta wondering what night have been on a wet Monday night in Anfield.

Liverpool dominated however and had 21 shots on goal compated to their opponents 4 and in truth looked very comfortable beofre Diogo Jota marked his debut with a late goal on the 88th minute.

Arsenal, with David Luiz restored to a back three and two holding midfielders in Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka, seemed in no mood to take the game to their hosts as Premier League newcomers Leeds had so thrillingly done on the opening weekend of the season.

Instead they sat back, rarely engaging as Liverpool played out from the defence, in the hope of hitting on the break.

There was a touch of fortune rather than thought about the Gunners opener with a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s over-hit cross mis-controlled by Andy Roberson into the path of Lacazette.

The France international also mis-kicked his shot but he succeeded in bouncing it into the floor and agonisingly over the outstretched arm of Alisson.

However, if Arteta was hoping to hold on to that lead his plan was dashed after 147 seconds as Leno parried Mohamed Salah’s shot and Mane pounced for the equaliser.

Seven minutes later Liverpool were ahead as yet another Alexander-Arnold cross found its target in the penalty area, this time his opposite full-back Robertson making amends for his earlier error by controlling on his chest and poking home.

The final word was left to Liverpool’s new signing Jota, on as a late substitute, who finally put the match to bed two minutes from time when he seized a weak David Luiz header, controlling and firing low into the Kop net having earlier wasted a better chance with only Leno to beat.

Liverpool are now joint top of the League with Leicester and Everton with the final score at Anfield Liverpool 3 – Arsenal 1.