PLAYER RATINGS: Tierney and Martinelli cause havoc for Chelsea defence

PLAYER RATINGS: Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli cause havoc for leggy Chelsea defence… but Timo Werner’s woes continue as German looks shaky in front of goal before half-time withdrawal

  • READ: Arsenal claim first Premier League win since November 1 against Chelsea
  • Arsenal shocked Chelsea with two first half goals from Lacazette and Xhaka 
  • Bukayo Saka added a third for the hosts with a cross-cum-shot in second half 
  • Sportsmail rates the performances from each side in their Boxing Day battle 

Arsenal’s young stars shone brightest in their 3-1 victory over Chelsea for a much-needed Premier League victory.

Despite recent poor form, Mikel Arteta’s side came out the blocks faster than the Bluesand were rewarded for their efforts when Alexandre Lacazette converted from the penalty spot after Reece James’ foul on Kieran Tierney. Midfielder Granit Xhaka doubled Arsenal’s lead just before the break with a sumptuous free-kick into the top corner than Edouard Mendy could do nothing about. 

Bukayo Saka’s second half cross-cum-shot gave Arsenal a three-goal lead and left Frank Lampard and his side looking leggy and clueless at the Emirates before the hour mark. Tammy Abraham got a consolation late on before Bernd Leno saved a penalty from Jorginho to halt a potential comeback.

Here, Sportsmail rates the performances from Arsenal and Chelsea in their Boxing Day battle.

Arsenal shocked their London rivals Chelsea with a huge victory in their Boxing Day battle

Mikel Arteta’s side took a two-goal lead before the break and looked dangerous throughout


Bernd Leno – 7

A surprisingly quiet 90 minutes for the German goalkeeper – until his brilliant penalty save. 

Hector Bellerin – 7 

Recalled to the starting line-up and as skipper too. Set the tone for Arsenal by attacking as much as possible from his right-back position 

Pablo Mari – 6

Ponderous passing did not boost confidence on his first league start of the season. Better in the air and shut out Abraham for most of the match.

Rob Holding – 6

Not one of his more accomplished performances with some heavy touches and poor distribution but a couple of exceptional blocks.

Kieran Tierney – 8

One of the few reliable Arsenal performers again played up to his level and his run won Arsenal’s penalty. 

Left-back Kieran Tierney was a constant threat down the left wing for Arsenal

Mohamed Elneny – 6

A solid, characteristic hard working display from the Egyptian midfielder. 

Granit Xhaka – 6

Still can’t tackle, which is not ideal for a central midfielder, but great energy on his return from a ban and a goal to savour. 

Granit Xhaka doubled Arsenal’s lead late in the first half with a perfectly-taken free kick

Bukayo Saka – 7

One of the brightest prospects at Arsenal – possibly fro England too – and another game and goal to boost his reputation. 

Emile Smith-Rowe – 7

Comfortable on the ball in his first Premier League start of the season but missed a great scoring chance.

Martinelli – 8

Lively on left hand side of attack. Mishit a great chance in the opening minute but a constant menace to the Chelsea defence. 

Alexandre Lacazette – 6

Worked hard to lead the attack and took his penalty with a quality finish. 

Alexandre Lacazette silenced critics as he fired Arsenal into the lead from the penalty spot


Pepe (on for Martinelli 74) 6, Willock (on for Smith Rowe 65) 7, Mustafi (on for Lacazette 90)

Subs not used: Runarsson, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Maitland-Niles, Cedric, Willock, Nketiah.

Mikel Arteta – 7 

A rare night of delight when his tactics and selections paid off.


Edouard Mendy – 5

First touch of the ball was to pick the ball out of the net – after a penalty – not much he could have done to stop the next two goals either. 

Reece James – 5

Struggled to cope with Martinelli’s pace at the start and conceded pen when beaten by Tierney. Better going forward. 

Kurt Zouma – 6

Solid at the heart of Chelsea’s defence.

Centre-back Kurt Zouma was solid at the heart of Chelsea’s defence but couldn’t help them win

Thiago Silva – 6

No wonder the Brazilian star is admired worldwide. Made the game look so easy – apart from when beaten for pace by Saka.

Ben Chilwell – 6

Defied an injury worry to have a half decent game at left-back on a day when little ran his way. 

N’Golo Kante – 6

Still a one-man human wall, but Chelsea needed more from him. 

Mateo Kovacic – 6

A first half performance to show he was worthy of his selection ahead of Jorginho – so a surprise when he was replaced by him at half-time!

Mason Mount – 6

Started well and curled a neat free-kick against a post. Faded like his team-mates only to produce a strong late finish. 

Mason Mount faded like his team-mates only to produce a strong late finish

Christian Pulisic – 6

Dangerous when he took a chance to run at Arsenal with the ball but not at his best. 

Timo Werner – 5

A few nice touches but not enough to stop him from getting hauled off at half-time.

Timo Werner had nice touches but not enough to stop him from getting hauled off at half-time

Tammy Abraham – 6

Had a lot to prove keeping former Arsenal striker Oli Giroud out against his former club and will be worried about keeping his place for the next match on Monday despite his goal 

Frank Lampard – 5 

Outwitted again by Mikel Arteta.


Jorginho (on for Kovacic 45) 5, Hudson-Odoi (on for Werner 45) 5, Havertz (on for Kante 74) 6

Subs not used :Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Jorginho, Giroud, Gilmour, Azpilicueta, Emerson Palmieri. 

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was outwitted again by Mikel Arteta in 3-1 defeat

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