Mikel Arteta hailed for how he unlocked Arsenal duo’s potential vs Chelsea
Danny Murphy says Mikel Arteta deserves credit for the freedom he was able to provide Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin in Arsenal’s win over Chelsea.
The Gunners upset the form book to run out 3-1 winners over their London rivals, with Arteta naming a youthful side that played with the sort of freedom that had been lacking in his side’s recent performances.
Both Tierney and Bellerin put in strong performances at full-back, pushing high up the pitch and supporting attacks well.
Tierney won the Gunners a penalty after cutting inside past Reece James, with the Chelsea full-back adjudged to have tripped the Scotland international.
Alexandre Lacazette converted the spot-kick to give the Gunners a lead they never looked like letting go of.
Murphy argued that the full-backs’ performances were key to Arsenal’s victory as they were able to press Chelsea high up the pitch and win the ball back in advanced areas.
The former England midfielder said Arteta deserves credit for the fact that Tierney and Bellerin were not more cautious against a side like Chelsea.
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said: “You thought the keys to Arsenal’s victory were the full-backs.”
Murphy responded: “One hundred percent. Bellerin and Tierney were positive and creative, full of industry.
“I have to give Arteta the credit as well for giving them the licence and the freedom to be that way. They could have been more cautious against this Chelsea side.
“It started in the first minute. Arsenal pushed forward and the Chelsea players didn’t track back. Tierney has fantastic energy to get forward. It was too easy for them to get possession high up in the final third.”