Arsenal lost a chance to return to the top of the English Premier League with an home loss to London rivals, Chelsea on Sunday evening.
The Gunners started the match as the brighter side to the delight of their fans but defender, Per Mertesacker, obstructed a goal chance in the 18th minute, leaving referee Mark Clattenburg with no option other than sending him off.
In quick reaction to the red card, the Gunners sacrificed striker, Olivier Giroud for defender, Gabriel Paulista but before the Brazilian could settle, the Blues took advantage of Arsenal’s nervous defending in the 23rd minute.
Diego Costa scored with an assist from Branislav Ivanovic and the first half ended 1-0.
Arsenal started the second half with more belief and Arsene Wenger’s introduction of Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 77th and 75th minutes further ensured that they remained likely to get an equalizer.
Chelsea, however, thwarted all possible chances made by the Gunners in securing a draw.
The match ended 0-1 and the victory means Chelsea remain unbeaten since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho and they have also not lost in their last nine league meetings with Arsenal.
This is Arsenal’s first home defeat since West Ham on the opening day of the season.
Arsenal have moved to the third position on the English Premier League table while Chelsea progressed to the 13th position, their highest position since October 2015.
Leicester City sit top of the league going into February, with Manchester City second.
Defender, Per Mertesacker says Arsenal must be ready for an “angry” Bayern Munich intent on revenge when they meet on Wednesday night.
The Gunners breathed life into their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 victory against the Bundesliga champions in October.
Mertesacker expects a strong response from Bayern at the Allianz Arena, and says Arsène Wenger’s side must be at the top of their game.
“They had a Friday night match (against Eintracht Frankfurt) so they are well prepared for midweek – they are clever, the Germans!” the Arsenal vice-captain said.
“We showed that we can beat them, that is a good sign but it will be a different game at their place. They are outstanding in their league, it will be a good game and both teams have a good chance to go through to the knockout stage.
“They will be angry I guess. We are the first team who really challenged them, so they will be on the ball and try to show that they are back and better than us.
“We need to get something out of this game, there is still a bit of pressure and urgency to perform. We need to perform and defend even better.”
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, says first-choice central defensive pair, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny remain doubtful for the Gunners’ trip to Newcastle on Saturday.
Illness and a back inujry prevented the pair from playing in Monday’s goalless draw against Liverpool, with Callum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista filling in for the absent duo.
The gunners have picked just four points from their opening three Premier League games, and Wenger put the club’s slow start down to a lack of match fitness.
Arsenal have won seven in a row against Newcastle United and Wenger is confident his side can overcome what he expects to be a tough match to improve the streak to eight.
Arsenal defender, Per Mertesacker, feels Arsenal’s serene and mature approach was vital in securing victory at Manchester City on Sunday.
The visitors produced a resilient defensive display at Etihad Stadium, restricting their opponents to just four efforts on target.
Mertesacker was pleased with the spirit shown by the whole team, and feels Arsenal have learnt from losing 6-3 in last season’s corresponding fixture.
“We didn’t rush ourselves to do anything,” he said. “We stayed calm over the whole 90 minutes and just dropped a bit deeper.
“It’s very unusual for us, but we learned, especially from last season. I would say it was a mature performance.
“We don’t have to talk too much – it was just one game, but it was a good response.
“Every player was up for proper defending from front to back. I think we have to praise the whole unit,” he told arsenal.com