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Paul Merson praises Mikel Arteta after Arsenal's game vs Chelsea


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Merson praises Arteta's initial work at Arsenal

Arsenal legend Paul Merson has heaped praise on manager Mikel Arteta following the Gunners' 2-1 Premier League defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

The north London giants produced a strong first-half performance against the Blues where they dominant with the proceedings in the final third and were rewarded with a goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

However, following the break, the players could not maintain a similar intensity and that enabled the Blues to make a comeback and eventually register a late 2-1 win.

Following the game, Merson said that there were many positives from the Gunners display on Sunday and much of the credit must go to Arteta, who has tried to change the mentality of the players.

"For the first half against Chelsea, it didn't look like Arsene Wenger was in charge. And that's the biggest compliment I can give. They worked their socks off, but were never going to keep that up for 90 minutes, because they haven't done that in 10 years," he told Sky Sports.

With the defeat, the Gunners have dropped 11 points behind Chelsea in the quest for the final Champions League spot and their prospects of making the top four appear improbable, barring a long winning run in the backend of the season.