Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta opens up on Gunners 'emotional' 3-2 victory over Manchester United

Arsenal beat Man Utd in a thriller to move five points clear at the top of the Premier League - read what the boss said

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta opens up on Gunners 'emotional' 3-2 victory over Manchester United

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates at the final whistle


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was left delighted after his side's late, late win over Manchester United.

Eddie Nketiah grabbed a brace, including a last-minute strike to win a thrilling matchin North London on Sunday 

Read every word from his post-match press conference at the Emirates following the Gunners magnficent 3-2 victory over The Red Devils as the home side moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League.  

The victory took the Gunners to 50 points at the halfway stage of the campaign, with Manchester City in second spot. The sides meeting at the Etihad on Friday evening in the FA Cup fourth round. 

After the game Arteta faced the media, and was quizzed about the title race, Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka and much more.

Here’s a full transcript from his post-match press conference…

On the atmosphere at full time...

I don't know [if I’ve ever heard an atmosphere like that], but it doesn't get much better than that. It was a beautiful moment, a really special one because we were pushing and pushing and pushing and the goal wasn't coming, but it came at the end and then VAR made it even more difficult, but it was just electric, it was really emotional, really passionate and I loved it.

On how big the win could be for our title challenge...

Well, especially after coming back, winning the London derby away from home, the way we played, today we played a completely different team that has very different demands and a way of playing, going down against this team straight away is extremely dangerous because you can start to try to attack in ways that they are going to punish you. We came back in the game at 2-1 and then exactly what happened at Old Trafford happened again, at 2-1 we were in total control of the game, they scored, and then it's the moment that, if you are not emotionally sound, if you are not intelligent enough to know what the game requires, you are going to lose it. We did the opposite, we got better, and better and better and we fully deserved to win the game.

On if the win could help our players believe they can be champions...

I hope it does, not that they are champions, but that they are good enough to play against these team and perform the way we've done it. At the same time, don't get confused and we talked about that in the last two or three days, that we know our reality, we know still how much we have to improve and we know what has taken us to the position that we are in today and we have to reinforce that every single day.

On Eddie Nketiah's form...

What Eddie is doing is incredible. We cannot say that we saw that, we were hoping that he could do that because of the way he is, because of his mentality, because of his qualities and how those qualities fit within the team. Losing Gabby [Jesus] was a big blow, it is a big blow today, but Eddie is responding and the team I think in an exceptional way. 

On how he keeps our young players grounded...

By reminding them every single day, we always talk about what we're going to do tomorrow, what we're going to control today that is in our hands because this league is so competitive and so demanding that the opponents and going to make life very difficult, so make sure that we help ourselves every day to get better.

On Nketiah’s qualities…

The qualities that he has, how much he wants it, how much belief he’s got in himself to become Arsenal’s number 9. His desire, his background, we’re with him every single day, [he’s] a special kid, he’s so loved by everybody at the football club, he’s got a real Arsenal heart and experience within him and that’s really special. You cannot put that into numbers. He’s really, really good.

On Nketiah scoring the winner after having a shot saved moments before…

The next time he’s going to try again, and he’s going to miss chances and he’s going to miss more chances this season for sure. But I guarantee you that for the next one, he’s going to try to do it again. He’s not going to hide.

On Jakub Kiwior…

We can talk about that when everything is finalised.

On what a big win does to our team…

[It gives us] Belief, confidence that we are in the right direction, that they feel that our way of playing is going to reward them because it has to be the case when I see Tomiyasu chasing the goalkeeper and the way he comes back, that’s not easy because you can’t do that kind of action, you don’t train it. It’s just pure experience, pure belief and pure commitment of what we do. In my opinion, this is the way we have to continue. 

On summing up the first half of the season at the midway point…

Extraordinary, I would say! It doesn’t get much better than that, that’s the reality. I think we deserve the points that we have, I think we have played well enough to win most of the matches, but the reality as well is that we still have a lot of things that we can get much better at, attacking and defending in transitions, in set-pieces and that’s the aim. 

On Bukayo’s performance…

I wouldn’t like to talk individually about players but what I would like to say is that the courage and the personality that the players showed today, the initiative to make things happen, when the game is at a stage where [we say] “what is going to happen”, they’re not looking at each other saying “you’re going to do it, I’m taking responsibility, I’m doing it myself “, and I absolutely loved that today.

On if we are now favourites for the title…

I don’t have an opinion, it can be a perception, I know my team so well. I know where we are, I know we are here and I know where we want to be, and we are still far from that. I know the level of the other teams, especially one that has won everything in the last five or six years, and we are not there yet.

On whether this season’s Premier League winner will need to hit 100 points…

I don’t know, obviously that number has been achieved in the past and those teams have the qualities to do that, that’s for sure. But I don’t know what the number is going to be, but it’s going to be really high for sure.

On the character in our squad…

Today particularly what I’ve seen, yes. Tomorrow, I don’t know! Or next week I don’t know. That’s the thin balance and the temperature of a team that unfortunately you must always tweak it but today, yes.


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