Mikel Arteta says a short break from the intensity of the Premier League run-in helped Arsenal find their best form against Reading on Saturday.
The Spanish midfielder was a major influence in the 4-1 win at Emirates Stadium and completed the scoring with a confidently-dispatched penalty in the second half.
While some of Arsène Wenger's squad have been on international duty, Arteta was among those given a short break before returning to training - and it worked wonders.
We had three days free to get some time with the family and relax our minds from footballMikel Arteta
"We had three days free to get some time with the family and relax our minds from football," he told Arsenal Player. "I think sometimes that's very good.
"[After the break] we trained really hard in the last week and this week as well. And I think we played very well [against Reading].
"We had a really high tempo right from the start. I think we had a lot of good combinations around the box. We looked lively. In the first half, we could have killed the game. After the third goal, I think the game was over."
As far as Arteta is concerned there were only two minor setbacks on Saturday - failing to keep a clean sheet and not scoring more goals in an incredibly one-sided game.
"We had two games with a clean sheet and I don't think they had any chances apart from that one," he said. "That was a bit disappointing but, overall, we played a very good game. We were in control and we played some really good football.
"We're on a very good run in the Premier League. We have to keep going. We know that we're depending on other results, so let's see what happens."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 1 Apr 2013