By Rob Kelly

Mikel Arteta admits it was "massive" for Arsenal to score their equaliser against Newcastle within 55 seconds of going behind.

The visitors grabbed the lead at Emirates Stadium on Monday night through Hatem Ben Arfa, before Robin van Persie's well-taken strike restored parity straight from kick off.

Arteta says the timing of that goal was crucial to maintaining Arsenal's momentum and laying the groundwork for Thomas Vermaelen's last-gasp winner.

"We all kept believing, we were all at it and we had the chances and thankfully in the end we got the points," he told Arsenal Player.

"It was massive [to get the equaliser when they did] because the longer the game goes on without it, the more frustrated you get.

"It was a great move and a great finish again from Robin. Credit to the team because we never give up even when we are losing. The crowd were fantastic again, so thanks to everyone.

"We are now only one point behind Tottenham and three ahead of Chelsea, so we are in a much better position than four or five weeks ago. We are really happy."

Watch the full interview with Mikel on Arsenal Player.

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 13 Mar 2012