Mikel Arteta believes there are two key reasons why Arsenal have performed better in the second half of games in recent months.

In their past eight matches, Arsène Wenger’s side have scored three first-half goals but 15 after the interval.

Arteta says this disparity is down to their opponents’ tactical approach and also the Gunners’ mentality during the biggest games.

Arteta on Brighton
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 “When teams play against us, they normally sit really deep and are really organised,” he told Arsenal Player. “If you are patient they [tend to] suffer physically in the last 20 to 25 minutes.

“That is when you can find holes, and mistakes come when teams are more fatigued. It could be down to that, or the fact we know we have to go for it in the [second half of] games.

“Obviously the mental side is very important these days. The first 15 or 20 minutes is massive, because when you go down against the big teams you have a big chance of losing.

“We haven't had the results we wanted against Manchester City and Chelsea, but I think the second-half performances were much better than the first. We know we have to change that to get the right results.”

Arsenal travel to Brighton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, and Arteta says there is no chance that Wenger’s side will underestimate their opponents.

“It will be tough,” he said. “They played really well against Newcastle in the third round and were the better team. They like to play some good football as well, so it will be very interesting.

“There is something about the FA Cup, it has great tradition in England and the fact you play the final at Wembley [makes it special].”

Copyright 2017 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
Rob Kelly 25 Jan 2013