Press conference

Arteta on the win, race for the top four and Saka

Mikel Arteta after our win over Newcastle at Emirates Stadium
Mikel Arteta after our win over Newcastle at Emirates Stadium

Mikel Arteta had plenty to smile about as we returned to winning ways, defeating Newcastle United 2-0 at the Emirates.

The manager also praised our two goalscorers, and gave an update on Bukayo Saka's fitness.

Read on for a full transcript of his post-match press conference.

on the importance of a win today…

It was really important to win and bounce back as you mentioned. It was a game that had different phases in the first half and we were able to change the game when we wanted, but without really threatening or hurting them enough. We lacked some urgency and some composure in the final third to deliver better balls. We didn’t hit the target enough with the attempts that we had and in the second half we had to maintain and not be impatient to lose any structure in our play because we were controlling them quite well, but we needed to threaten much more certain spaces and I think we did. We scored the two goals and after that the game was in our control. 

on Saka and Martinelli taking their chances…

The finish and the combination from Bukayo and again the composure that he showed inside the box to place the ball in the right area, it was great. Gabi’s run had great movement and the delivery from Tomi as well. The technique is so tough when the ball is flying over your head to keep that ball down and have that quality to finish. It’s impressive. 

on his faith in youth…

If you trust them then you have to trust them and it gives them confidence even after in difficult moments. If not, it’s not real, trust me. They were given another chance and they’ve done it today because they showed during the week how hurting they were after that defeat and how willing they were to put it right today.

on Saka's injury...

Yeah, it was an action where he said he felt something and wasn't comfortable to continue and we'll have to assess him tomorrow and probably scan him and see if there's any injury there

on the top four race...

We go game by game. After the defeat at Anfield, obviously you see things in a different perspective maybe, but we've been on a good run and we have to carry on going and let's see where it takes us, but now let's analyse this game and start to prepare the game against Man United as quick as possible because we don't have many days

on Martinelli's goal...

It is a big moment for him and I'm especially happy for him because how he behaves. Some players are respectful when you make some decisions, and some players are very respectful, like he is, he's patient, but at the same time he's really pushing and challenging and it makes every decision that you make even harder because he deserve more and I'm really pleased because he really helped the team to get the points today.

on the exact problem for Bukayo...

Yeah, he felt something muscular and let's see what it is. 

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