After watching his side beat Chelsea 3-1, Mikel Arteta feels that his team have rediscovered their groove as they ended their four-match winless run in style.
A brace from Martin Odegaard as well as a Gabriel Jesus strike put us in firm control during a blistering first half display, and although we weren’t able to add to our tally after the break the boss was thrilled to see us emphatically return to winning ways.
The three points saw us leapfrog Manchester City back into top spot, and help us move on from the disappointment of last week’s defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
“We wanted to have a very different approach to the game, and we did it right from the beginning,” Mikel said post-match. “The team is back to its best. There was a lot of energy, determination, quality, movement, and we were really going for it. We connected with our crowd straight away, we scored two magnificent goals, got control of the game and fully deserved to win.
“We wanted to prove we had that fire in the belly. I could see that in the last few days, and we prepared the game well. Mentally we arrived in the right mood and with the right level of energy. Everything went for us as well, which is important.
“We’ve had a couple of difficult weeks with very different games with a lot of emotions involved. Today we’re back to the top of the league - let’s see what happens.”
The boss also heaped praise on his captain Odegaard after he took his seasonal tally up to 14 with two well-taken finishes to put us on our way to beating the Blues.
It is the midfielder’s best scoring return in his career, and Mikel feels he can get even better with the best years of his playing days in front of him.
“We don’t know what the limits of the players are,” he added. ”When you have a player of his quality and his eagerness to learn every single day, he accepts that there are areas he can still improve a lot.
“He is constantly working on them, and in the end you get rewarded. That’s credit to him.”
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