Arteta - ‘Eddie was incredible’

Eddie Nketiah made his first Premier League start of the season on Boxing Day, and marked the occasion with a wonderful goal to seal a 3-1 win.

With Gabriel Jesus ruled out with injury, our academy product was given the nod to lead the line against the Hammers, and his superb turn and finish in the second-half completed an excellent comeback to extend our lead at the top of the table.

It was Eddie’s 11th goal in his last 11 starts at home in all competitions, but after the match Mikel Arteta said he was just as pleased with his all-round display.

“It was a great goal but I think overall his performance was incredible,” the manager said post-match. “The way he understood the pressing, his intensity, the way he counter-attacked certain spaces, the composure he showed. And then he stayed patient. And in the box he produced a moment of real quality to win us the game.”

His goal was set up by Martin Odegaard, who himself turned in a man-of-the-match performance, much to his manager’s delight.

He was great. Since back in Dubai when we were there, he’s been exceptional. That’s what you want from your leaders, with the important players to have that presence on the pitch. With and without the ball I think he was really good today.”

The manager finished by highlighting the part the Emirates faithful played in the comeback, roaring on the team to a tenth straight home league win.

“I was proud of the crowd and supporters, because conceding a goal at home, and the reaction we got from them, it was just really incredible. They really energised the team, we kept doing what we did in the first half, a bit better in the final third, and we didn’t concede anything (in the second-half) so we deserved to win the game.”

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