After our players’ backs against the wall win against Crystal Palace, Mikel Arteta was delighted that they found a way to end it victorious with only 10 men.
For the first time since May 2022, we were given a red card in the Premier League when Takehiro Tomiyasu was given a second yellow card midway through the second half, but our team managed to hold onto the advantage given to us by Martin Odegaard to get the three points.
Mikel was keen to praise the efforts of all of his players post-match, but especially the substitutes who came on to see us through choppy waters at the end as we made it back-to-back wins to start the season.
Describing his emotions after the full-time whistle, Mikel said: “I’m so happy to win, always very happy to win, but very happy in the way we won with 11 players and 10 players, and the way the team adapted, and how much they wanted the win.
“The contributions from the players on the bench and the way they changed the game straight away when they came on. It doesn’t matter the circumstances, it doesn’t matter the decisions, we keep going. We want to win and find a way to win it.
“They absolutely did the job, they didn’t concede anything, apart from one cross - I think it was a wide free-kick and they had a volley, but after that nothing. And we had some good moments as well when we changed the momentum of the game, so I’m really happy.”
Having seen us concede late against Nottingham Forest in our previous outing caused nerves to jangle at the end, the boss was thrilled his players saw the game through and marked it with a clean sheet - the second season in succession we’d managed that away to Palace.
With the Selhurst crowd providing a noisy and colourful backdrop throughout, Mikel feels the venue is a tough place to come, adding to his happiness at our ability to take the three points back across the river.
“To get a clean sheet away from home with the experience, you realise how important it’s going to be,” he added. “We were really solid again, we conceded very few situations to Palace, which is very difficult in this ground.
“They are a really good team. You see the atmosphere from the beginning, among the night, it doesn’t get more traditional, or more English probably than this, but again delighted to win the game.”
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