Mikel Arteta has experienced the highs of a north London derby win before, but that was as a player. Sunday’s victory over our local rivals was his first as a manager – and he savoured every moment.
Well not quite every moment. The last ten minutes was a tough watch for Arteta as we came under sustained pressure from the visitors. But in the end we held on for a deserved three points, and the boss was delighted at the final whistle.
“We were the better side, we were really dominant, really confident for big periods, apart from the last ten minutes, I think we were outstanding, “ he said.
“To create the number of situations and chances that we created, to be as aggressive as we were to regain the ball, to play with a personality that we showed, it was great.”
Strangely though the game become more difficult after Erik Lamela was sent off with just over ten minutes to go, and but for the width of the post, we could have ended up with just one point.
“The way we managed the game in the last ten minutes with an extra player on the pitch was really poor,” Mikel added. “We put ourselves in big trouble and maybe we should have conceded a goal. So it’s something to improve and in Europe if we do that, we are out.”
“Generally though I’m really pleased. I'm so proud of the players, the way they played, the spirit they are showing and the energy that I sense when they are playing together. It's a shame that today we didn't have our fans here with us, but hopefully they can enjoy it at home.”
Copyright 2021 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.