Interview

Arteta pleased with performance and application

We played our first match since November 12 on Thursday - but showed little signs of rust when recording a comfortable 3-0 win over Lyon in the Dubai Super Cup.

First-half goals from Gabriel, Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Vieira set up a comprehensive victory and we earned an extra point after winning the post-match penalty shootout 2-1.

Speaking to Arsenal.com after the match, Mikel Arteta was understandably happy with his team’s performance at Al Maktoum Stadium.

“From the beginning, the performance, the application and the quality that we showed was really good,” Arteta said. “But I’m not surprised because I’ve seen them train every day and the way they trained here yesterday so I’m really happy. We play to win and today we won and played really well.

“We’re playing in different conditions and they’ve obviously had a break but again, I think the way [the players] have trained, they will be ready for the first game on Boxing Day. It was great to see some of the young kids playing some minutes as well, so I liked it.

“Some of the [young players] had some big chances to score. But again, they’ve been really helpful and they’re integrating really well with the team, so I’m really pleased to give them some minutes.”

A number of first-team players who have been in action at the World Cup are due to join up with the squad in Dubai. So how will they be integrated back into the group?

“First we’ll assess them and see how they are psychologically and physically after the tournament they’ve had,” Arteta explained. “Some of them are still disappointed with some of the results. Then we’ll try to get them back as quickly as possible in the rhythm and routine they’re used to, to start performing again.”

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