Interview

Arteta - We have to beat the top teams to compete

Mikel Arteta hadn’t even joined the club for the first time as a player when Arsenal last beat Manchester United away in the league, but on his first visit to Old Trafford as manager he masterminded a significant victory over our old rivals.

The boss was delighted to finally break the hoodoo, and was full of praise for his players after the game.
 
Here’s what he said to us at the final whistle…
 
on the win...
Absolutely. I think we merited the points. I'm really happy that after 14 years without a win, we were able to come and do what we've done today. As well I asked the players, 'Please, let's be who we are and play with our identity and our style'. I think we did it from the first minute against a really difficult opponent. Obviously they have a lot of quality and we deserved to win the game.
 
on whether he was worried until we scored..

It came back through my mind with what happened against Leicester, a game that we really dominated where we were the better team in the first half. In the second half then, we couldn't find a way to win the game. Today we've done it and we looked very mature. The way we managed the last few minutes is getting better and better. We have people coming off the bench really helping, and individually the players who were required at that stage had a great game.
 
on being the first Arsenal manager to win his first two games v Manchester United since Herbert Chapman...
I didn't know that but obviously it's great. We have to beat the top teams if we want to be fighting with them. It's something we haven't been able to do in the last few years, especially away from home. We have to improve. There is that gap and we have to make it as small as possible, as quick as possible. This is the challenge that we are facing.
 
on Gabriel and Thomas Partey...
I think they play with a lot of maturity and they look like they've been here longer than that. I still know that there are still some connections and units where they don't have that flow, because they haven't played much together. I can see that. But as well, I see the spirit we are creating and the personality that they are showing on the pitch. Other players like Mo for example with the game he had, credit to them. Everybody's ready for the show.

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