Press conference

Arteta on the win, supporters and the title race

Mikel Arteta was in predictably good spirits after guiding his side to another big win at Chelsea – a match witnessed by his family in the away end.

After the game the manager spoke to the media and discussed the victory, pressing, the state of the title race, Ben White’s form and much more.

Here’s every word from his post-match press conference…

On the significance of the victory over Chelsea…
It’s another step as a team, to come here against a top opponent, top manager, top world-class players around the pitch, and dominate the game and actually win it, it’s very meaningful and hopefully will give the boys more belief.

On taking confidence from the performance…
I was really impressed, we are a really young team, but we showed a lot of maturity, a lot of composure, a lot of courage, a lot of determination to play in this stage in the way we’ve played, it’s easy to say but really difficult to do. I think the boys were phenomenal today.

On sharing a special moment with the fans and players at full-time…
It was great, they’ve been absolutely phenomenal, they have transformed the club, the energy of the club that’s my opinion and they have transformed the way the team believes in what they are doing. To share that with them away from home is really special. I had my family there, I had my son there in the middle of the crowd so it was great.

On Xhaka’s turnaround this season…
He is a fighter, he’s someone that is going to face difficulty and adversity, he’s done that and now he needs to enjoy as well, he needs to learn to enjoy more the good moments, I think he deserves that.

On Arsenal winning three consecutive games at Stamford Bridge…
The first one comparing with this one is very different, they are wins that are so difficult to do it against this club, we’ve done it but I’m especially pleased about how we won today, I think that reflects much more what we want to do.

On the importance of our pressing today from the front three…
They’ve been phenomenal, they have a real willingness to do it. They are capable physically now because they have matured to do it and to sustain it. The difference is about demanding them to do something actually and then feeling what they are doing and how important and how beneficial it is for themselves. Starting with Gabby what he did today was just phenomenal.

On if they enjoy the pressing…
Yeah, they have to.

On whether the focus is on the top spot in the Premier League…
What is fantastic is to see the team taking another step, today was under pressure, yester-day we lost that spot, we prepared the game to come here and win. But understanding that winning here is a different story, and today the boys they’re done it. I’m really happy because we have managed to get that step

On Gabriel Magalhaes’ performance and increased maturity in the defensive role…
I think both of them. I think that pair again, they were outstanding. Both of those. That’s why we sustained them really well, especially when we had to defend open spaces, which it is very difficult against these players - what we defend them to do. But I think they did it, great.

On the difference between this game to our away trip to Old Trafford…
We lacked discipline in that game. We lacked the discipline that is necessary in certain moments, to do what you have to do. Because if not, you get punished. I think we learned that lesson really well. Because again I think we played really well there, but it wasn’t enough to win, and that’s the difference - and how top teams do it.

On whether he’s thinking about the title now…
Do something…(for me). Just look at the last six years what Manchester City has done. With the best manager in the world, with the best team in the world. They have shown it consistently in every single competition. We have to be very very respectful of that. We are getting much better as team, we are competing much better. We are getting really good results right now, but this is a long, long journey.

On whether he thinks we are in contention…
We are today. I think football today, and tomorrow is very different. So let’s enjoy tonight.

On the hits Bukayo Saka took today…
You saw me on that touchline, I was really calm and happy with the decisions…

On him being accused of diving…
Look I don’t know. He doesn’t dive.

On the gap between Arsenal and Chelsea in the table…
Yeah that’s very unusual and we need to make the most out of it. We had a really good start obviously. We are still very early in the season, and we have to maintain that. That’s going to be a long, long marathon.

On Ben White’s performance, and how impressed he was…
Really happy with him. I think he’s playing in different positions, and he’s accommodated himself in a great way to the full-back position. His understanding with the players around him is top, and I really like him. He always wants to be there, he trains every single day. He plays under any circumstance. I love the boy.

On whether he should be in the England squad…
That isn’t for me to decide. If he does, I will be so happy for him, because he deserves it.

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