Mikel Arteta could not hide his delight after Gabriel Martinelli’s late strike gave us a dramatic late win over Manchester City.
It was our first Premier League win against them since December 2015, a run of 15 matches, and the three points lifts us above the champions going into the international break.
The manner of the win also added to an incredible atmosphere inside the stadium, Martinelli’s all-important strike arriving four minutes from time.
“It feels like a big one, because it’s been a while,” Arteta said at the full-time whistle. “It’s been so many years without beating them. We have beaten the best team in the world today, by far in my opinion, and we have done it with a huge performance, going through some difficult moments in the game, but at the end, living an incredible experience with our people here.
“For me it felt like it was the right moment, with the right people and with the right players. We had a huge opportunity to do it. As I said, in difficult moments, stick together, understand what we want. I think the crowd is going to try to drive you at times.
“They understood it in an incredible way”
Match-winner Martinelli came on at half-time, having missed the last five games through injury, and the assist went to fellow sub Kai Havertz, while a third sub, Takehiro Tomiyasu, also played a big part in the build up.
“We needed, individually huge performances,” Arteta added. “We had that, and we needed the subs, because we could never have maintained that level of intensity that we play with for 100 minutes.
“They were excellent, they changed the game in my opinion. They gave us different physicality, Kai was really good in that. Martinelli, nobody thought that he could be available today to play, and yesterday he turns up and says ‘I’m ready if you need me.’ That’s the mentality that we want at the club.”
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