Mikel delighted with "big, big step" taken

After seeing us enter a raucous Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan and exit with the three points, Mikel Arteta heralded his players for what he believes was “a big step” in their development.

Goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus saw us take a 2-0 lead early in the second half, and despite quickly seeing that reduced the boss was proud that we managed to see out the remainder of the game to get the victory that takes us top of our Champions League group at the halfway stage.

And Mikel was thrilled that we managed to record just the fourth away win in Spain in our history at such a difficult place to get one.

Reflecting on the game, he said: “I’m really happy. I really liked the determination and the courage that the team played in a stadium like this. [Sevilla] haven’t lost many games in 10 years in Europe and it was incredible to play in this atmosphere. It was a big, big step for us to be able to play the way we played here.

“To come here and to restrict them and control the game like we’ve done and to generate the situation that we’ve generated, big credit because it’s very, very difficult to do that.”

The boss was pleased we managed to see out the game to get the win, having been slightly disappointed that we didn’t manage to kill the game off by making it 3-0.

However by making it more difficult for ourselves by conceding, Mikel believes we’ll actually be stronger for the experience gained and coming through the adversity.

“We missed some chances, especially the one with Gabi [Martinelli],” he added. “In the Champions League you aren’t going to create that many, and you have to be ruthless. It’s a shame because we started the second half really well again, scored the goal, and we have big chances to score the third one and we didn’t.

“In the first action they had, they scored from the corner and it’s game on and they can generate momentum. They have a lot of experience to deal with those moments and they really have to suffer and we did that really well.

“We are on a journey still, a lot of games to play for, a lot things can happen, it shows you how difficult it is to win in the Champions League, especially away from home.”

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