Arsenal defeated Liverpool 3-1 in an entertaining game at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening. The victory puts Mikel Arteta’s side two points below Jurgen Klopp’s first-placed Reds in the Premier League table.
Gunners manager Arteta spoke to the media after the match and was pleased with his side’s performance. Here’s what the Arteta had to say after the win.
“It was an extraordinary game, I think it was an incredible performance from the players and our people, the atmosphere that we generated in the stadium is the best I’ve seen this season, we demanded that we had to go to a different level and connect it again to the demands that this league has in every game and they have responded in an unbelievable way.
“I think the players left absolutely everything, they put their heart and soul into every ball and I can not be any prouder because I know how difficult it is to beat this team, how much you have to suffer, all the preparation, and how much they have to process to try to do what they did on the pitch so a big thank you.
Arteta on reinstalling the belief at half-time after a late equaliser: “Because the energy shifted in this game, and you win two or three duels and you can feel that the people are more confident, and the crowd is going. You lose them, and then they start to run at you, and then you start to feel a bit scared.
“To manage that emotional state is really important, and we had to do it. Listen, you want to beat them, we’re going to suffer. There’s going to be moments that we’re going to have to deal with things that are going to make us really uncomfortable, and we’re not really used to it.
“But they’re going to take you to that game, and then we’re going to have to navigate through that to win it. Today, I think we made another step on that.”
Arteta on Gabriel Martinelli’s performance: “I think he looks again really confident, really sharp, he was a real threat today not only for the goal that he scored and how intuitive and cheeky and streetwise he was to do what he did, but as well Leo.
“I think Kai was unbelievable playing as a nine, it was a game that I thought he was going to fit in the same way Jorgi, you need big performances to beat this kind of teams, I think all of them were at their best today.”
Arteta on the control and chaos that the team created in the game: “Yeah, control is not really a word that I like. I like dominance and not allowing any team to breathe, more than control. And especially which part of the pitch that happens in, that’s the most important thing in my opinion. But we can be very chaotic in open spaces, we can create a lot of issues playing in different ways. That’s another weapon that we have.”
Arteta on whether the team are in a title race this season: “We are there, that’s for sure and we want to continue to be there. I think we’ve been really consistent the whole of the season. We’re not where we are today [without that]. We go game-by-game, the availability of the squad is going to be crucial, and we have learnt that from last season. So let’s try to make that happened.”
Arteta on the difference that Jorginho made today: “It’s a game that I had in my mind and imagining [for him to play], and how much, in my opinion, we were going to need him. It’s a team that doesn’t really allow you to put the fifth player in that front line the way they play. Jorgi’s a really intelligent player, his biggest quality is that he makes the people around him better, he connects everybody, and he was unbelievable. I think he was man of the match.”
Arteta on Jorginho’s hard work on and off the pitch: “Unbelievable. I’ve always said that he’s an example, a role model. He’s been in a lot of pain as well, because he has an issue that he’s been carrying for months.
“He didn’t want to stop, he’s been playing with that, he’s been training as the first one in and the last one out, and for all the kids, for everybody at the club, you want to look in the mirror at somebody, just look at him and how he behaves.
“He’s won everything, and if you ask him not to play, or to play one minute like last week, he’s happy to go there. You ask him to play 98 minutes at the rhythm and he’s able to do that, so I’m really lucky to have players like this.”