Mikel Arteta says he was pleased with the way his players improved against Newcastle as Arsenal scored four second half goals to secure our biggest Premier League win in nearly a year.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and substitute Alex Lacazette all hit the net in a 4-0 win as we clicked in the final third in our first game back after the winter break.
While the result does little to improve our league position – we’re still 10th – it will come as a welcome confidence boost as we look to build much-needed momentum in the final third of the campaign.
“Yes, it was [a sastisfying win],” he told his post-game press conference.
“We talked about turning those draws into wins and those margins that we could improve to translate that into more points. It was going to be very important in the first game at home after the break to get confidence like we’ve done today, so I’m very happy with that.
“We found it difficult in the first 20 or 30 minutes I would say. They’re really compact and really organised, and we talked before the game that you can get a little bit frustrated and start to rush the decisions, and when that happens your team doesn’t travel together and it becomes a transition game.
“They’re so good with Joelinton holding up the ball and their wingers running, and that makes it a flip of the coin. I didn’t like that game and after half an hour we started to control the situation much better.
“We started to get into the final third much more continuously and in the second half we tweaked one or two things and attached much better, and it allowed us to control the game in a much more efficient way.”
Reflecting on whether Arsenal might have gone behind during a brief spell of Newcastle pressure, he went on, “I will review the game, find the points that we can improve, find out why it happens and convince them why when we do certain things, the opponent has the chance to hurt us.
“In the opposite way, when we do the things that we have to do and we work and train on them, we will get the results and the rewards. It’s part of the process.”