Arteta on beating the Blades, his attacking options & Saka

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Mikel Arteta was pleased with the way his side improved against Sheffield United as they put a drab first half behind them to score two classy goals on the way to a 2-1 win at the Emirates.

Bukayo Saka and substitute Pepe grabbed the goals three minutes apart and the Gunners held on for all three points despite David McGoldrick’s superb late curler.

After the game, the boss faced the Sky Sports cameras. Here’s what he had to say…

On the performance…

I’m really pleased. A really difficult opponent, for many moments in the game we had total control. In the first half it was tricky because they are very organised. The moment they started to fatigue and we started to understand a little bit better the spaces, we increased a little bit ball circulation, speed as well, and we started to attack with more purpose. We generated many issues to them. We scored two fantastic goals. But it’s the Premier League, and at the end, if you don’t score the third and you concede one, you are always exposed, so we had to hang in there.

On whether Luiz should have been sent off…

I don’t know. It was a quick action, I’ve not seen it back. ]

On whether Berger should have been sent off…

Again, it was far [away] and a quick action. They [VAR] checked it, so I believe that it wasn’t a red if they checked and made a decision.

On whether Willian, Aubameyang and Pepe will play together again…

We have good options up front. The way the game was developing, I believed that Auba was going to be a threat there [in the centre] and we could release Willian into some spaces to create issues for the opponent. This is what I demand to everybody in the squad who is on the bench: to come and make an impact. And Nico did it today, so I’m really happy for him as well.

On Saka’s performance…

I’m very impressed because I didn’t expect a header from him to score a goal. That’s a new thing from him, something that he needs to add to his game, so I’m really pleased with him.

On Bellerin…

I think he’s improving day by day. Defensively he’s doing a lot of work individually with the coaches, and with the ball in the final third he feels much more comfortable. It’s great, we need full-backs to add creativity in the final third and he was very helpful today.

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goongot

Arteta using same answers in multiple positions as well ?

Anonymarse

He didn’t see it …

MaxGoon6

On our next game…

I’m very impressed because I didn’t expect a header from him to score a goal. That’s a new thing from him, something that he needs to add to his game, so I’m really pleased with him.

?

Boywonder

Looks like Bellerin has got he’s pace back , he crossed the ball and also headered it in

Abhishek

@AAlensport Maybe you need to update the “Bellerin” quote it’s the same as “Saka” quote

Kazmi

Had no idea Sheffield were called the Blades, seems a bit much

A Gooner in Barcelona

It’s a historical industry reference as Sheffield is known for steel production (specifically cutely and knives, hence The Blades). I assume you didn’t know that, so ignore the downvotes from people who knew but couldn’t be bothered to explain 🙂

Yellow Ribbon

I did not see it.

I have certainly heard it somewhere else?

Eternalflamini

“I did not see the incident”

Retro

Tony Hall

Talking of attacking options lets all take a moment to laugh at Man U’s lack of on account of them getting hammered 6:1 at Old Trafford!

Cangooner

Against any other opponent (and any other manager) that would have been hilarious. 🙂

Biggles

“… we had to hang in there.” against a team with no points at all in the PL so far and on our own ground! Hmmm. We got the points, which is what it’s all about but there wasn’t really the performance there (again!) apart from about 15 minutes that included the two goals – and we were pretty close to conceding the equaliser in the last minutes. What we need, and it pains me to say it, is a really cracking performance (or two) like the Spuds pulled off at Old Trafford earlier on today. I fear, at present,… Read more »

Vino

Yeah and look at aston villa right now. They are taking game to Liverpool while we were being praised for losing honorably to the CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE.

Vino

We have among the lowest net spends of all epl clubs. Even aston villa and Sheffield are outspending us.We are treading is a fine line between optimism and reality.
The capitalists must be thrown out.

YaGunnersYa

As long as we keep winning our own matches, we have no reason to concern ourselves with Sp*rs or their curmudgeonly manager.

Sure, City will still be the bookies’ favourites when we play City away but their form has been patchy and Arteta knows how to set up this team to get a good result against them.

Aspirations to win the league are too premature but let’s back our team to keep consistently improving.

Tony Hall

Can’t understand why you got downvoted so much when it’s the truth. It pains me to say it because I hate the spuds but they were fantastic today, we can only dream of going to Old Trafford and winning 6:1.

Oh and in other hilarious news Aston Villa 7:2 Liverpool with about 5 mins to go. Football has gone nuts today!

Gabylo

I’m highly disappointed hearing such statement from an arsenal fan, c’mon. Please let’s support our team and stop looking at other teams performance. It all about discipline and good organization, remember liverpool were the champion last season and today they were destroyed. So what can you say about that one?

Finsbury Park Gooner

Hector is definitely not a player we can afford to lose before the deadline tomorrow night ???

Cobwebs

Good to see Bellerin continuing recovery. I hope the coaches will help him improve on closing down crosses in defence. He never seems to bothered about preventing them.

Santori

Good to see us able to switch to back 4 which I mentioned we will need to this season. It immediately pays better dividends with Saka pushed forward offering threat higher up. Very well constructed goal with Auba’s quick reverse pass the key but also great delivery from Bellerin who has been able to gamble forward more this season thanks to Willian’s better cover. But good cameo with Pepe coming on for the second goal. Arteta’s tactical switch key but 4 at back also helped as Willian moved in field to help populate the final third middle with Ceballos and… Read more »

Santori

Big news of the day though Liverpool melt down and United dismemberment.

Aston Villa, who would have thought…

😀