Mikel Arteta was full of praise for his team after Arsenal ran out deserved winners at Old Trafford, sealing a 1-0 win thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second half penalty.
In desperate need of three points after three defeats in four games, the Gunners brilliantly executed their game plan, penning in the home side thanks to disciplined play without the ball.
While the win was sealed from the spot, the Gunners also looked more slick in attack, creating chances in the first half that really should have been put away.
After the win, the boss spoke to Sky Sports. Here’s what he had to say…
On winning given Arsenal’s bad record at Old Trafford…
I didn’t want to tell the players that we didn’t win here in 14 years. I kept it quiet, I just tried to generate belief and I demanded to be who we are, here and at any ground. I think the team that you saw tonight is where we’re starting to be. I’m proud. The way we approached the game, the personality that we showed to play against this team at Old Trafford and I’m obviously delighted with the win.
On what he got right tactically…
We interpreted well what we had to do. They play a really tricky formation with a diamond, with a square, with people dropping into certain areas that are difficult to control. I think we were really aggressive, we won a lot of balls in the opposition half. In the second half, physically, we dropped. We have played a lot of games and we could not maintain that intensity. I think we gave one opportunity away but [otherwise] we were really solid.
On his planning for the game…
They played two or three different formations, they are tricky. The moment they open you up, it’s a really difficult thing to control. I think we’ve done really well. I was worried because we had two central defenders with a yellow card in the first half so control Rashford, Greenwood…and then Cavani comes in and Pogba, it’s not easy. I’m pleased.
That’s the culture we are trying to create. Rob was supposed to be out for three to four weeks but he’s done immense work. Credit to all the physios and the medical staff for what they’ve done. He wanted to be here, he wanted to be with us. We knew we had David out, we knew Musti hasn’t played football in four to five months, so we are really happy. Yeah, [Gabriel & Partey were fantastic], I think Mo Elneny was fantastic. It’s really hard [to pick out individuals]. I really liked the consistency that we showed throughout the game but then the courage and personality we had with the ball.
On it being important to win against a ‘big six’ side away from home…
Absolutely, it’s not a coincidence [that record]. There were a lot of factors. We tried to change that as much as possible. In my opinion, the best way to do it is to go about every game, the way we did tonight.
On the importance of the win…
This win, we needed it. We should not have lost against Manchester City and definitely, we should not have lost against Leicester. To come here having already played at Anfield and at the Eithad in the first seven games is a big ask, we need to keep going.
One of the things I never understood about Liverpool was how Klopp managed to get good players to play world class. Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner, they aren’t wonderful footballers. But Klopp made them a force to be reckoned with.
Watching Momo tonight, I feel like Arteta is able to conjure the same performances. Ceballos and Xhaka are arguably “better” footballers. But no hyperbole, Elneny was world class tonight. Absolutely world class.
Agree, he’s a completely different player from the one who went on loan!
He’s so much more mobile than Granit. He was superb today.
Xhaka is stronger and offers more passing range (when given space – but he can’t handle a press so that passing is easily negated). Everything else Elneny is the match or better than Xhaka – mobility, two-footed, work-rate (especially chasing counters), crisp passing, positioning.
I’m already beginning to love Mo’-Partey time. They are a great complimentary duo. Neither has a weakness that can be exploited. THAT IS A MASSIVE STRENGTH!
Partey x Elneny our first choice midfield, no more experimenting
I loved how in the last few mins when Utd were pushing for the equaliser, Elneny was pressing and he had the awareness to cut off all angles for the forward pass. He did himself proud tonight.
Elneny bossed that game. Right alongside Partey and Gabriel. This is a large worry fixed. If Arteta ever bothered to go through these comments, i would beg him to not tinker with at least this section of the team anymore. It feels more solid than anything in recent times, and that only after one win.
Takes me too long bro 🤦🏽♂️ , I imagine he’s busier
What are you here for then? It’s your job to do it for him, isn’t it?
Elneny is the Auba of midfielders. Super fit lad , will run and run, laugh and laugh . And we’re lucky to have both in their primes, those two lads woulda had a less than glamorous ‘adolescence’
TBS, who will be our Partey beside the actual Auba in frontline
We did! Bravo for a great team effort!
Best defence in the league. Just sayin’…
True, but also one of the poorest attacks currently. We need both of course, but it’s good to have 50% anyway.
Sad but true
This is the Arsenal we all dream of….
I pray for consistency.
Yes, got it in one word. It’s what happens in the following games that counts now.
Maybe with just a smidgeon more sharpness on the chances we’re creating.
Yes, Eddie has taken more shots than anyone probably save for Auba, if he could increase his success rate even a little bit that would be huge.
3 points today just as good as drawing City, Leicester and Man U. But better because we got this Elderly Trafford thing off our backs. Now let’s make this winning thing a habit. Onwards!
Only counterargument is that draws actually knock points off your opposition too, but on the other hand, I was 15 when we got that last Old Trafford win and I’ll be 30 at the end of this month. It’s been long enough.
Very happy with the win today as Auba said afterwards it’s about the process, there will be good days and some bad, I think it’s clear to see we’re heading in the right direction, the fear of all the hidings we’ve taken are beginning to slowly be forgotten.
I can only imagine what Arteta could do if fucking Stan would give him the money to put together a proper midfield, or at least one star attacking midfielder to play in front of Partey. Keep the faith and back Arteta. This guy understands the modern game
Next summer Mikel gets 100million if he wants it.
As an investor (Stan), You know at least the players won’t drop in value under this guy
Who’s downvoting this? Owner needs to pony up for a proper attacking force in the midfield.
I can’t argue Partey was exceptional too, we dominated midfield against Uniteds 4 men. Mobility is the key. Lacazette worked his socks off too helping the midfield.
Finally someone who sees what Lacazette does.
Highlight of the game for me, and if anyone has catch-up available was the shouting that can be heard at the 80th minute, just as Tierney was taking his time with a thrown in.
I assume the voice was from somewhere around the ManU bench, someone with a Manc accent;
“Referee, they are talking the Piss. Referee they are taking the piss out of us!”
Yes we were and it was fucking brilliant!
I thought I was the only one that noticed that. Even the commentators didn’t say their usual ” We apologise for any rude language you may have just heard”, so I just thought I misheard.
Glad to see it wasn’t imagined L😂L
Yes. It could just turn our season around.
We might be 9th at the moment, but more importantly, we are only 4 points off the top.
A win against Aston Villa next week could be the springboard to the tastier reaches of the table.
Massive result for so many reasons, as much as breaking several hoodoo’s at once (away at OT, away at big 6, Mike Dean penalties) I’m just as happy to once again have that clarity of direction of what it is Arteta wants and what “progress” for the new Arteta Arsenal looks like. It wasn’t the perfect performance, but it was so good all round, well organised and efficiently, if not always effectively from an attacking standpoint, well executed that it gives a very clear picture of “this is Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal team”. Anybody can watch that performance and get a… Read more »
Well done Holding for his good game tonight, after what happened the last time he was at O.T.
Definitely had to be a motivation for him. Good on ya Robbie!
And the Oscar for the understatement of the season so far goes to … . Yes, 101% correct. Now we’ve got it, what are we going to do next? Watch this space.
One tactic he got very right was to have Lacazette man mark Fred. United had zero outlet until they changed to a double pivot in the second half.
Has Roy Keane stopped moaning yet….? 🤣