Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta believes that the Gunners’ win over Manchester City “sends a message” that the Premier League title race is wide open.
Gabriel Martinelli curled in a 87th minute winner to end Arsenal’s 15 league match winless streak against Man City, which put the Gunners second behind Tottenham and condemned City to three consecutive defeats in all domestic competitions since Dcember 2018.
Post-match, Arteta described the victory as “a great feeling” despite having to scrap hard and be clinical, as he explained: “There were moments we had to suffer, but as well moments we showed real determination, desire and belief to beat them, so really happy.”
With City sat third and one point behind both Tottenham and Arsenal, Arteta believes that the win “certainly sends a message” that both North London clubs must “keep believing in what they are doing,” to avoid handing Man City a fourth consecutive league title.
Arteta also quipped that his players “were all dancing and super happy,” heading into the international break, with the team heading into their London derby away to Chelsea on 21 October “with the right spirit and the right emotion.”
David Raya though came in for criticism over his goalkeeping distributions but Arteta admitted that he was at “fault,” having instructed Raya to specifically make that style of distribution and praised the Spainiard for an “excellent” performance defending crosses and set-pieces.
Raya’s performance contributed to Arsenal’s eventual victory but Arteta doesn’t believe that their winless streak was a psychological “barrier” at kick-off, as he explained: “To beat them, first of all, you have to lose against them.
We have to lose probably the way we lost at the Etihad, because we lost in two different ways, last season when we were the better team in the first half and then we conceded the goal after Tomiyasu’s backpass and De Bruyne scoring.
“But the team showed a real maturity today, and that maturity comes from experiences and sometimes you need that to become a better team.”