‘Proud’ Mikel Arteta attributes Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Manchester City to defensive ‘chemistry’

Gunners restricted City to just one shot on target

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Man City deserve to be in Champions League

Mikel Arteta was delighted with his team’s performance in the FA Cup semi-final as Arsenal produced a great all-round display to beat holders Manchester City.

Two Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goals sent the Gunners to the final, but at the other end of the pitch Arteta’s men were disciplined, committed and consistent with their positioning.

Aside from some early on-the-ball errors at the back, which the manager attributed to City’s excellent counter-pressing, Arteta praised his back five after the game for giving everything to the cause and having a growing understanding.

“I am extremely happy and proud about our players and very sad we cannot enjoy the moment with our fans,” he said to BT Sport.

“That [gritty performance] is what you need against these teams. You have to defend, put everybody on the line; we were really well organised against the best team in Europe with the way they play positionally.

“There is a great chemistry [in the defence] and they really believe in what we are trying to do. Congratulations to them.”

Defender David Luiz played a key role in the win, making more interceptions and more clearances than anyone else on the pitch and throwing himself in front of shots to make blocks.

The Brazilian said the team’s togetherness and mentality was key to the win, acknowledging that they are a way off City on a technical level and so had to work harder to level the playing field.

“We were humble, we understand the way we have to play. We were mature and understood where we are in the process. Day by day we are improving, but not zero to 100 in one day.

“All the team defended well, the team understand now the modern football where everyone has to defend, have the spirit and play the ball 100 percent.”

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