Mikel Arteta hopes Arsenal’s Premier League win over Chelsea can be ‘turning point’ to end fans’ ‘suffering’

Gunners were 3-1 winners at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day

Alex Pattle
Saturday 26 December 2020 20:44
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Mikel Arteta has said he hopes his team’s Premier League victory over Chelsea marks a “turning point” in Arsenal’s tumultuous season.

Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka all netted for the hosts on Boxing Day before Tammy Abraham pulled one back for Chelsea late on, the 3-1 win lifting Arsenal from 15th in the table to 14th.

And, while there is still a long way to go for the Gunners to rescue their season, Arteta is keen to see his players build on the impressive nature of their performance against Frank Lampard’s sixth-placed side. 

“Really big win for us, we’ve been really frustrated with the results – not the performances,” the Spaniard told Sky Sports on the first anniversary of his appointment as head coach.

READ MORE: All Premier League fixtures this weekend

“Obviously the players were suffering, our fans were suffering, and today on a special day… it doesn’t get better than Boxing Day, to play a London derby at the Emirates and win the way we’ve done it.

“So hopefully this is a turning point. It’s good to elevate the level of confidence of the team, because I know that they can play at this level. It’s hard to be consistent and sustain that level.

“Chelsea, we know how good they are, but in big moments in the game we were the better team and that’s why we won the game.”

Arteta also expressed his relief at his team picking up a first Premier League win since 1 November, when they were 1-0 victors against Manchester United.

“When you start to see everything that is going against us – we were playing with 10 men so many times this season, the injuries, the Covid, how unlucky we’ve been in a lot of games – you start to say: ‘Wow, what do we need to win a football match?’ So today when we conceded the penalty, I was thinking: ‘This is not possible now…’.”

“I think that’s the word: relief. And as well, I’m proud of the players for the performance that they put in, and happy to give something back to our fans, because I imagine they’ve been really disappointed with our results.”

Arsenal looked the brighter team from the opening whistle, and Arteta credited that fine start with influencing the rest of his team’s performance.

“It was the difference from the last few games; we started really, really well, we went on top. And that again elevated the level of confidence in the team, because we started with good momentum, we were dominant, we created chances straight away. And then the team has belief; we scored the first one, we went for the second one, the third one – we could have scored the fourth and fifth one.”

The Gunners’ youngsters stood out at the Emirates, with Saka winning the free-kick from which Xhaka netted Arsenal’s second before scoring himself in the second half with an apparent cross attempt. Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe also impressed.

“We had a good mixture today of youth and some experience and senior players,” Arteta said. “All of them were superb, I would not like to just pick on certain [ones]. Even the mood before the game, I could sense it. It was really good, and it’s not easy in this moment, so I’m proud of the group of players that we have and the team spirit that we have.

“We have to carry on, we mentioned that it was a big week for us – we started really good this week, let’s carry on and we know still we have a lot of things to improve.”

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri - Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.

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