‘So Proud’ – Arteta Commends His Players’ ‘Courage’ Following Decisive Victory

Mikel Arteta praises the ‘courage’ displayed by his players following Arsenal’s significant victory over Manchester City, describing it as a ‘statement’ win and expressing his immense pride in the team.

Mikel Arteta showered his players with praise following Arsenal’s dramatic 1-0 victory over Manchester City, securing their place in second position in the Premier League. Gabriel Martinelli, coming on as a substitute, struck a deflected goal in the 86th minute, breaking the deadlock and securing all three points against the reigning champions. This result ties Arsenal with Tottenham Hotspur at 20 points, while City falls two points behind in third place.

Arteta commended the “courage” exhibited by his players, especially in the face of the reigning champions. The match remained goalless until the final five minutes when Arsenal managed to secure the win, surpassing Manchester City in the Premier League standings. Arteta expressed his delight at how his team effectively neutralized City’s threat and ultimately emerged victorious.

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“I am incredibly proud. It was the right moment with the right players,” Arteta remarked to Sky Sports. “We were aware that we would need to endure some hardship, and that’s exactly what we did. It required a standout performance from the team and the support of the crowd. This victory feels monumental.

“The way we started, conceding a corner and then regaining control, was significant. In the second half, we began exceptionally well, showing aggressiveness and presence.”

“The tactical changes we made also played a significant role. The quality displayed in the goal was exceptional. Manchester City poses a multitude of challenges, and we managed to create problems for them as well. Breaking free from their press isn’t straightforward. It necessitates precise timing, intelligent movement, and seizing the right moments. I truly appreciate the courage the team displayed.

“Against a team of this caliber, you’re bound to face challenging moments. It’s crucial to remain focused, manage your emotions, and avoid being caught off guard.

“Additionally, I want to commend the performances of goalkeeper David Raya and goal-scorer Gabriel Martinelli. Raya, who arrived from Brentford in the summer, has been competing with Aaron Ramsdale for the starting goalkeeper position and has now started three consecutive games for Arsenal. His ball control, assertiveness, and willingness to play high up the pitch were exceptional. I have great admiration for players who demonstrate such courage, and David certainly possesses that quality.”

Regarding Martinelli, Arteta also praised his determination to enter the game, even against the advice of the team’s physiotherapists. He remarked, “Gabriel is another player with tremendous determination. Despite the physio’s reservations, he insisted, ‘I’m ready to play.’ When Leo Trossard got injured, I turned to him, and he was already prepared to step in.”

While the victory propelled Arsenal past Manchester City into second place in the standings, level on 20 points with Tottenham Hotspur, Arteta emphasized that he’s maintaining perspective. He stated, “This is just a part of our journey. We gain valuable lessons from each defeat, but the team’s eagerness is truly exceptional. It’s a pleasure to work with them. We must savor this moment and continue to push forward.”

Arteta announces that Saka will be unable to fulfill his England obligations.

Bukayo Saka was conspicuously absent from the match due to recent hamstring troubles, marking the end of his streak of 87 consecutive Premier League appearances at the Emirates Stadium. Arteta also clarified that Saka won’t be joining the England squad for their upcoming fixtures against Australia on October 13 and Italy in the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

As per Arteta, Saka couldn’t feature today because he hasn’t undergone a single training session and is currently unavailable for football. Although this development is undoubtedly disappointing for England, Southgate emphasized his unwavering commitment to safeguarding a player’s physical well-being and stated that he would never take any risks in that regard.

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