6th November, 2022
Mikel Arteta saluted his “phenomenal” Arsenal side after they returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 derby win at Chelsea.
Gabriel Magalhaes capitalized on poor Blues defending to score the only goal of the game in the second half, tapping in a Bukayo Saka corner that evaded everyone and gifted the defender a chance he could not miss.
Chelsea did not pose a threat as their 12-match unbeaten home run came to an end, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starved of service in his first match against his former club before he was hauled off in the second half.
Arsenal comfortably saw out a third consecutive win at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1974, moving two points clear of Manchester City at the summit.
Gunners head coach Arteta expects another outstanding display to give his players even more belief that they can last the pace in the title race.
He told BT Sport: “We wanted to get back to the top, but the competition is so difficult in this league. The challenge for us was to come to this stage and play against a top team to perform and win the game and the boys did that.”
Asked what impressed him the most, the Spaniard replied: “I think for such a young team the maturity they showed, the composure, the resilience, and the courage to play the way we wanted to play it was phenomenal. It’s easy to say it before the game but to do it against these opponents it’s a different story.
“Winning against these opponents in this stadium I think is another step for these players to keep believing that they can do it under pressure against big opponents and we have to enjoy it.”
Gabriel Jesus headed wide from close range when he was presented with a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the first half and is now without a goal in nine games.
But Arteta felt the Brazil striker gave another demonstration of how to lead from the front.
He said: “The energy that he transmits to the team is just phenomenal, that to me is his biggest quality. His all-round play I think it was phenomenal how he competes, how he holds the ball, the movement, the anxiety and uncertainty he gives opponents.
“It is something that has taken us to a different level, we’ve said that from the beginning. He’s done it again and while he didn’t score, I thought he was outstanding.”