Arteta admits Arsenal endured ‘concerning few days’ before Leeds win – ‘we had things going on’
Mikel Arteta was pleased that his Arsenal players overcame a “concerning few days” in midweek to beat Leeds United 4-1 at the Emirates.
There was pressure on Arsenal heading into Saturday’s game as rivals Man City had earlier beaten Liverpool 4-1 to reduce the deficit at the top of the Premier League.
The Gunners got off to a shaky start against Leeds United, who were arguably the better side in the early stages of the game.
But it was Arsenal who went ahead against the run of play. Gabriel Jesus earned his side a spot-kick and the striker converted from the penalty spot to break the deadlock.
Arsenal took control of the game in the second half and ended up running out 4-1 winners. Ben White and Granit Xhaka got on the scoresheet while Jesus netted his second. Leeds defender Rasmus Kristensen scored a consolation for the visitors with around 15 minutes to go.
This win restores Arsenal’s eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League. Man City will reduce their rivals’ advantage if they win their game in hand.
Speaking post-match, Arteta revealed that he could not name his team until the last minute as Arsenal “had a few things going on with some individuals”.
“I didn’t know [that this was his 100th win as Gunners boss]. It is a beautiful number and we go for the next one,” Arteta told BBC MOTD.
“We had a few things going on with some individuals. It has been a concerning few days because we could not decide until this morning if some players would be available and the line-up. After an international break, you do not know if they are in the frame of mind to come back and do the things necessary to win this league. I am really happy with the performance.
“They made it tricky for us. We lost the ball in bad areas to a team that put four really fast players than run in transitions. After, we took control of the game and we’re really good in the boxes today.
“I am so happy for him [Gabriel Jesus] after all the work from him and the staff throughout the last five months. Today, he got rewarded for that.
“A lovely header [from Granit Xhaka]. The timing and the ball in. He has the capacity to do that. Now he has scored three I think in the last four games. It’s really good.
“We were aware [of Man City’s result] as it is a huge game and we wanted to watch parts of it. But when we got here it was just to focus on us and what we can do as a team. They are used to it. We can only control what we can do.”
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