Arteta: Arsenal ‘fight is now equal’ with Liverpool

Jo Harrison

Mikel Arteta admitted he wasn’t sure how Arsenal would react after going behind against Liverpool, and says it will take time to close the gap despite beating them.

Arsenal’s chances of reaching the Europa League looked to be fading, especially when Sadio Mane opened the scoring for the visitors.

But goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson after errors from Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker respectively gave them an unlikely win over the champions.

It’s a boost for the Gunners, who still have the FA Cup to compete in as well. And Arteta is keen to use the buoyancy gained from beating the champions to finish the season strongly on both fronts.

“Absolutely, in terms of energy and happiness in the dressing room before the semi-final, it’s a good medicine,” Arteta said.

“To beat this team you have to have moments in the game when you take your chances, defend and have a bit of luck.

“I was worried after 1-0 how we would react. We were able to pick one moment and believe again.

“We will go for both, our maximum, it is just a few games so we will keep going. The gap between the two teams today is enormous, we can not improve it in two months, but the accountability, the fight is now equal and I am very proud of that. The rest will take some time.

“Arsene (Wenger) did some incredible things and was very successful. I have done nothing yet. We need belief to go in the direction.”