Arteta hails ‘outstanding’ Rice as Arsenal boss admits Man Utd clash ‘could have gone either way’

Ben Stewart
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates a goal

Mikel Arteta was quick to praise Declan Rice following Arsenal’s dramatic 3-1 triumph over Manchester United at the Emirates.

The Gunners had the better of things early on, but Marcus Rashford put the away side ahead against the run of play before Martin Odegaard responded with a strike of his own.

Man Utd had a late goal ruled out for offside and the game looked to be heading towards a draw until Rice and Gabriel Jesus wrapped things up with two late goals.

Arsenal will now go into the international break four points ahead of Erik ten Hag’s side as they boast an impressive 10 points from their opening four matches.

Arteta was brimming with happiness at full time as he told Sky Sports: “We work and do everything we do every day for moments like this. This is sport at the top level, it is about the small margins. It could have gone either way.

“I am really happy obviously. They are a great team, really well coached and they make life difficult for you. When we gave the goal away that we did you are always up against it and in the Premier League that is dangerous.”

The Arsenal boss singled out Rice for praise as the former West Ham midfielder bossed things in the middle for the Gunners.

“He was outstanding,” Arteta added. “But the whole team was as well. Rice gave us the momentum in the moments the team needed it. It is a beautiful thing how these turn around and we won the game.

“We have been so dominant. Against Fulham it was a similar story. The team deserves more. When I see a team with that will to win, the eagerness to go and go, it is beautiful.”

Odegaard was in high spirits after the game as he praised the Arsenal fans for pushing them over the line towards the end.

“I love to play at home with the fans and the atmosphere is unbelievable. I am thrilled to come behind and very, very happy,” the Arsenal captain told Sky Sports.

“It’s the best feeling in the world. This is what we play for. To give them something back and how they support us and it is amazing to give them this back.

“It was mad. I don’t know what happened but Gabi [Jesus] did so well in the end and scored a great goal and we got the win.

“All the games are like this now and you have to be prepared to play 100 and 105 and 110 minutes. We did great and I am very pleased to win.”

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta lauds ‘evolving’ Arsenal star after he earned his first England call-up – ‘I love his mentality’