Mikel Arteta was so impressed with one Arsenal star after the 1-0 victory at London rivals Chelsea on Sunday that he labelled him ‘phenomenal’ twice.
Gabriel scored the winner to return the Gunners to the top of the Premier League in a hard-fought 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, but it was another Arsenal star who earned most of the plaudits from the Spaniard.
Arteta remains unbeaten in all of Arsenal’s Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge since he took the reins in December 2019, as his side left with all three points in a game of few clear-cut chances.
The central defender poked a probing goalward-bound looped effort from Bukayo Saka over the line for the only goal of the game in the 63rd minute.
A toothless Chelsea side ended up with just two efforts on target as the impressive Gunners dictated the game for large parts.
And speaking after the game, when asked the importance of regaining top spot from Manchester City, Arteta told BT Sport: “Well obviously we wanted to go back to the top because the competition is so difficult in this league.
“The job for us, in fact the challenge for us was to come to this stage against a top team in the league and play and perform the way we have done today and we deserved to win the game.
“I think for such a young team, the maturity that the players showed, the composure they showed and the resilience and the courage to play the way we wanted to play it was phenomenal.
“It’s easy to say before the game but to do it on the pitch against this opponent against these kinds of players, it’s a different story.”
Jesus continues to work miracles
Rio Ferdinand then asked about the celebrations at the end of the game and if that showed the togetherness of the team, to which Arteta replied: “Absolutely, this is another step for this team and for these players and they keep believing that they can do it under pressure and against big opponents.
“We have to enjoy it because what they’ve done today they deserve all the credit.”
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown also felt Gabriel Jesus played a massive part in the victory, and Arteta clearly agreed.
Advantage Arsenal! 🔴
Chelsea fail to deal with the corner and the ball falls to Gabriel who taps home into an empty net ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/Sm2iNeRt3x
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 6, 2022
He added: “The energy and the belief that he transmits to the team is just phenomenal. And in my opinion that’s his biggest quality.
“His all-round play today was phenomenal, and how he holds the ball, his movement and the anxiety he causes opponents is something that has taken us to a different level. He’s done it today again. He didn’t score but what he did for the team was outstanding.”
Asked about how Arsenal are planning to cope with the upcoming break in the season due to the World Cup, Arteta said: “That plan is not finished yet are were us just planning to win again on Wednesday and on Sunday and then we’ll have time to finalise what we have to do.
“We have some ideas on how we can help our players maintain the mental state for the ones that they will still be here. For every managare and club it’s going to be a challenge.”