Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has detailed how his side have been “dominant” over the past couple of games, and the “will to win” against Manchester United was “beautiful”.
While they’d won two of their three league games before welcoming United to the Emirates, the Gunners had not been at their best. The fluidity has not been there, and Don Hutchison has suggested that comes as a consequence of Arteta attempting to “shoehorn” Kai Havertz into the side.
Indeed, the manager has changed his defensive line in trying to fit both Havertz and Thomas Partey into the same side. That’s seen Partey move from midfield to right-back, Ben White shift to the centre, and Gabriel Magalhaes not play.
That was until Arsenal faced United, and with Partey injured, Arteta was forced to play arguably a stronger side to the one that drew 2-2 with Fulham last time out, with Gabriel returning.
United took the lead through Marcus Rashford in the 27th minute, before Martin Odegaard hit back just a minute later.
Arsenal continued to push throughout the game, but that largely came without reward, and it looked as if United had snatched three points late on, as Alejandro Garnacho slotted past Aaron Ramsdale in the 88th minute.
However, the goal was chalked off as Gabriel just managed to play the winger offside, and that set about a dramatic sequence of events which saw the Gunners come away 3-1 winners.
Declan Rice bagged his first goal for the club after his £105million transfer in the 96th minute, before Gabriel Jesus made sure of the win with a composed finish in the 11th minute of stoppage time.
Arteta hails Arsenal desire to win
Speaking to Sky Sports after the final whistle, Arsenal manager Arteta hailed his side for their desire to win games; having the energy to keep fighting to achieve the win.
“It is a beautiful thing how these turn around and we won the game,” he said.
“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.”
Arteta stated the hard work his side does allowed them to stay in the game and come away with three points after battling hard against a good side.
“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,” Arteta added.
“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.”
He also praised Rice for his role in the win, as he cropped up at just the right time and injected energy into his side.
“He was outstanding, but the whole team was as well. Rice gave us the momentum in the moments the team needed it,” Arteta said.
On the evidence of this game, Arsenal might have overcome their struggles with the big occasion from last season, that saw them slip up at a crucial point in the season. They may have a better chance at the title than previously if they’re up there at the end of this term.