Granit Xhaka believes Arsenal need to show ‘character’ and ‘spirit’ if they are to beat Manchester United and build on their victory over Chelsea.
The Gunners won 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in an eventful London derby. Arsenal took the lead twice in the first half, only for Chelsea to draw level both times.
But goals from Eddie Nketiah – who also scored in the first half – and Bukayo Saka after the interval ensured Mikel Arteta’s side gained all three points.
They are now back on course to finish fourth after consecutive Premier League defeats to Crystal Palace, Brighton and then Southampton.
Arsenal can strengthen their top-four credentials with a win against United on Saturday. The Red Devils are in a troublesome place after Liverpool beat them 4-0 recently.
Ahead of the clash, Xhaka was asked if his team has new hope in overtaking Tottenham for fourth spot.
Granit Xhaka wants Arsenal to ‘keep it going’
The central midfielder said (via football.london): “Absolutely. We are there now again. Six final games and the next one is Manchester United on Saturday.
“We have to show the same character, the same spirit. We want to take the three points, we want to keep it [going] at home. And after the next week, I think, will be more quiet for us.”
Xhaka was then asked if the win at Chelsea was the best response to losing their previous three matches.
“Yes, I think so,” he replied. “The last three games were very disappointing for us, with zero points after three games.
“It is not what we wanted, but what we wanted was to show a reaction and I think, over 90 minutes, we deserved to win the game.
“It was a great team performance, tactically amazing, and it was a big three points for us.
“We knew what we had to do if they were playing a different formation. They changed as well two or three teams their formation, so we had to adapt and we trained all the week [on this].
“We were prepared very well, you saw that on the pitch. Of course, it doesn’t mean you are good and organised every time, but the guys were working very hard without the ball.
“When we had the ball we were good and created good chances to score maybe one or two more, but in the end we take the three points like this.
“It was a big game for us, for the fans, for the club, a derby. To win today, like this, we are very happy.”