Mikel Arteta felt a ‘phenomenal’ atmosphere at The Emirates gave his Arsenal players an even bigger lift as they beat 10-man Tottenham 3-1 in the north London derby.
The Gunners retained their place at the top of the Premier League with a fine victory over Spurs, who had Emerson Royal red carded in the second-half of a dominant Arsenal display.
A rare Thomas Partey strike and goals from Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka secured a well-deserved victory, with Spurs losing for the first time in the league this season having equalised through Harry Kane’s penalty.
Partey got the ball rolling with his first Arsenal goal from outside the box in his 65th match for the Gunners, with Kane levelling from the spot to take his tally in this fixture to 14 in 18 appearances.
But the second half belonged to the hosts, Jesus striking on his north London derby debut and Xhaka continuing a fine run of form either side of Emerson’s red card for Spurs.
Speaking after the game, Arteta praised the Arsenal fans for lifting the lid off The Emirates.
He told BT Sport: “They were phenomenal. We went from it and we created great energy in the stadium and deserved to win the game.
On Partey’s stunning strike, he added: “We have been waiting for that one. For what he has been through I am so happy for him.
Arsenal snuffed out Tottenham threat
Arteta also felt his side coped well with Tottenham’s counter-attack, despite a few scary first-half moments.
He added: “With our way of playing we can attack in different ways. They [Tottenham] don’t need much and you have the feeling that they can create. You have to live with that.
“But we didn’t have that in the back of our mind, we were free, courageous and brave and this is what we demand from the players. It gives us a lot of encouragement and confidence to believe that we can play at this level.”
On what Jesus brings to the team after another goal for the striker, he said: “It’s his winning mentality, the way he trains every day it brings confidence to the team and he has taken us to a different level.”
Jesus makes immediate NL derby impression
Meanwhile, Jesus himself was thrilled to get in on the act in his first north London derby.
The Brazilian said: “To be honest it’s the second time I scored in a derby. The first was for Brazil against Argentina. I’m very happy, I want to score in every game and the way team played from the first minute showed how we wanted to play.
It may be scrappy but a goal is a goal…
Gabriel Jesus nets his first goal in a north London derby to put Arsenal in the lead!! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8z8EqtRxBF
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 1, 2022
“We deserved to win, I don’t know how many chances we created. I am feeling at home because of the guys, the staff, the club and it’s helped a lot. I’m really happy here and we are in a good way.”
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka., who was named Man of the Match, added: “We didn’t have a lot of weeks to prepare because of the international break, but we saw yesterday in training that we were ready.
“From the first second I think we were the better team. After we conceded we were struggling a little bit,. But in the second half we were much better. I am so happy to score and help the team to win. My first derby goal in England. I’m more than happy to help the team. The team is the most important thing.”