Mikel Arteta revealed how two Arsenal stars ‘put a smile on his face’ after the comfortable win over Newcastle, while also reserving praise for skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang scored a brace as the Gunners eased past a much-changed Newcastle to heap more pressure on manager Steve Bruce.
The Arsenal captain struck either side of a Bukayo Saka goal as the hosts recorded a 3-0 victory which sees them move into the top-half of the Premier League table.
After the game Arteta admitted it took his side time to break the visitors down, telling Sky Sports: “In the first half it took us a while to break a structure like this.
“We had big chances that we didn’t score. We were in total control of the game so it was about keeping that right, keeping it simple and attacking the box. Then we produced the moments of the goals.
“I thought [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] had two or three really big chances in the first half which he didn’t score. But those goals today will give him good confidence so that’s good for the team.”
Arsenal youngsters catch the eye
On the performances of youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, who combined for the second goal, Arteta added: “I know what they are capable of doing. They put a smile on my face. That is merit to them and their team-mates.
“Their performances were extraodinary. The expectation will be high with them so we have to take them through the right path. It’s a mixture of energy, passion and a little bit of immaturity at times which is good as you don’t play as tense. They did really well.”
Thomas Partey was also back in the staring line-up for the Gunners, and Arteta was delighted to see him back.
Arteta added: “I’m really happy. He got better and better as the game went on.
“He has a big influence and gave us things which were different from any other player. We have to protect him as he’s not played that much.”