Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta set the record straight over the effort from his players after a landmark victory over Chelsea.
The Gunners won at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League for the first time since October 2011 on Wednesday. Arteta’s men only had 32 per cent possession, but Emile Smith Rowe’s goal proved enough. Their hosts huffed and puffed, but hitting the bar twice in stoppage time capped their frustrating night in front of goal.
In fact, Tuchel admitted that he had a major regret over his team selection, after making seven changes.
Nevertheless, Arteta lapped his victory up and used it to hit back at media reports from his recent press conference about his players.
Asked by Sky Sports if the victory showed that his team is not beyond repair, Arteta said: “Nothing is broken inside. I don’t know how they want to try from the outside. They try to put things on me that I never said.
“You can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. You can never doubt the efforts and how much they try.”
Asked to elaborate on the source of his anger, the manager added: “Something that I didn’t say. I said [before the match] if I don’t get 120% off each player it’s my fault and responsibility.
“It wasn’t like this in the press. I’m so annoyed by that. My players, I will defend them from everybody for the rest of the time I’m here. They don’t deserve that.
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“The players give me everything every day. We can play better, worse, win, lose. That [work rate] is unquestionable and non-negotiable, 100%.”
The victory keeps Arsenal‘s slim hopes of qualifying for Europe next season alive.
Arteta proud of big Arsenal win
“I’m really happy with a lot of things we did tonight. The attitude and the desire that we showed,” Arteta added.
“We had to dig in. We had to against a fantastic team. We put everything we had to get the best positive result.
“They’re not going to break it [a bond]. They can try but they’re not going to break it. Not only with the players, but the coaching staff and the board – they can’t touch it.
“If they try to touch it it can be with opinions but not saying something I never said. I’m not taking that. It’s the first time I have to make my point.
“It’s a big win for the club, for the players and for our fans. It’s been 10 years since they won on this ground so shows how hard it is.”
Arsenal return to action next Wednesday, playing Crystal Palace away from home. Their final fixture of the season then sees them face Brighton.