Arteta names aspect in which Martin Odegaard is rising after Arsenal goal

Date published: Saturday 18th September 2021 6:12 - Samuel Bannister

Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal beating Burnley

Mikel Arteta said he was proud of his Arsenal players for winning a game in which they were “not at their strength” after they beat Burnley 1-0.

Arsenal came away from Turf Moor with a 1-0 win after a free kick from Martin Odegaard. It means they are at least heading in the right direction again after a difficult start to the season. But it wasn’t a game without its difficulties.

The result is all that matters for Arsenal though, and Arteta was pleased with the manner in which they earned it.

He told Match of the Day: “It was a hard-fought victory at a really tough place. You have to be ready for a fight.

“In the first half we had some really good periods when we were really dominant and should have scored more goals. In the second half we gave the ball away cheaply too many times.

“We have players who are not at their strength playing in this type of game, but they did their best and we got the win. I’m very proud of them defensively and I’m really pleased with the win.

“It’s two wins in a row, two clean sheets. Let’s go again. We have a lot to catch up!”

Burnley felt aggrieved after being awarded a penalty in the second half and seeing it overturned. However, Arteta was in no doubt that the officials came to the correct conclusion.

He said: “The assistant was saying straight away it’s not a penalty. You have to overturn that.”

Thus, Odegaard’s goal was the only one of the game. After a serious effort to sign him on a permanent basis following his loan spell last season, he is repaying their faith.

Arteta thinks his leadership qualities are growing in sync with his technical ones.

The manager said of Odegaard: “He scores, he has quality to find pockets and he works so hard. He’s becoming a real leader in the team.”

Odegaard reacts to goal and win

The scorer himself reiterated his belief in Arsenal’s progress after explaining the secrets behind his strike.

Odegaard told Match of the Day: “When we got the free-kick I immediately went to the ball. It was a big moment and a nice moment to see it go in. You need to hit it pretty perfectly, with the right speed and the right height.

“The game was kind of a war in the end. We know their strength. We played their game a little more than our own game.

“In the second half they played their game and they’re good at it. We need to be a little bit smarter when we win the ball.

“I believe in this team. Even though we lost some games in the beginning, I’m not too surprised we’ve got some points now.”

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