Saturday, October 1, 2022

Arteta chuffed with Arsenal mentality in ugly win but tempers title talk

SoccerNews in English Premier League 27 Aug 2022

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Mikel Arteta applauded Arsenal’s grit as they proved their ability to win ugly against Fulham, but he is not getting carried away about title talk.

Arsenal preserved their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 2-1 win over the Cottagers at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

It was arguably the least fluent Arsenal have looked this season but they managed to get the job done, with Gabriel Magalhaes getting the winner to make amends for the error that initially gifted Aleksandar Mitrovic the opening goal.

Captain Martin Odegaard had levelled for the Gunners prior to Gabriel’s 85th-minute goal, which ensured Arsenal began the season with four successive wins for the first time since 2004.

Arsenal have routinely been criticised for a perceived lack of character over the years, but Saturday’s success suggested the current team may have more about them.

“Big boost, winning like this is really nice,” Arteta said.

“We made a mistake and they punished us but then how we reacted against adversity, the connection with the supporters, the way we went about it, the team believed.

“They wanted to win the match, they went for it and we managed to do it.”

Regardless of results in the remaining matchday four fixtures, Arsenal will head into the midweek games at the top of the table and with the last remaining 100 per cent record in the division.

The Gunners have garnered much acclaim for their start to the campaign, with Arteta’s side playing attractive – and effective – football prior to the Fulham win.

Arteta is not getting sucked into any talk of a title challenge, though.

“No, it’s the start of the season,” he said when asked if they are already in a title race.

“This is a long marathon. Be humble, and hungry.”

Arsenal face Aston Villa next on Wednesday before a trip to Old Trafford four days later.

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