Mikel Arteta revelled in Arsenal’s 90th-minute winner against Manchester United on Sunday, explaining the dramatic nature of the victory made it all the more special.
Arsenal restored a five-point gap to second-placed Manchester City in the Premier League by beating United 3-2 at Emirates Stadium.
It looked as though Arteta’s men would drop points for only the fourth time this season before Eddie Nketiah scored in the final minute of normal time.
Arsenal had earlier trailed to United, who remain the only team to have beaten the leaders in the league this season.
Nketiah cancelled out Marcus Rashford’s opener, but Bukayo Saka’s subsequent strike was similarly met with a response from Lisandro Martinez, setting the stage for a memorable decisive goal.
“It was emotional, a lot of passion, a lot of quality,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“It doesn’t get much better than that – after the derby away, to come here against this team and play the way we played, with the performance all over the game and especially in the second half, it was incredible.
“To win it in that way makes it even better.”
Never give up pic.twitter.com/ZT6bbE00mI
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 22, 2023
Arsenal had 25 shots to United’s six, but they had to stay patient as Nketiah’s second goal came with the last attempt of the match.
“I think mentally and emotionally, we were really composed but really determined at the same time,” Arteta added. “We managed those moments in the game really well.
“We never panicked, kept believing, kept doing the same things even better than before, and we believed that at the end we could win it.”
Arsenal moved on to 50 points, their best return through 19 matches in a Premier League season. They are only the fifth side to reach that mark at this stage.
Still, Arteta is guarded against complacency.
“It’s great,” he said. “I think we deserve to be where we are because of the way we are playing, but don’t get confused – it’s about what we do tonight and tomorrow.
“There are still a lot of things we can do much better. There are still big matches.”
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