Arsenal 'play so much better when the fans are behind us' says Arteta after first win as manager

Mikel Arteta is hopeful his Arsenal team’s performance in beating Manchester United 2-0 has given the Emirates Stadium faithful something to be proud of.

The win was the Spaniard's first as a manager after overseeing two draws and a defeat in his first three matches. The result also saw the Gunners avoid their first five-game home losing streak in their long history.

Arteta said he was delighted to break his duck but gave the credit to the fans and the players.

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“It feels great, incredible; I’m so happy and proud of the players and the performance they put in,” he told BT Sport .

“Right from the start I could feel a different atmosphere.

“Thank you so much to the fans because we really need them.

“The players play so much better when they are behind us. Hopefully we gave them something to be proud of today.”

Arsenal were 2-0 up at half time thanks to goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis , but they flagged in the second half, something the 38-year-old Arteta said was inevitable.

He said that their commitment was unstinting, which was the most he could ask for.

“It was much better in the first half than the second,” he went on.

Pepe Arsenal Manchester United 2020
Pepe Arsenal Manchester United 2020

“Everything we planned to do worked really well. We had enough chances to put the game to bed much earlier.

“Physically the level dropped in the second half but the commitment and desire was terrific.

"I try to help the players as much as possible and give them the right structure to feel comfortable.

“But they have to deliver and I’m so happy they are doing that at the moment.

“The performances are getting better so I was desperate for the win and we got it.”

Despite the win, Arsenal are still only tenth in the table, and no team outside the relegation zone has fewer than their six victories.

They are only six points off fourth place, however, and their next three Premier League games are at teams currently above them in the standings.

They face ninth-place Crystal Palace, eighth-place Sheffield United and Chelsea, currently in fourth.

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