Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal sent ‘statement’ with dominant win to extend lead over Manchester City

Eyes on the prize: Arsenal are now five points clear at the top  (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Eyes on the prize: Arsenal are now five points clear at the top (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta hailed Bukayo Saka’s “magic moment” as Arsenal beat Everton 4-0 to move five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

For 40 minutes Arsenal struggled to break down the Toffees, managing just one shot as the mass of blue shirts in front of them made it incredibly difficult to create chances.

One was enough though, as Oleksandr Zinchenko played a brilliant pass through to Saka, who lashed home a sensational finish past Jordan Pickford and into the top corner.

A brace from Gabriel Martinelli and a strike from Martin Odegaard made it a comfortable night in the end of the Gunners, and saw them pull further away from Manchester City.

“It’s a statement that we’re here and want to continue to do this,” Arteta told BBC Sport.

“I am delighted with the win and the way we played after the first 25 minutes. We had some difficulties at the start. They are difficult to play against.

“Once we scored the first goal, the game unlocked. We needed a magic moment and Bukayo produced that. After that we grew and deserved to win the game.

The win came a month after the Gunners came unstuck at Goodison Park, in Sean Dyche’s first match in charge of Everton.

After a slow start, the Arsenal boss was thrilled that his side stuck to their principles and ensured there was to be no repeat of that slip-up against the Toffees.

“I am delighted when I see the team play the way we want to,” Arteta said.

“This league is a different story [no easy games]. We had big proof of that at Goodison. They made it difficult for Liverpool too.

“I’m really happy with the maturity and quality we showed.”