Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal mentality after coming back from body blow to sink Aston Villa

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Mikel Arteta Arsenal Credit: PA Images
Mikel Arteta Arsenal Credit: PA Images

Mikel Arteta hailed his side’s first-half display ‘as one the best we have played’ as Arsenal earned a narrow 2-1 win over Aston Villa at The Emirates on Wednesday evening.

Arsenal maintained their 100% start to the season to stay top of the Premier League with a narrow victory over Villa, whose boss Steven Gerrard could face more pressure after his side lost for the fourth time in their opening five games.

The Gunners were deserved winners though thanks to Gabriel Jesus’ third goal of the season. The Brazilian swept a low effort past Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez after he had fumbled Granit Xhaka’s deflected shot.

Villa did improve after the break and equalised when Douglas Luiz scored direct from a corner.

However, the home side secured all three points when Gabriel Martinelli turned in Bukayo Saka’s pinpoint cross.

And speaking after the contest, Arteta told: “I’m really happy with the result. It’s so tough to win in this league.

“The first half was probably one of the best we have played. We could have scored three, four, five. We didn’t kill the game and then in this league, the game is alive.

“In the second half, obviously, the game was a fight. They really stretch you, they play really directly, there are a lot of second balls, actions, fouls and it became a little bit of a transitional game where you don’t finish the actions when you have spaces to attack and they’re going to come at you.

“Without really allowing anything to them – one corner – we conceded a goal and then it’s game on again. But the team reacted again incredibly well and I think we deserved to win the game.”

READ MORE: Arsenal miss out on classy midfielder who pushed for £20m Juventus transfer

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