Mikel Arteta pleased with reaction as Arsenal aim to bounce back against Chelsea

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been pleased with the reaction of his side as they look to recover from defeat on the opening day of the season when they host Chelsea on Sunday.

The Gunners started the Premier League campaign with a 2-0 loss at newly-promoted Brentford last Friday.

While they were deservedly beaten, Arteta was hamstrung in terms of his team selection with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson all unavailable having tested positive for Covid-19.

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette (left) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both missed the Brentford game.
Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette (left) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both missed the Brentford game (Ian Walton/PA)

“Put things into perspective,” Arteta said while previewing Sunday’s visit of Champions League holders Chelsea.

“We had an incredible 48 hours before that match. It created a big uncertainty and probably an unprecedented Arsenal line-up.”

The defeat at the Brentford Community Stadium carried more weight for Arsenal, given their next two league games are against Chelsea and reigning champions Manchester City.

A London derby against Chelsea is next up, with Lacazette and Runarsson still missing following their coronavirus results.

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Aubameyang and Willian could feature, while new signing Aaron Ramsdale is available – unlike Martin Odegaard, who is awaiting a visa following his permanent transfer from Real Madrid.

Despite still having a selection headache, Arteta has been happy with the response from his side and is now targeting a fourth-straight win over the Blues.

“We tried everything that we had in that Brentford game, but it didn’t work out,” he added.

“We knew the consequences of that externally, what it was going to mean but internally, the reaction has been incredibly positive.

“It’s one day of Premier League football – we have the whole season ahead of us and any negativity that’s going to try and surround this football club is going to be out of these walls.

“The best way to put things away is to win. Football matches, when you win them, it creates a different context and a different environment and energy around the place.

“Our focus is to get the best possible performance and then the result will be a consequence to that. Our main focus has to be that.”

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