Mikel Arteta ranks ‘mad’ Arsenal win over Bournemouth as best of his time in charge of Gunners

Keep the faith: Mikel Arteta insisted he always believed Arsenal could win the match  (REUTERS)
Keep the faith: Mikel Arteta insisted he always believed Arsenal could win the match (REUTERS)

Mikel Arteta hailed his Arsenal players for climbing a “mountain” against Bournemouth to seal a 3-2 win for what he described as the best of his time in charge.

The Gunners found themselves behind after nine seconds at the Emirates, after Philip Billing scored with nine seconds on the clock for the second-fastest goal in Premier League history.

Things got worse after the break for the hosts as Marcos Senesi doubled the Cherries’ advantage, and left Arsenal facing what would have been an incredibly damaging defeat.

As they have so often this season though, the Gunners responded. Thomas Partey and Ben White got the match back on level terms, before Reiss Nelson’s 97th-minute winner sparked chaotic scenes of celebration.

Arteta was asked after the match where the win ranked for him as a manager and the Arsenal boss put it top of the pile.

“Now, the best because the emotion is still there,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“There’s nothing like sharing those great moments with your crowd and with your people, and your staff and players. That’s what makes everything worth it.”

He added: “It was madness from the first second. We kept trying and dominating the game. We had a mountain to climb and we took it bit by bit.”

The win ensured Arsenal maintained their five-point advantage at the top of the Premier League, after Manchester City eased to victory over Newcastle in the lunchtime kick-off.

Arsenal had 31 shots and 17 corners in the match, but had to wait until pretty much the final kick of the game to take the lead for the first time.

On his message to the players after the match, Arteta said: “That I’m really proud of them. From the first minute being down, then we really tried and conceded from a set-play.

“I always had a feeling that we could come back into the game. I saw the players, the way they wanted the ball, the risks they were taking and the initiative they were taking. The belief was there, you could sense it in the stadium.

“The boys really tried and never gave up.”