Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes his team is back to their best following their performance in Tuesday’s comfortable 3-1 victory over struggling local rivals Chelsea at Emirates Stadium.
Having failed to win any of their previous four games, the Gunners needed to return to winning ways to keep their dwindling title hopes alive, and they responded in style.
Granit Xhaka set up Martin Odegaard twice and in a similar fashion as Arteta’s side raced to a two-goal lead in the opening half an hour before Gabriel Jesus got in on the act just three minutes later.
Having been guilty of squandering comfortable leads in recent games, eyebrows were raised when Noni Madueke pulled one back for the visitors in the second half.
However, it proved only a consolation goal as the Gunners picked up an all-important three points to move back to the top of the Premier League table.
Arteta could not hide his delight when analysing his side’s display in his post-match interview as he heaped praise on their stunning first-half performance.
“Really happy – we wanted to have a very different approach to the game, and we did it right from the beginning,” Arteta told ArsenalTV.
“The team is back to its best. There was a lot of energy, determination, quality, and movement, and we were really going for it.
“We connected with our crowd straight away, scored two magnificent goals, got control of the game, and fully deserved to win.”
Arteta then singled out Odegaard for praise, with the Norwegian midfielder scoring two well-taken goals that set the Gunners on their way to a comfortable victory.
The Gunners captain took his Premier League tally to 14 goals for the campaign – the best goal-scoring return in his career. Arteta believes there is no ceiling as to how far the 24-year-old can develop.
“We don’t know what the limits of the players are,” he added. “When you have a player of his quality and his eagerness to learn every single day, he accepts that there are areas he can still improve a lot.
“He is constantly working on them, and in the end, you get rewarded. That’s credit to him.”
Arteta’s side will continue their quest for a famous Premier League triumph with a trip to face in-form Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday evening.
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