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Arsenal’s collective strength key to season-defining win over Man City, claims Arteta


Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta believes his Arsenal team are showing a level of trust in one another to allow them to break free of the cycle of errors and lapses that have scuppered the club’s progress in recent seasons, reports

The manager watched his team defeat Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday to reach next month’s FA Cup final, days after beating Premier League champions Liverpool to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for Europe.

He praised his players for their success in playing out from the back against City, as the team marked a dramatic turnaround from their mistake-ridden 3-0 defeat at the Etihad in June.

Victory against Aston Villa today will ensure they take their bid to qualify for the Europa League to the final day of the season, and Arteta was quick to praise the renewed concentration in his team’s play.

“There’s great chemistry between [the players],” he said. “They are all on board trying to achieve the same thing, and they can rely on each other.“The most important thing is when they jump onto that pitch and they know what to expect from one another, that it’s not a flick of a coin. With a few players, you can expect certain things that he’s going to do in every action. Hopefully, we are building that credibility amongst ourselves.”

Defeat to City in June marked a low point in Arteta’s rebuilding job at Arsenal, with individual mistakes also contributing to losses against Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham as the team’s Champions League hopes slipped away.

But at Wembley on Saturday there was new discipline and precision about the team’s use of the ball, and in the face of daunting opponents Arsenal never wavered from their task.

Arteta added: “I think it’s in everybody’s nature, players and managers. You look at the opposition before games and you think of all the beautiful things and great things that they do.

“As a manager sometimes we look at the things and think ‘oh no, if they do that we’re not going to be able to control things’. That worry and that uncertainty I think is always there.

“But that’s why it’s so important, that at least if you know what the people around you are going to be doing, and you have zero doubts about how they can do that together, it gives you a lot of security before going into the game.”


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