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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta dodges Mateo Kovacic question and hails players after pulsating Man City win


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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has spoken out following his side’s stirring 1-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday.

The Gunners went into the contest at the Emirates Stadium out to show they can compete with Pep Guardiola’s side.

It was a drab, gritty match for the most part with both teams struggling to create chances.

Yet Arsenal’s luck was in in the 86th minute, with Gabriel Martinelli’s powerful strike cannoning off Nathan Ake and into the City net.

Arsenal Man City

Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli netted a stunning late goal against Man City


One big talking point during the match was Michael Oliver’s refusal to dismiss Mateo Kovacic.

The Croatia international was lucky to avoid a red card for a foul on Declan Rice – while he also dodged a second yellow mere minutes later.

And Arteta has now been asked about Kovacic after the game.

The Arsenal boss shirked the question, however, and admitted he didn’t want to criticise the officials for their decision.

“I have seen the action but it is in the past and luckily we won,” he said.

Arteta was, however, delighted with his side’s performance and insisted they have what it takes to challenge City for the Premier League title.

“So proud. It was the moment with the right people and the right players,” he added.

“We knew we would have to suffer and we did that. You need a big performance and the crowd too. It feels like a big win.

“I think the way we started we conceded the corner and then we gained some control and in the second half we started really good.

“We were there and really aggressive. The changes helped as well. The quality they produced in the goal was top.

“[City] give you a lot [of problems] and we gave them a lot of issues as well.

“It is not easy to get out. You need the right timing, the right movement, the right moments. I like the courage.

“You are going to have these [hard] moments against this team.

“You have to be direct and managed the emotions and make sure you don’t get caught against this team.”

And, on Martinelli’s heroics, he stated: “Another player with big ones too.

Martinelli himself opened up after the showdown and believes all Arsenal players played a big role as they clinched victory at the death.

“I am not the man,” he said. “I think everyone has a part in this victory.

“I scored the goal but it was the whole team and the staff and everyone. I am happy and the team is too.

“After that moment [my injury], I just tried to give my best to my recovery and try to be ready for the next game.

“Luckily it was for this game and I helped the team. I am happy with my goal and fitness.


Arsenal Man City Premier League

Arsenal players celebrate Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal in Man City win


“It gives more confidence [to us]. We know our potential and how tough it is to play against them. Today we beat them and it gives us more confidence to kick on.”

Gabriel Jesus added: “For sure [it is a big win]. Everyone knows how hard it is to play against them. But it is not impossible to beat them.

“You have to congratulate them on how they worked or played, but it is our home. We had to run, fight, be efficient and score goals. I am happy for Gabi [Martinelli] that he comes on and scores. That shows how strong our team is.

“It is not easy playing three games in one week. I did this. I think I am back with my fitness.

“I have been fighting, running and helping the team. But as Gabi says, the whole team played amazing and we won the game.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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