Mikel Arteta on Man Utd Win, Ending 'Big Six Curse' & Thomas Partey's Impact

Nov 2, 2020, 8:45 AM GMT
Arsenal picked up a 1-0 win over Man Utd
Arsenal picked up a 1-0 win over Man Utd | Visionhaus/Getty Images
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Arsenal finally ended a run of 24 games without victory against their big-six rivals by picking up a 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford - their first Premier League victory at that ground in 14 years.

The Gunners were by far the better team throughout and were unfortunate only to score once, but their solitary strike was significant as it was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who brought his run of five games without a goal to an end from the penalty spot.

Here's what manager Mikel Arteta had to say after the game.

On Deserving to Win

Luke Shaw, Hector Bellerin
Arsenal were on top throughout | Pool/Getty Images

"I think we merited the points," he said (via the club's official website). "I'm really happy that after 14 years without a win, we were able to come and do what we've done today.

"As well I asked the players, 'Please, let's be who we are and play with our identity and our style'. I think we did it from the first minute against a really difficult opponent. Obviously they have a lot of quality and we deserved to win the game."

On Matching Herbert Chapman's Record

Arteta became the first Arsenal manager to win their first two games against United since the great Herbert Chapman did so in 1925/26.

Arteta said: "I didn't know that but obviously it's great. We have to beat the top teams if we want to be fighting with them. It's something we haven't been able to do in the last few years, especially away from home. We have to improve. There is that gap and we have to make it as small as possible, as quick as possible. This is the challenge that we are facing."

On Thomas Partey's Performance

Thomas Partey, Nemanja Matic
Partey was dominant again | Pool/Getty Images

Summer signing Thomas Partey was among the best players on the pitch during the game, continuing his impressive start to life at the Emirates Stadium.

"He was really good, but I don’t like to speak on individuals because they all contributed a lot," Arteta insisted. "It was really hard to pick the team and it’s getting harder and harder, but I am glad that whoever I pick, they’re ready to give absolutely everything and play with a lot of courage.

"This is a massive factor for me because we played with no fear and believed in our style of play."

On Beating a Big Six Side

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-ARSENAL
Arsenal have finally beaten a rival in the Premier League | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

A 24-game run without a league win against a top side had turned Arsenal into somewhat of a laughing stock in years gone by, but Arteta hopes to see things turn around after this win.

He continued: "Yes, obviously there are many factors for that and obviously it’s not a coincidence, so we have to change that dramatically and very quickly if we want to be fighting with the big teams. Because if we don’t, we aren’t going to have that consistency that’s required at the top level, so it’s big belief for the players as well.

"To be fair, this season we went to Anfield and we played them face to face, then we went to the Etihad and we didn’t accept to lose the game, then we came here and did the same, except this time we won."

On Aubameyang's Goal

"He probably had added pressure because he know how crucial it was for us to win today and how important that moment was, but I think he took it really well and I’m really happy for him because he might not have been scoring, but he’s working really hard and contributing to the team. He’s doing every other thing and today he got his reward."

On What This Result Means

Bernd Leno, Mikel Arteta
Arteta wants this momentum to continue | Pool/Getty Images

"We are creating expectations as well because we beat United and then we beat Chelsea, and then we beat Man City, then Liverpool in the cup. We want to build them all the time. These teams are in a different moment in the process than us. We want to compete in the league with them all the time.

"We will evolve in other things and we will get better, but we need to generate the belief that we can go to any ground and be competitive. It's something that we've got already, in my opinion."

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