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Arteta hails 'unbelievable' effort from Arsenal players as focus switches to Spurs


Mikel Arteta hailed the “unbelievable” effort of his players as Arsenal thrashed Chelsea 5-0, but insisted it will be back to work on Wednesday as they focus on a mouth-watering North London Derby against Tottenham, live on Sky Sports on Super Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

After a difficult week which featured defeats to Aston Villa in the Premier League and Bayern Munich in the Champions League, the Gunners have bounced back with victories against Wolves and Chelsea within three days to move clear at the top of the league.

Arteta’s side are three points clear of Liverpool, who face Everton on Sky Sports on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm), and four points clear of Man City, who face Brighton on Sky Sports on Thursday (kick-off 8pm), and the Arsenal boss insists his side have the mentality to go all the way in the race for the title.


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He said: “What these boys have done in the last 10 days is unbelievable physically.

“When you look at some of the numbers, it’s unreal but they can do it and they can improve themselves because they want to.

“They have the mentality, they really want to win it.”

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Individually we had some great performances. We have to do our job. Now we have to wait and see [for Liverpool and Manchester City’s results].

Mikel Arteta on the Premier League title race

Kai Havertz scored twice against his former club as Arsenal tightened their grip on top spot, denting Chelsea’s European aspirations with the thumping 5-0 win.

Gunners forward Havertz, who made a £65m switch from Stamford Bridge last summer, registered two of four second-half goals on a remarkable evening at a jubilant Emirates Stadium.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Chelsea.

Defender Ben White also claimed a double for Mikel Arteta’s title-chasing side, adding to Leandro Trossard’s early opener, as the Blues’ recent resurgence floundered in embarrassing fashion in the absence of key man Cole Palmer.

Arsenal’s remaining Premier League fixtures…

  • Sunday April 28: Tottenham (A) – kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Saturday May 4: Bournemouth (H) – kick-off 12.30pm
  • Sunday May 12: Man Utd (A) – kick-off 4.30pm – live on Sky Sports
  • Sunday May 19: Everton (H) – kick-off 4pm

‘Big win builds confidence and belief’

Arteta said the win was a huge boost for his side at such a crucial stage of the season, but the huge game against Spurs, live on Sky Sports on Sunday, wasn’t too far from his thoughts.


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“[The win is ] great for us obviously and for the confidence and the belief that we can do it as well,” he said.

“That we can come to these stages against big teams and perform and win games the way we’ve done it tonight.

“Enjoy it and then it’s back to work tomorrow [Wednesday] because we have a big one on Sunday and we’re going to have to prepare really well to beat them.”

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Sky Sports’ James Savundra and Nick Wright react to Arsenal’s 5-0 demolition over Chelsea to send the Gunners three points above Liverpool in the Premier League.

On the performance against Chelsea, Arteta added: “A big performance.

“I thought collectively and individually we were really good against a really good team that was in great form and that was going to ask us a lot of great questions. I think we responded really well.

“From the first half we were really flowing and playing with a lot of courage and making things happen.

“Really happy today with the result, it’s a great day for our supporters as well. So really happy with that.”

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That’s what we’re here for. They have to feel this team is capable of representing the club in the best possible way. I think they feel it, they see the effort, the quality and our job is to make sure they have fun and enjoy. Together we can win things.

Arteta on his side’s relationship with the Arsenal fans

Watch Tottenham vs Arsenal on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 1pm; kick-off 2pm.

Analysis: Arsenal show title-winning potential

Leandro Trossard celebrates with his Arsenal team-mates after scoring the opening goal against Chelsea
Image:
Leandro Trossard celebrates with his Arsenal team-mates after scoring the opening goal against Chelsea

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:

Arsenal’s win over Wolves was a narrow affair, ground out after a gruelling week. This one, only three days later, showed them at their devastating best. The destiny of the Premier League title remains in Manchester City’s hands. But Arsenal won’t go down without a fight.

Mikel Arteta talked up the confidence and belief the result gives them ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby. At the same time, it piles the pressure onto Liverpool and Manchester City ahead of their games, live on Sky Sports, against Everton and Brighton respectively.

They showed signs of fatigue at times against Wolves. There were hints of it in their defensive openness in the first half against Chelsea too. But they found an extra gear. And then another. The second half was a rout. Chelsea were destroyed.

It was Arsenal’s biggest-ever win over their London rivals victories like this are not a rarity. This side have won seven games by a margin of five or more goals this season, their most ever in any campaign. Their goal difference of +56 is their highest in the Premier League era.

They have the best attack in the division and they also have the best defence. This was their 16th clean sheet in the Premier League this season – a total six higher than any other side. Chelsea did create chances in the first half. But even that can be a struggle against this team.

Back-to-back defeats to Aston Villa and Bayern Munich threatened to derail Arsenal’s title challenge. A week on, though, with Wolves and Chelsea vanquished, and with a three-point lead at the top and a far superior goal difference, they look a better bet than ever.

What’s next for Arsenal?

Arsenal continue their Premier League title bid at rivals Tottenham in the North London Derby this Sunday, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 2pm.

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