Mikel Arteta hailed Arsenal’s first half of the Premier League season as “extraordinary” after victory over Manchester United took them five points clear at the top of the table.
The Gunners triumphed 3-2 winners following Eddie Nketiah’s late effort, but despite their lead at the top of the table, Arteta insisted their closest challengers, Manchester City, remain the standard-bearer.
Marcus Rashford put United ahead only for Nketiah to equalize and Bukayo Saka put Arsenal ahead.
The visitors countered back through Lisandro’s first goal. Martinez for the club before Nketiah flicked home from Martin Odegaard’s shot in the closing period.
The victory took Arsenal to 50 points from their first 19 games of the season. which is a club record for this time of the season. Which eclipses even Arsene Wenger’s undefeated team to 5 points
“Not normal,” Arteta replied when asked about his thoughts in the first half of the season.
“It doesn’t get any better than this. We deserve the points we have. I think we played well enough to win most of the matches.
“But the truth is that we have a lot that can be done better. Transitional attack and defense That’s the aim.”
Arteta, who worked as Pep Guardiola’s assistant before taking the reins at Emirates Stadium, will lead his side to face City in the FA Cup fourth round. on this friday night
They still have two league meetings to come. And Arteta believes everyone in this division is still catching up to City.
“I know my team very well,” he added. “They are good enough to play against these teams. And they succeeded. We have been talking about this for the past few days.
“We know our truth. We know how much we need to improve. We know what led us to where we are today. And we have to strengthen that every day.
“I know where we are. I know why we’re here. And I know where we want to go. And we are far from that.”
“I know the level of the other teams. And especially teams that have won in the last five or six years and we are not there yet.”
Nketiah has now scored six goals in as many games since the World Cup, with Arsenal’s first-choice striker Gabriel Jesus requiring surgery on a knee injury.
“What Eddie is doing is unbelievable,” said Arteta.
“I can’t say we saw it (coming), we hope he can do that because the way he is, his mentality and his attributes fit the team.
“Losing Gabi was huge, losing Gabi today was huge but Eddie reacted to the team in a great way.”
United were bolstered in their own unlikely nomination after a fine run of form. But they drew with Crystal Palace on Wednesday before returning to the capital and losing.
They are now 11 points behind Arsenal after more than one game. And manager Erik ten Hag admits he’s not ready to start looking for any positives. from work on Sunday
“Maybe it will happen in the next few hours. which we will realize that we are in a good position Realize that we are in a good development and a good process,” he said.
“But in this moment I was frustrated and I also told the players: ‘If you want to win a championship, you have to change our minds. Because it’s impossible that you’re in a top game and make three big mistakes and you concede goals.
“Especially the last goal. You have to feel the game at that point. Score is the highest score. Then you have to take points. And you can’t concede goals like we did. and at the highest level You cannot win prizes.
“It was like a card with a goal that we lost. Two goals started with a corner kick. And of course we made mistakes. We do not show discipline by the rules we have. Then you lose the goal.”