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Arsenal manager Arteta delighted with the 3-0 win over Southampton.

Arteta expressed his joy at how Arsenal showed their identity against Southampton.

Arsenal 3-0 Southampton

Arteta heaped praise on his Gunners after win over Southampton [BBC MOTD]
Arteta heaped praise on his Gunners after win over Southampton [BBC MOTD]

Arsenal boosted their Champions League qualification hopes as they cruised past Southampton.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was pleased to see his side bounce back to winning ways after last week’s defeat to Everton in the Premier League. The Gunners, who were without their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, boosted their top-four hopes with the victory over Southampton at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. French striker Alexandre Lacazette broke the deadlock in the 21st minute as he finished off a brilliant 16-pass team move and midfielder Martin Odegaard increased the lead six minutes later, heading home from close range. The Gunners continued to dictate the clash and eventually got their third goal in the 62nd minute through defender Gabriel, who nodded in a corner kick from Gabriel Martinelli. The victory means Arteta’s side are now in the 6th spot in the Premier League table, five points behind Man United who beat Norwich, while Southampton stay in the 16th position.

'I cannot share what happens in the dressing room'

Speaking to BBC’s MOTD, Arteta said: "I’m very pleased. After a difficult period, we had two defeats where I don’t think we deserved to lose the games but we did. "We started the game a little bit nervy, you could tell that we were carrying that feeling still, but we finished strong." On the first goal: "It was [a ‘piece of art’] – that’s our identity, the way we want to play, it’s not possible to score all the goals like that. But that’s the direction we want to take. "I am very happy. It’s a contribution from the whole game, what is required in every moment and then the execution and that’s what we’ve been lacking a little bit, because the intention is there, it’s just doing it more consistently. "You could see that the team wanted to keep attacking, hit the post twice, a goal disallowed." When quizzed why Aubameyang was dropped from the squad on the day, the Spaniard replied: “He had a disciplinary breach, that applies to everybody. That's a non-negotiable and when that happens he’s out of the team." "Whatever happens in the dressing room, I cannot share. I am sorry. I’m telling you the reason, I cannot lie, it was that this is where I stand. From my side, I will never [say what the breach was.]"

'The boss will be delighted'

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka added: "I’m really happy. The past few games haven’t been the best for us, we’ve lost a few, it’s good to bounce back in front of our fans." When asked about the first goal, the England international said: "That’s what we’re trained to do, the boss will be delighted. We need to do more of that." On the message from Arteta at half-time: "We had to go and push and get the third, not just sit back soak up pressure. I think we showed that we’re capable of that. I hit the post, but the goals will come – I know they’ll come. "It’s a solid performance, we didn’t play our best, especially on the first half, we lost it so many times, it was sloppy. But we managed to get the two goals and control the rest of the game. It was solid from us."

'We dominated from the start'

Odegaard, who has scored three goals in the last three games said: "We dominated from the start, it was a little shaky in the beginning, we lost the ball in some stupid areas, but the second half was brilliant and we deserved the win.

"It was a brilliant goal (Lacazette’s goal), played out from the back, we’ve been practicing this movement, it’s good to see that it played out well. We practice these things every day in training. We saw that it's the world in a game, it’s a good feeling.

"We’ve been doing these things for a long time, we just need to be more clinical in the box, to finish better – if we can manage that then it will be good."

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