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Arteta hails Arsenal’s character | Saka asserts confidence boost.

Updated: Oct 14, 2022

Bukayo Saka's penalty ensured Arsenal sealed a win over Liverpool and went back to the top of the Premier League table.

Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal’s composure and character after beating Liverpool [Sky Sports]
Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal’s composure and character after beating Liverpool [Sky Sports]

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was happy his Gunners ‘showed a lot of composure and character’ as they thrashed Liverpool 3-2 on Sunday.

Arteta also admitted that the early goal against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds helped install belief at the Emirates stadium.

Arsenal started the thrilling encounter in flying colours and got their reward through Gabriel Martinelli, who found the net within 58 seconds, though, Liverpool responded in the 34th minute when striker Darwin Nunez finished off Luis Diaz's cross.

Then Saka restored Arsenal's lead at the stroke of half-time following a sharp counter-attack, but eight minutes into the second half, Brazil forward Roberto Firmino made it 2-2.

In the 76th minute, the hosts were awarded a penalty when Thiago Alcantara was penalised for his tackle on striker Gabriel Jesus and Saka calmly put the ball past goalkeeper Alisson Becker to the Gunners back to the English top flight summit.

'Arsenal showed a lot of composure and character'

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Arsenal boss Arteta expressed his delight, saying: "There were a lot of moments and the threat they have they can open you up, but we showed a lot of composure and character."

On the opening goal, he asserted: "It was the best way to start because of the belief it generates in the stadium, so we're really happy.

"We could not get out [before half-time] because we were not good in our build up and to play the ball inside is very difficult. We started to lose some duels and we needed to hang in there to get to half time."

When quizzed about what he told his team at half-time, Arteta answered: "It was lively but we wanted to give confidence and tell them the game was there for the taking. [In the second-half] the organisation was better, the timing of the press, we won every second ball.

"I was really happy. You are always in doubt with the changes and how many players they were putting on or last lie but the players dealt with it with a lot of maturity and composure."

The Gunners manager also lauded Saka and Martinelli, who has been involved in eight goals in his past seven Premier League games at Emirates Stadium.

"When you see where he (Martinelli) is a year ago from when he played against Brentford to where he is today is phenomenal but it is his desire to train hard every day. It is a nightmare to play against him and we know we have a real threat up front."

The Spaniard added: "He (Bukayo Saka) practices every day but it's different in training when we put him under pressure to here today but credit to the boy, especially with what happened a year ago."

Saka: 'We are progressing'

Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka said the win over the Merseyside club gives them confidence.

Bukayo Saka and Martinelli reacting after Arsenal beat Liverpool 3-2
Bukayo Saka and Martinelli reacting after Arsenal beat Liverpool 3-2

"In the past two or three years,” the England international said. “Liverpool have been a team we have struggled against. To win in front of our fans is special and it shows how much we are progressing.

"It gives us more confidence because they are a fantastic team and we have a lot of respect for them. I feel like we deserved to lead at half-time so to get that goal was crucial. I want to score more now."

When quizzed about his winning penalty in the 76th minute, Saka answered: "I had what I was going to do in my mind and I stuck with it."

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