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Arteta ‘satisfied’ after Arsenal’s victory over Aston Villa, explains winning formation

ARSENAL manager Mikel Arteta was, as expected, happy with the side’s performance in their 3-1 Premier League win over Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night.

Goals from Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith-Rowe steered Arsenal to their fourth win in their last six Premier League outings.

Friday’s win took Arsenal up to ninth spot in the Premier League table.

“Yes, it is nice (being in the top half of the table). We had a tough start and we’ve been more consistent with results,” Arteta said in his post-match interview.

“With performances, there are things that we must do better. But today I’m very satisfied with the performance and the result.

“I think the [man of the match] could have been anybody. I think individually, they were all terrific. If you ask me about Thomas, about Sambi, about Nuno as well, the two central defenders, anybody. I think the way they played was at a high, high level. Emile was terrific. He’s scoring goals, which we’re demanding him to do, because he’s capable of doing it. I think it’s more about the team today.”

The Spaniard then commended the club’s fans for inspiring the players to the impressive performance.

Arsenal fans can quickly turn on the team if they are not playing well, but Arteta recognised their support on Friday night.

When he was asked whether the fans helped the team’s performance he replied: “Absolutely, I think the chemistry is there. I think the connection is getting stronger and stronger, and I think they are [all] enjoying what they have to do.

“They are a part of our team, a big part of our team. When there are moments where our stadium lifts, our level lifts. Our energy lifts, our belief, our confidence. I think they were terrific again tonight.”

Arsenal struggled against Crystal Palace on Monday night and were lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw, and Arteta highlighted the difference between that and Friday’s performance.

“Because we analysed it, because we discussed it, because we found the right reasons why it’s happening,” he explained.

“We don’t think it’s a coincidence or we just want to rely on some immaturity – it’s not good enough. Whatever we have to do, we have to do it now. Football is now, not in six months, not in three years – and we cannot waste opportunity because we can do it.”

The Gunners played 4-4-2 against Aston Villa, a formation Arteta rarely deploys, and he explains the reason behind it.

He said: “We were trying a formation against what we thought they were going to do – what we believed could work. Then it’s down to the players to execute it, and they did really well.

“It is really pleasing because that meant we were able to control the game the way we wanted, and take it where we wanted. But they are a top side. I was really impressed when I was analysing them again – they are a really difficult side to play against.”

Arsenal are ninth with 14 points from nine matches, level with sixth-placed Manchester United who have played eight games.

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