Mikel Arteta has hailed the performances of summer signings Thomas Partey and Gabriel following Arsenal’s 1-0 victory at Manchester United.
Arsenal secured a first Premier League victory at Manchester United in 14 years following a strong defensive display at Old Trafford, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot to seal three points.
Aubameyang ended a run of five games without a goal after Paul Pogba had brought down Hector Bellerin, though it was the performances of new arrivals Partey and Gabriel which stood out for the north London side.
Gabriel continued his fine start to life in the Premier League with another commanding performance in central defence, whilst deadline day arrival Partey was the best player on the pitch in a complete midfield display, finishing top for Arsenal for touches, tackles, interceptions and possession won.
The impact of the duo has significantly strengthened the club’s spine and Arteta was full of praise for the pair following their performances, hailing the ‘personality’ shown by his players after securing an important victory.
‘I think they play with a lot of maturity and they look like they’ve been here longer than that,’ Arteta told his post-match press conference.
‘I still know that there are still some connections and units where they don’t have that flow, because they haven’t played much together. I can see that.
‘But as well, I see the spirit we are creating and the personality that they are showing on the pitch. Other players like Mo for example with the game he had, credit to them. Everybody’s ready for the show.’
Arteta became the first Arsenal manager since the legendary Herbert Chapman to win each of his first two games against the Red Devils, their 1-0 victory this weekend following a 2-0 win at the Emirates on New Year’s Day.
The Spaniard admits he was pleased to secure another victory against a side anticipated to be amongst their rivals for a top four finish this season, outlining his side’s ambitions to close the ‘gap’ to the Premier League’s leading sides.
‘I didn’t know that but obviously it’s great. We have to beat the top teams if we want to be fighting with them.
‘It’s something we haven’t been able to do in the last few years, especially away from home. We have to improve. There is that gap and we have to make it as small as possible, as quick as possible. This is the challenge that we are facing.