Mikel Arteta got the first win of his tenure as Arsenal boss tonight, the Gunners beating old foes Manchester United 2-0 at the Emirates.
Arsenal flew out of the traps much like they did in their previous game against Chelsea and the home sides intensity was rewarded in the seventh minute when £72 million summer signing Nicolas Pepe stroked home after good work down the left by the impressive Sead Kolasinac.
The Gunners continued to dominate throughout the first period against a lethargic looking Manchester United, and Arteta’s side would deservedly go in at the break two up after Sokratis hammered home into the roof of the net from a corner just before half-time.
Arsenal visibly tired during the second period, but a combination of solid defensive organisation and a lack of creative spark from United saw the Gunners hold on for a much needed win.
Speaking after the game Arteta was delighted with his sides performance, praising his player’s commitment and the contribution made by the Emirates crowd.
“It feels great, incredible; I’m so happy and proud of the players and the performance they put in,” the Spanish coach told BT Sport.
“It was much better in the first half than the second. Everything we planned to do worked really well. We had enough chances to put the game to bed much earlier. Physically the level dropped in the second half but the commitment and desire was terrific.
“Right from the start I could feel a different atmosphere. Thank you so much to the fans because we really need them. The players play so much better when they are behind us. Hopefully we gave them something to be proud of today.
“I try to help the players as much as possible and give them the right structure to feel comfortable. But they have to deliver and I’m so happy they are doing that at the moment. The performances are getting better so I was desperate for the win and we got it.”
Today’s win sees Arsenal move up to 10th in the Premier League table, with their next outing a tricky home FA Cup tie against Championship leaders Leeds United.