Mikel Arteta hailed the “elite mentality” of his Arsenal team after they overcame league leaders Liverpool to go two points behind them in what is set to be a thrilling Premier League title race.
Arsenal got off to the perfect start as Bukayo Saka scored against Liverpool for the second season running at the Emirates but a calamitous defensive error provided the visitors an equaliser via an own goal from Gabriel.
Then a mistake of Liverpool’s own doing gave Gabriel Martinelli an open net to send the Emirates into raptures, before Leandro Trossard sealed the points in stoppage time.
Arteta was delighted with their performance against, what he named as, one of the best teams in Europe.
“The thing is, to be the best and have the best mentality you have to do it every three days,” he said.
“Absolutely [we have elite mentality]. Certainly we showed that today against, in my opinion, the most in form team in Europe.
“Now we have to do it tomorrow when we train and the next game against West Ham because we have that body language, that attitude and that energy in the team we are a really difficult team to beat.”
Arsenal are now two points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men but Manchester City lurk just behind with two games in hand. The title race is still wide open, but there’s no doubt this victory rejuvenated belief in north London that it could be a celebratory 20th anniversary of the Invincibles.Embed from Getty Images
“We are there, that’s for sure. We want to continue to be there,” said Arteta.
“We’ve been really consistent all season, if not you aren’t where we are today. We take it game by game.
“The availability of the squad is going to be crucial. We have learned that from last season. Let’s try to make that happen.”
A crucial member of that squad is proving to be Jorginho. An often overlooked figure, he’s now put in stand-out displays against title rivals City and Liverpool. An experienced star at the highest level, his boss knows how valuable he is.
“I always say that he’s an example, a role model. He’s been in a lot of pain because he’s had an issue he’s been carrying for months,” he revealed.
“He didn’t want to stop, he’s been playing with that. He’s been training, always the first one in and the last one out. For all the kids at the club, if you want to look at somebody, just look at him.
“His biggest quality is that he makes the people around him better. He connects everybody. I think he was man of the match.