Mikel Arteta defended his players following Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Chelsea, claiming that his comments before the game had been misrepresented.
In a tightly contested London derby, the Gunners got the win thanks to a goal from Emile Smith-Rowe.
Although the Blues attacked constantly, Arteta’s team were able to withstand the onslaught and secure the three points.
Speaking after the game to Sky Sports, Arteta clarified that he wasn’t happy with how his comments had been portrayed.
“Nothing is broken – inside, nothing is broken,” he said. “They [the media] try to put things on me that I never said. You can see the spirit of the team from the first minute.
“It doesn’t matter whether we’re playing seventh, eighth, ninth. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they are trying.”
When the Spaniard was asked to elaborate on what he had said before the game, he took aim at sections of the media.
“I said that if I don’t get 120 percent off each player, it’s my fault and my responsibility, but it wasn’t [portrayed] like that in the press, and I am so annoyed with that,” he said.
“I will defend my players in front of anybody for the rest of the time that I’m here. They deserve that because they earn it every single day.”
The spirit that the manager referred to was on full display at Stamford Bridge as the Gunners secured a league double over the Blues. This is the first time it has happened since the 2003/04 season.
It was also the first win at Stamford Bridge for the visitors since 2011/12 when the current manager was a player. There was a lot to admire about this performance, given the quality and squad depth of the opposition.
With just two games left in the Premier League and Arsenal eighth in the table, the north Londoners have given themselves an outside shot of qualifying for Europe next season.
Although this mainly depends on what the other teams do, Arsenal will still need to win both of their remaining games to stand a chance.
Arsenal have a few days to rest before their next match against Crystal Palace. If they show the same spirit they showed at Chelsea, they will walk away from Selhurst Park with another three points in the bag.