Mikel Arteta has praised his Arsenal side’s ‘maturity’ after they returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Gabriel’s second half header was enough for the Gunners to win the London derby at Stamford Bridge as they maintained their impressive form, and they are now once again two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.
Arteta admitted his side were eager to return to the top of the league, but was quick to compliment his side for their performance in the capital.
‘We wanted to get back to being at the top but the competition is so difficult in this league’, Arteta said, speaking to BT Sport.
Arsenal have undergone an incredible transformation since Arteta took charge three years ago, and many believe they are now genuine title contenders, with just one more win needed to guarantee they are top of the league at Christmas.
Arteta claimed the win on Sunday was another ‘step’ in Arsenal’s journey as they saw off a top four competitor away from home.
‘Winning in this stadium is an extra thing, it is an extra step for the team and these players to keep believing they can do it under pressure and against big opponents’, he said.
‘We have to enjoy it because what they have done today, they deserve a lot of credit.’
‘For us the challenge was to come to this stadium against a top team in the league and play and perform the way we did today. We deserved to win the game.
‘For such a young team, the maturity they showed, the composure they showed, the resilience and courage to play the way we wanted to play, it was phenomenal. It’s easy to say it before the game but to do it on the pitch against this opponent and these kind of players is a different kind of story.’
Arteta also praised forward Gabriel Jesus, who put in another solid display up front for the Gunners.
The Brazilian has now gone nine games without scoring, but his manager claimed other qualities he brings to the team has helped take them to another level.
‘The energy and belief he brings to the team is phenomenal, they in my opinion are his biggest qualities’, he added.
‘His all around play today, I think he was phenomenal. How he competes, how he holds the ball, the movement, the anxiety he created in the back line, the uncertainty he creates for the opponent, it is something that has taken us to a different level, we have said that since the beginning.
‘He did it again, he didn’t score, but what he did for the team was outstanding.’