Having undergone three defeats consecutively, one could easily appreciate why the mood among the Gunners faithful was understandably despondent this week. Fortunately for the Gunners and their fans, saving grace came in the form of a rousing performance away to Chelsea – which was just the perfect balm needed to get them back on track in the top-four bid.
The timely 4-2 win on Wednesday night – thanks to goals from academy young blood Eddie Nketiah (two), Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka – brought broad smiles of relief to manager Mikel Arteta when he addressed Arsenal Media after the game.
“We scored four goals with our academy players which is unique and great,“ he said.
“Then I know that our fans have been disappointed in the last two weeks, because of the expectation we have created for them, and thankfully today we give them something back.”
This fixture had been the Gunners’ game in hand on Tottenham, one postponed from earlier in the season, with the victory moving them level on points with their north London neighbors albeit behind on goal difference.
The Gunners next face sixth-placed Manchester United at the Emirates on Saturday, well aware that another victory would open up a six-point gap on Ralf Rangnick’s side.
“I’m now thinking about Manchester United,” Arteta stated.
“This one is done now, we have already enjoyed it in the dressing room. Now it is about recovery, preparing mentally. We don’t have any time to prepare for the match, so we are going to have to need our people to turn up and make the Emirates a real place against Manchester United.”