Mikel Arteta: ‘I think we were outstanding’ in goalless draw with Manchester City

Arsenal took hold of second-place in the Premier League on Sunday, forcing a goalless draw against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium just hours after Liverpool came from behind to beat Brighton and seize provisional pole.

Speaking post-match, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was full of praise for his team. The Gunners prevailed in both of their prior meetings this season – first in the Community Shield, and then in the home leg of their Premier League tie in October.

‘It was a thrilling game: a really tough match [against] a very demanding opponent but I think we competed really well,’ said Arteta in his post-match press conference on Sunday.

‘Defensively, I think we were outstanding. We had to go and put them under pressure higher up the pitch – I think we were really good and created a lot of difficulties. When they are that good that they get you in this low block, it’s very difficult to get out of that, they drop a lot of players and I think we prevented the spaces really well and that’s the difficulty.’

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‘It’s the first time they haven’t scored at home in three years, so that’s the outstanding team that they are. And then the downside is that we had some big situations to score, we didn’t make the most out of them and the next step is with the ball to have much more composure, especially in the first phase to attack better.’

Arsenal are two points behind Liverpool in the race for Premier League glory, with nine games left to play before the season concludes in May. Arteta expressed that a draw against Manchester City ‘generates belief’ that the Gunners can go all the way, adding that ‘we will try our best to continue to do what we are doing.’

The Spaniard explained that the result shows development since last season, as his side ‘are understanding how you have to play these games, but there are more steps to make to win championships.’